Head of Human Resources
Blundell’s School is a traditional but forward-thinking school, set in 200 acres of beautiful Devon countryside. The School comprises a Preparatory School (225 Day pupils aged 2-11) and Senior School (600 Boarding and Day pupils aged 11-18). The two schools are separate but share their Governing Body and support staff structure.
Reporting to the Bursar, but with direct access to the Head and Head Master of the Prep School, the Head of HR is a newly created role and is designed to ensure the delivery of a professional HR service to the whole School. The successful candidate will be expected to provide expert professional advice and support to the Senior Executive Team, Heads of Department and Staff on all aspects of Employment Law and best practice.
The Head of HR is supported by an experienced Personnel and Payroll Manager, who in turn delegates everyday payroll-related accounting tasks to a finance assistant.
The School is in the process of changing accounting systems from WCBS PASS to iFinance/iSams. As part of the transition, the personnel and payroll administration will also move to a specialist HR database, HR Pro. An important part of the Head of HR’s first few months in post will be to ensure that the database functionality is fully explored and maximised.
Strategy and Leadership
- Be a key advisor to the Senior Executive Team on the development and delivery of an HR Strategy for the School, ensuring that all HR operational activities link back to the School’s Strategic Plan, ‘Blundell’s 2025’.
- Play an active role in strategic decision making and provide advice and support to the Senior Executive Team.
- Design, manage and monitor operational HR systems and processes in line with the HR Strategy.
- Ensure the provision of a high-quality HR service throughout the School and promote efficient and effective working practices.
- Through the Head, Bursar and Prep School Head Master, report termly to the Board of Governors on key HR areas such as recruitment, change management, re-structuring, absence management, employment legislation and performance management.
- Seek to build and maintain trusting relationships with colleagues at all levels in the School and promote a positive vision of HR within the School.
- Help the School to be as inclusive and diverse an employer as possible.
- Provide guidance and support to the Personnel and Payroll Manager.
Employment Legislation and HR Advice
- Ensure that the School, in its practices, complies with all current employment legislation, including Safer Recruitment requirements.
- Provide professional advisory support to the Senior Executive Team, Heads of Department and other members of staff on HR matters, employment law and best practice.
- Carry out disciplinary and grievance investigations, collate paperwork for hearings and act as co-chair and/or advisor at hearings when necessary.
- Hold overall responsibility for the Single Central Register, ensuring it is fully maintained and compliant with ISI and safeguarding regulations.
- Hold overall responsibility for the carrying out of all pre-employment checks, including Safeguarding and DBS checks.
- Keep up to date with changes in employment legislation and good practice and advise the Senior Executive Team and Heads of Department accordingly.
- Liaise with the School’s employment lawyers as necessary.
HR Processes and Information Systems
- Review and keep up to date all HR-related policies and procedures, including the Staff Handbook, and to ensure that that they are legally compliant and appropriate.
- Maintain and develop a whole-school HR system, including contracts of employment, job descriptions, induction and training records and staff wellbeing initiatives.
- Participate in, and lead when required, on any organizational structure reviews.
- Take overall responsibility for staff absence monitoring and advising line managers on managing attendance when necessary.
- Explore and make use of the functionality of the electronic HR database (HR Pro) to maximise the efficiency of HR processes and procedures.
- Issue new Governor induction packs, notify the Board members of on-going training courses (such as the AGBIS annual training programme) and maintain a Governors’ training record matrix. Oversee Governor DBS checks and periodic re-checks.
- Develop an exit interview process for Support Staff.
Staff Performance and Training
- Develop a staff appraisal system for Support Staff, manage its implementation and ensure its subsequent application across the School.
- Ensure that probation period appraisals are carried out by relevant line managers.
- Advise and train line managers on the correct procedures to be followed in managing staff performance.
- Ensure the regular review of job descriptions.
- Manage the Support Staff CPD budget and, jointly with the Bursar and Heads of Department, identify individual training needs and CPD packages for staff.
- Working with the Head of Staff Wellbeing, develop and implement a staff wellbeing programme for all School staff.
- Liaise with external Occupational Health specialists in respect of referrals. Review OH medical reports and recommendations and, jointly with line managers, ensure that employees’ needs in the workplace are met.
- Monitor sickness trends across the School and recommend action where appropriate.
- To ensure a fair and consistent staff pay and grading structure across the School.
- Conduct regular salary and benefits benchmarking for all staff groups and participate in relevant annual salary surveys. Report to Senior Executive Team and the Governors’ Remuneration Committee on benchmarking findings and resulting recommendations.
- Oversee and co-ordinate teaching staff salary scale and/or responsibility allowances reviews.
- Take responsibility for the annual staff salaries budget and ensure that regular, timely salaries reports are prepared for monthly management accounts purposes and the year-end external audit and accounts preparation.
- Prepare the annual Gender Pay Gap Report and accompanying explanatory notes for the Senior Executive Team and the Governing Board.
- To act as Deputy Designated Officer on the School’s safeguarding team.
- Ensure that all members of staff receive up-to-date safeguarding legislation and maintain record of receipt and understanding of these documents from staff.
- Attend and document Safeguarding meetings.
- Attend Welfare Committee meetings.
- Attend weekly Bursary meetings.
- Attend INSET, staff meetings and other meetings as required.
- Serve on the School Calendar Committee as the liaison person between the Committee and Support Staff.
- Attend termly Matrons’ meetings.
- Undertake any ad hoc HR projects as required.
This job description outlines the post holder’s duties to indicate the level of commitment and responsibilities expected. It is not intended to be a comprehensive or exclusive list and duties may be varied from time to time, which does not change the general character of the job or the level of responsibility.
- Minimum required qualification is CIPD Level 5 and active work experience at that level.
- Significant experience as an HR professional, including management of complex personnel and employment contract issues, managing restructures or other organizational change.
- Experience of overseeing a staff performance management framework.
- Extensive knowledge of HR best practice, employment law, and ability to interpret legal and statutory requirements.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, professional and approachable manner and ability to form effective working relationships with colleagues from a broad range of backgrounds.
- Prepared to challenge current and historic working practices and confident to implement change and improvements.
- Self-motivated and enthusiastic, and willing to work flexibly, both with regard to tasks and working hours.
- Effective planning and organizational skills to work to deadlines, multi-task and adapt to changing priorities.
- Ability to work unsupervised and independently, as well as collaboratively with colleagues in the Bursary and beyond.
- Strong coaching and mentoring skills, with the confidence to advise Heads of Department and Senior Executives.
- Comprehensive financial awareness and acknowledgement of budgetary control.
- Sound IT skills and experience of working with HR databases and accounting systems, as well as Microsoft Office.
- A genuine interest in education and appreciation of the organizational structure and culture of an independent boarding school.
For further information, please contact the recruitment team at email@example.com
Closing date: Sunday 23rd May 2021
Interviews: Friday 28th May 2021
Please see our website www.blundells.org to download an application pack and send your C.V, a covering letter detailing your intention to apply and a completed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Blundell’s is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service.