AboutGSU is an inclusive charity, representing the interests of over 21,000 students at our three campuses in Avery Hill, Greenwich and Medway. We have one goal, which is to provide the support and services for our students to become their best at Greenwich and beyond. We make this goal a reality by unapologetically striving for equity in all that we do, empowering our students to maximize their time at university, building high-quality social activities and spaces and providing advice for when things do not go to plan.
The Head of Student Voice and Representation will be responsible for providing strategic leadership by driving quality Student Voice, increasing impact, & maximising resources to improve the experience for students at Greenwich; by enabling effective student voice and advocacy across our three campuses at Greenwich, Avery Hill and Medway. This role will empower elected Officers and students across the diverse student population of the University of Greenwich and lead a dynamic team to ensure students are able to come together and make positive change within their communities and beyond.
Reports to: Deputy Chief Executive
Responsible for: Academic Communities & Representation Manage, Democracy & Insights Manager, x5 indirect reports
This role sits within the wider Membership Services department, together with other key areas consisting of; Advice and Wellbeing, Campus Engagement; Sport, Societies and Front of House. We provide a high-quality service for students, that they can shape, steer and be at the heart of.
1. Duties and key responsibilities
This postholder will be part of the GSU Senior Leadership Team and will be expected to contribute to department and organisation wide strategic development. This role will deputise for the Deputy Chief Executive when needed.
The post holder will:
- Have expert knowledge in areas of in relation to membership services, working with elected officers and the issues facing the higher education sector
- Overall responsibility for the legal compliance issues relating to Representation and Policy
- Leading and developing strong student-led communities in areas of: Representative, Democracy, Access and Participation requirements and Academic Communities so that members can shape their own experience and thrive
- Provide line management support to staff and oversee Representation and Democracy and engagement across Greenwich’s 3 campuses
- Develop and lead on the strategic aims and enablers to deliver the greatest impact for members
- Identify and secure resources needed to deliver the teams’ strategic aims
- Ensure the maximum impact and value is delivered by the team
- Lead on the project management of GSU Elections and Officer Induction Programme, including an over-night residential based aspect for Officers and key staff
- To enhance the democratic operation of the Union through coherent governance and a robust elections process including acting as the Deputy Returning Officer for GSU Elections
- Provide regular insights, reports and recommendations on the GSU Membership to inform our strategy and service provision
- Act as the Deputy Returning Officer for the Students’ Union elections to ensure they are fair, accessible and transparent to candidates and the electorate
- Develop and implement a strategy for increasing engagement in democratic processes including a review of the current processes and how best to engage the diverse membership
- Be an engaged and active member of the Senior Leadership team, contributing regularly and working collaboratively with peers
- Provide leadership, strategic direction and day to day operational management to the Student Voice Team: motivating, supporting and developing team members to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge for their roles as well as manage performance
- Develop a proactive results driven culture within the team, ensuring agreed objectives and targets are delivered, whilst promoting a collaborative approach to working with internal departments.
- Develop succession plans and identify training and development opportunities within the team
- Be accountable for the quality of outputs of the team
- Provide support to the Officer team, helping and equipping them, particularly in their roles as representatives.
- Ensure the whole organisation is aware of and understands the work of the Student Voice Team and its contribution to our strategic objectives
- Develop quality and effective representation structures for students to engage with their Union that are relevant, accessible, consistent and impactful.
- Develop and promote a culture of continuous improvement across the team to ensure we can adapt to changing students’ needs and priorities, as well as building on successes and preparing for the future.
- Contribute to the strategic objectives of GSU, with a particular focus on Representation, Democracy, APP and Academic Communities
- Work with colleagues to ensure targets and metrics relating to APP, NSS and BAME Awarding Gap etc, are being met and regularly communicated through relevant forums
- Ability to think strategically and gain commitment to a clear vision and mission, and deliver results
- Support GSU Officers and the wider SU to identify and influence University policies and procedures by regularly communicating research and findings to relevant stakeholders.
- Support GSU Officers and the wider SU to influence University policies and procedures by regularly communicating research and findings to relevant stakeholders.
- Build and maintain strong working relationships with relevant UoG staff, academics, faculties and departments including Student Academic Services, Directors, and our partners at Kent Union
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Develop a structured approach to gathering, analysing and reporting on data relating to engagement of students with our services
- Ensure evaluation mechanism are embedded in the teams working practises and that findings are shared and used to implement learnings with the goal of improving services
- Support Officers by preparing information, statistics and trends about key services to be shared within the University committee cycle
Budget and Financial Management
- Responsible for the budgetary planning; setting and reviewing of budgets relating to Representation, Democracy, GSU Officers and Academic Communities and ensuring effective spend of budgeted sums and restricted fund.
- Being responsible for the team’s resources and ensuring these are effectively allocated, managed and controlled
- With the Finance team ensure suitable financial procedures are in place when dealing with student finances
- Review and provide narrative for scrutiny at monthly management meetings with the Finance Team
- Process invoices or equivalent, relating to the aforementioned budgets, where care, accuracy and security are important.
- Being accountable for the monitoring, reporting and spend of multiple budget lines and ensuring cost effectiveness across all activity
- Collaborate with GSU colleagues, particularly the Campus Engagement and Advice Teams to ensure we have a consistent approach to how we work with and support students
- Work with elected students and faculty staff through our representative structures and forums to ensure we shape services students want and need, taking into consideration the varying campus priorities
- Support the team to manage relationships between university staff ensure representation in embedded at every level
- Support students from all demographics, and particularly those from under-represented groups to develop and grow their own activities and communities
2. General Responsibilities
- Represent and be an ambassador for GSU.
- Be flexible and carry out other associated duties as may arise, develop, or be assigned in line with the broad remit of the position.
- Maintain and improve competencies through continuous professional development.
- Abide by organisational policies, codes of conduct and practices.
- Support and promote liberation, diversity and equality of opportunity in the workplace.
- Treat with confidentiality any personal, private, or sensitive information about individual organisations and or clients or staff and Project data.
- Actively seek better ways to assist GSU in its effort to become a more sustainable workplace.
- Any other duties commensurate with the accountabilities of the post.
Experience – Essential
- Experience of successful strategic management and a track record of leading the formulation and delivery of high-quality services and/ or outcomes
- Significant management and leadership experience, including at a senior level in a complex, multi-stakeholder organization
- A track record of developing successful partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, and evidence of success in building and enhancing the reputation of an organisation with external bodies
- Proven record of successful financial management, management of substantial budgets, interpretation of complex financial information and business planning, and proven commercial acumen
- Experience of leading a multi-functional team
- Experience of mentoring coaching staff/elected officers
- Experience of developing operational policies and procedures
Essential Skills and Abilities
- Ability to work with and lead a high performing team
- Ability to operate effectively in a democratic environment, with the political skills and acumen to develop productive relationships with Trustees and elected officers, building trust and confidence
- Ability to troubleshoot difficult situations, and deal with them calmly, efficiently and effectively
- Exceptional communication and presentation skills, with an ability to communicate ideas, issues, and procedures successfully at all levels and act as an external ambassador
- Ability to produce confident, clear written reports and be able to write succinct documents on complex areas
- Excellent time management and organisational skills with the ability to manage others to reach deadlines, within agreed budgets and to a consistently high standard
- Proven ability to write strategies and be able to effectively communicate vision and mission
- Track record of successfully developing and implementing projects and operational change
- Able to draft policies and procures with an eye for detail and accuracy
- An understanding of best practice in people and talent management
- An understanding of performance management
- Awareness of current issues within the higher education sector
- A sound understanding of effective charity and / or students’ union governance
- Knowledge of relevant external bodies and organisations including NUS, OFS, OIA, QAA
- Knowledge from across the broader charity sector of programmes and organisations who provide training, development and learning for student leaders in order to broaden perspectives
- Knowledge of relevant health and safety and safeguarding legislation
- Knowledge of GDPR, external speaker processes, risk assessments
- No one specific qualification is required, but evidence of recent continuing professional development in a professional area relevant to the post is required. For example: ILM, City &Guilds etc
Essential Personal Attributes
- An excellent role model who promotes high standards of ethics, integrity and honesty
- Empowering, authentic leader with high levels of emotional intelligence
- Able to travel extensively within the Borough and Region.
- Able to work some evenings and weekends and stay overnight where necessary
- Works well in a team with a flexible approach to work
- Be eligible for a DBS check if needed
- Have the ability to drive across campuses and hold a valid driver’s license
- A commitment to the principles and practices of equality and diversity
- Leads on equality, taking proactive steps to improve diversity and remove barriers to inclusion
- Commitment to the values and ethos of GSU
Desirable – Other requirements
- Visionary, creative, and innovative strategist
- A positive, solution focused leader – able to make ‘tough’ decisions; determined and resilient in order to cope with the demands of the role