Head of Student Support and Engagement

Department: Higher Education Administration Team
Reports to: Deputy Principal
Line Management responsibilities for: Student Support and Engagement Officer, Counsellor, Skills Support Tutor and Gym and Wellbeing Coordinator
Working Pattern: Full-time
Hours: 40 hours per week

£45000 – £47000

Background to ArtsEd


ArtsEd originated from two schools, one founded in 1919 by Grace Cone and one founded in 1922 by Olive Ripman. These two educational pioneers believed passionately in the value of combining a general academic education with specialised training in dance, drama, music and art. They were committed to preparing young people for professional careers in or related to the theatre.  In 1939, Grace and Olive joined forces to create the Cone Ripman School, subsequently named the Arts Educational Schools. Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin drew almost exclusively on ArtsEd students to help them create their revolutionary company London Festival Ballet, which eventually became the English National Ballet. Ballerina Dame Beryl Grey became Director of the Schools in the 1960s. ArtsEd continued to innovate, introducing both professional acting and musical theatre courses and in I986 moved to its present home in Chiswick.  In 2007, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber became President, heralding an auspicious new era for ArtsEd.  The School of Musical Theatre and School of Acting offer full-time BA and MA courses. Our Musical Theatre course is recognised as the best in the UK, while the Acting course is praised for its innovative 50:50 split between stage and screen acting.  Our outstanding record of graduate success sees nearly every one of our Musical Theatre graduates and over three-quarters of our Acting graduates make their professional debuts within six months of graduating.

Summary of the Role


The Head of Student Support and Engagement will be responsible for the leadership, development, organisation, planning and overall management of the Student Support and Engagement Services. The postholder will ensure a range of services that deliver general and specialist information and advice to students alongside operational wellbeing and disability support. They will ensure that the services follow best professional and sector practice and are compliant with legislative and regulatory requirements. The post holder will promote integration and collaboration between teams and the wider services at ArtsEd to meet specific needs and promote student wellbeing generally.

Under the leadership of the Deputy Principal, the post-holder will be required to work in close collaboration with colleagues in the Schools of Acting and Musical Theatre and in other professional services departments. They will have line-management responsibility for the Student, Support and Engagement Officer, Counsellor, Skills Support Tutor and Gym and Wellbeing Coordinator posts. They will serve as a member of the HE Administration Management Team and institutional committees, sub-groups and working groups as required

Key Responsibilities


Administrative / Regulatory Responsibilities

  • Support the Deputy Principal in ensuring that ArtsEd meets the conditions of registration with the Office for Students and the requirements of other regulatory and professional bodies. This includes the preparation for and management of any audit and review visits from these bodies.
  • Monitor and review service effectiveness to ensure continual improvement by developing quality frameworks and audits to facilitate external benchmarking.
  • Provide appropriate reports when required in support of planning.
  • Produce reports relating to outcomes of student administrative support and engagement mechanisms, for senior academic committees and the Board of Trustees.
  • Oversee relevant areas for student engagement and feedback, and act as main point of contact with the Student Union.
  • Actively participate in national networks relating to the scope of the role to share best practice, build a network of contacts across other institutions and keep up-to-date on key regulatory changes.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of Data Protection and Freedom of Information requirements and provide training and support to the team when policies change and/or issues arise.

Student Wellbeing Responsibilities

  • Act as a source of expertise for ArtsEd on matters related to student engagement, wellbeing and disability services, including relevant legislation and regulation, and assist in the development and implementation of appropriate policies and procedures.
  • Work proactively and in partnership with the course management teams, and with colleagues within the Higher Education Administration teams to ensure that student engagement, wellbeing and disability services are seamlessly coordinated.
  • Take lead responsibility for managing complex and high-risk student welfare cases and serve as a Designated Safeguarding and Welfare Officer.
  • Work with colleagues to ensure that published information around student support, engagement, wellbeing and disability services is regularly maintained across various media and is compliant with regulatory and professional bodies.
  • Oversee production of and use of a range of support, engagement and wellbeing guidance and learning resources for both students and staff, to ensure student engagement and promote student wellbeing and inclusivity.
  • Oversee the design, development and delivery of workshops for students and staff, that are relevant to all aspects of student support, engagement, wellbeing and inclusivity.
  • Together with colleagues in the HE Administration team and the Deputy Principal to play a key role in the review and development of student induction activities and information across ArtsEd, in relation to student support and engagement.

General Responsibilities

  • Build partnerships with local NHS services as well as other health and voluntary agencies to ensure a holistic joined up service for the benefit of students and
  • Be proactive in identifying and escalating areas of risk to the student experience or institutional reputation.
  • Undertake any other duties or tasks as the Deputy Principal may reasonably require including support for graduation activities and the contribution to the broader work of the HE Administration Team

All Staff

  • The post holder must have a good understanding of and adhere to Safeguarding and welfare requirements including being able to fully apply the Safeguarding and welfare rules when supporting students.
  • The postholder must adhere to the staff Code of Conduct.
  • The postholder must carry out their responsibilities with due regard to all ArtsEd policies and procedures, ensuring inclusivity, equal opportunities, and compliance with Health and Safety in the workplace.
  • The postholder must respect the confidentiality of data stored electronically and by other means in line with the Data Protection Act.
  • The postholder is required to regularly undertake Safeguarding, Keeping Children Safe in Education, Prevent, and GDPR training and to maintain their own professionalism and job-related knowledge through ongoing CPD.
  • The postholder be professional, co-operative, and flexible in line with the needs of the post and the school.
  • All Job Descriptions are reviewed annually and will change to reflect the needs of the School and the post.
  • ArtsEd is committed to the safety, wellbeing and safeguarding of all pupils and students and expects all staff to share this commitment. Staff in all posts are required to hold a clear, enhanced DBS.
Person Specification  Assessment Method

 Application / Interview / Evidence


Educated to degree level or equivalent

Commitment to continuing professional development


Excellent knowledge and understanding of how student support, engagement, disability and wellbeing services are managed in higher education, or similar, environment

A clear understanding of the complexity of Higher Education in relation to key professional and compliance issues, legislation and sector practice in the areas of student support, engagement and wellbeing as well as an understanding of the services that underpin student support, engagement and disability services.

Authoritative knowledge of the work practices, processes, and procedures relevant to the role, as well as broader sector/commercial awareness.

Knowledge of statutory and regulatory data returns to OfS and other regulators


Working in a higher education institution with an emphasis on student support, engagement, disability and wellbeing services

Working with relevant national organisations such as AMOSSHE

Student case management, Safeguarding and working within the related regulations and policies

Producing high quality written reports and committee administration and support.

Designing and delivering training

Working across all areas of Student support, engagement, wellbeing and disability services with a proactive, student-centred approach

Ensuring service delivery continually meets the highest standards and addressing issues where necessary

Working with a range of people and stakeholders, at different levels, within an organisation.

Skills and Abilities

Ability to communicate complex information in an effective, concise and tactful manner, both orally and in writing with excellent attention to detail

Ability to analyse and disseminate information efficiently and effectively including providing information and advice to colleagues on matters related to frameworks for quality and standards and enhancement to support decision making

Proficient IT skills across a wide range of applications, including general Office software.

Ability to engender a spirit of collaboration and consultation.

Change management skills to support the implementation of new business processes.

Ability to manage and lead projects.

Excellent organisational skills with the ability to organise, delegate and plan effectively across competing priorities.

Able to negotiate, network professionally and influence across organisational boundaries to deliver a timely positive outcome diplomatically.

Ability to work to professional standards with integrity, honesty and confidentiality.

Proven ability to lead and motivate staff