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Assistant Principal (Student Experience) – Northern College

Northern College

Northern College logo for Marketing and Partnerships FE recruitment

Strategic, inclusive and committed to enhancing opportunities for students to engage in education, our Assistant Principal (Student Experience) will lead on all aspects of service delivery which affects the student journey here at Northern College.

  • Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire
  • Salary: £65k - £75k plus generous pension and annual leave
Northern College, FE recruitment, Head of Estates

About the role

Following the appointment of our new Principal & Chief Executive in Autumn 2018, we are going through a period of change, impacted by the impending devolution of the Adult Education Budget, changes in society and our ambition to continue providing high quality education to adults from across the country. This is not just a local college, but a national one, attracting adults from the furthest points of the country who enrol at the college because of its quality provision, incredible student support, committed staff team and the opportunities that are available.

As our Assistant Principal (Student Experience) you will be the executive lead on all aspects of the college which directly impact on the student journey such as: student services, learning support, library services, the children’s centre, and our estates and commercial services. As Designated Lead for safeguarding, compliance with the Prevent Duty and EDI you’ll be a champion and policy expert around inclusivity and student wellbeing best practice.

As the strategic lead on service development and student experience, you’ll work collaboratively across the college’s leadership team to enhance opportunities for students to engage in every level of education and training, and continue to provide outstanding support, services and facilities for them. You will do this through the development and delivery of both the student experience and property strategies, working with senior colleagues to ensure our infrastructure is designed to educate, empower and inspire our students to make excellent life choices around careers, employment and future study or training.

Who we're looking for

FE recruitment, Northern College

As we are an extraordinary college, we’re not looking for an ordinary support services leader. Some of our students come with extraordinary life stories and it’s important to us that our students, regardless of background or study level/type, have access to education and training here. With experience of developing strategies to improve access to education and student support, you will be focused on ensuring Northern College evidences the distance travelled by our students and the impact we have on their lives.

We expect you to have made a substantial impact on the student experience in a previous education provider and be able to demonstrate this to us. You will need to understand both further education policy and funding, to enable us to be agile in what is a highly competitive adult education and skills sector, and have experience of partnership working which benefits students.

If you would like an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Sarah Szulczewski on 07841 017043 | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk

Further education recruitment with Sarah Szulczewski

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Sarah Szulczewski

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Dear Candidate,

FE recruitment for Northern College Assistant Principal (Student Experience)

Thank you for your interest in the position of Assistant Principal (Student Experience) here at Northern College.

The Northern College is one of only four adult residential colleges in England. We have a proud and distinguished history of providing educational opportunities for those individuals and communities who may have previously been disengaged and have returned to learning later in life. Much of what we offer provides a platform to engage people back into education, with the aim of designing a supportive pathway to progress through our courses to ensure that everyone participating can achieve their potential.

The college offers so much more than you might expect from further education – attracting students from all over the country with its residential accommodation, amazing location, focused student and learning support, evening library accessibility and children’s centre. Studying at Northern College is a very inclusive, impactful and memorable experience for our students.

The college offers a wide range of non-accredited provision, including: Confidence Building, Community Engagement, Social Studies, English, Maths and Digital courses, accredited courses including Functional Skills and GCSEs in English and Maths, short courses at L1 and L2, with progression opportunities to our full time residential or non-residential L2 Pre-Access and L3 Access to HE programmes. We offer Teacher Education provision right up to degree level in partnership with Huddersfield University and we have a long-standing Trade Union Education offer attracting union representatives from all over the country. The college works closely with a number of local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and other stakeholders to deliver community learning, and to reach out to individuals and communities engaging them and supporting them to progress within the college.

We’re very proud of our Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ grade from 2014, and of our year on year outstanding financial performance. Being in this strong position enables us to spend some time reviewing our strategy in readiness for the changes that the devolution of the adult education budget, which is planned for us in the 2021-2022 year, may bring. Applying the key themes of ‘Innovate, Diversify and Promote’, the college is at the starting point of this exciting next phase of development.

The governing body and entire staff team are driven by the desire to make a positive difference to the lives of individuals and the communities they live in, and it is critical that this remains at our core.

I am keen to appoint candidates who will embrace this opportunity to take the college into its next phase; an Assistant Principal who will learn from the experience and expertise of our dedicated team, whilst developing our student support services and wider student experience strategy, to include our estate and its facilities.

If you have senior leadership experience of developing strategies to enable students to achieve great things, and want to join an incredible college with a strong social mission, we welcome your application.

Yours sincerely,

Yultan Mellor
Principal and Chief Executive

Assistant Principal (Student Experience) for Northern College, further education recruitment

We are Northern College, one of only four residential colleges dedicated to the education and training of people who are without formal qualifications and seeking to return to learning. We also offer training for those who are active in community and voluntary groups as well as in their trade unions, and have a rich history of promoting social justice.

Our mission is to ‘provide outstanding adult residential and community education for the empowerment and transformation of individuals and communities’

We deliver this mission through our strategic aims of:

  • Being outstanding
  • Transforming lives
  • Celebrating and sharing
  • Securing the future
  • Increasing reach and impact
FE recruitment for Northern College

We are a small college in comparison to some others across the country, though our 4000 students come from a range of different backgrounds and from across the UK. Aged 19 plus, and often with families and dependants, many are familiar with unemployment or part-time, low paid jobs.

We are incredibly proud that our students have in common a determination to secure education, qualifications and better life opportunities. They wish to take control of their lives and change them for the better. Many hope by doing this they can also help to improve the lives of those around them, by supporting their children’s learning or being more effective citizens.

We offer a curriculum that begins where students’ learning levels start, building on the experience of life and work that they bring with them, providing opportunities to acquire new knowledge, skills, ambition and a fresh approach to lifelong learning.

Read more about Northern College:

Northern College website
College leadership structure
Assistant Principal (Student Experience) – department structure
Ofsted Inspection Report 2014
Financial statements 2017/18

To access a full job description and application details,
please fill out the form below.


If you would like an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Sarah Szulczewski on 07841 017043 | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk

To apply, please submit a CV and letter of application (the supporting statement should be a maximum of two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role by addressing the criteria focused on experience within the person specification, giving examples. Please ensure that you also explain your motivation for applying within your supporting statement.

Please use the subject: “Assistant Principal (Student Experience), Northern College” and send your documents to: response@peridotpartners.co.uk.

Peridot Partners values diversity in our recruitment. We welcome applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

All applications will be considered solely on merit.

The Northern College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all students and expects all staff to share this commitment. As an equal opportunities employer, applications are particularly welcome from disabled, black and minority ethnic groups as they are currently under represented within our staff group. Northern College promotes the welfare of all students and is fully committed to safeguarding and to fulfilling its obligations under the Prevent Duty. The college expects all staff to share these commitments.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required with regard to the recruitment process.


Closing date: 9am, Monday 15th July 2019
Candidates informed of outcome: By 5pm Wednesday 24th July
Interview: Friday 2nd August
Preliminary interview: Tuesday 30th July
Formal panel interviews: Wednesday 31st July

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and Northern College are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring survey.

The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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