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Personal Assistant to Head of School and School Manager

Requisition ID:  1150

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Posted Date:  01-Nov-2019

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £21,814 - £28,331 

Closing Date: 15 November 2019

The role


The School of Arts and Cultures is looking for a professional and enthusiastic Personal Assistant to provide comprehensive support to the Head of School and School Manager.  The post-holder will be responsible for an efficient and effective service including diary and email management, organisation of meetings and key School events and administration of a range of People Services processes across the School.


You will have experience of working in a Personal Assistant, or similar, role within a large, diverse organisation, ideally within Higher Education and will have experience of working autonomously, using your initiative and taking decisions within the remit of your role on a regular basis.  Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential, alongside the ability to act with discretion and maintain confidentiality.  You must be able to pay attention to detail whilst working to deadlines, often under pressure and proven IT skills across the MS Office suite are essential.


Key Accountabilities

  • Manage the Head of School’s diary to ensure efficient use is made of their time, arrange travel as required and ensure all meeting documentation is prepared.  Receive, screen and prioritise incoming emails and be the first point of contact for telephone calls, answering routine correspondence or re-routing where relevant.
  • Ensure the Head of School is aware of all deadlines and prepare information and papers as necessary, with urgent matters prioritised and highlighted.
  • Support the Head of School with their external and research work, including organising meetings and assisting with collation and dissemination of data and statistics.
  • Implement and maintain effective office procedures to support the Head of School’s work.
  • Provide support for School committees as required, including School Executive Board, Health and Safety and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  Organise other key School events as required.
  • Support the Head of School and School Manager with communication across the School, including administration of a regular newsletter and updating the website as necessary.
  • Manage the School Manager’s diary.
  • Provide administrative support for a range of People Services processes across the School, handling confidential information and sensitive issues on behalf of the Head of School and School Manager.  This will include coordinating all aspects of staff recruitment, induction, probation and PDR, promotions, contract changes and absence management.
  • On occasion, the post-holder may be reasonably required to carry out duties not specifically described here.  Such requests will be in the interests of maintaining the smooth running of School activities and in line with the grade of this post.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Experience in a Personal Assistant, or similar, role within a large, diverse organisation.
  • An in depth knowledge of the practices and procedures relevant to the role of PA to senior managers in a large organisation.
  • A good knowledge of People Services processes and procedures common to a large organisation.
  • Excellent communication and organisation skills with the ability to liaise professionally at all levels of the organisation as well as with external partners and visitors.
  • Ability to act with tact and discretion, maintain confidentiality and be able to handle difficult conversations.
  • Able to demonstrate the ability to be proactive, use initiative and make decisions within remit of role.
  • Excellent IT skills, particularly MS Office suite, with the ability to maintain and manipulate complex data.
  • Ability to work to set deadlines under pressure and have a flexible attitude to work demands.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Experience of working autonomously, using initiative and taking decisions on a regular basis.


  • Experience of using the University’s systems including SAP, P2P, Business Warehouse, recruitment systems.
  • Knowledge of the University’s processes and procedures.


Attributes and Behaviour


Gathering Information

  • Keeps up to date with University issues
  • Gathers relevant information and facts
  • Has an eye for detail, spotting errors and ensuring accurate information



  • Is factually correct and gives consistent verbal and non-verbal messages
  • Chooses communication tools appropriately
  • Uses face to face communication regularly


Projecting Confidence

  • Projects energy; enthusiastic and positive outlook
  • High level of self-motivation even when things are not going well
  • Remains calm when responding to challenging situations


Planning and Organising

  • Works in a planned and structured way
  • Uses own and others’ time effectively
  • Ensures that all activities are completed on time
  • Uses systems and tools to ensure records and audit trails are clear and up to date


Delivering Services

  • Sees other departments and colleagues as ‘customers’ and follows through on their enquiries and requests
  • Keeps follow team members up to date with progress
  • Has a positive attitude for doing things better




  • 5 GCSE (or equivalent) passes, including Maths and English Language.
  • An administrative qualification (desirable)




Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

Requisition ID: 1150