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Personal Assistant to Head of School

Requisition ID:  20385

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  15-Jun-2022


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.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.

Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues 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.


Salary: £22,254 to £23,487 with progression to £25,627 per annum


Closing Date: 1 July 2022


The Role


The School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape is looking for a full-time Personal Assistant to the Head of School, Director of Planning, Director of Architecture and School Manager, providing high quality administrative support to ensure they can fulfil their respective roles effectively and efficiently.


You will also act as line manager to two professional services staff, managing the Architecture Reception and key administrative processes.  Reporting to the Learning & Teaching Coordinator, you will work closely with the administrative team in the School and liaise with colleagues within the School and the wider University.  You will also work to provide high level and confidential data management support within the team and to external stakeholders.


You will hold an academic or vocational qualifications to A level standard (or equivalent), or have substantial vocational experience working in an appropriate administrative role.


For confidential enquiries regarding this role please contact Jill Mawson, School Manager ( or Lucy Morgan, Deputy School Manager (lucy,


Key Accountabilities

  • To receive, screen and prioritise all incoming e-mails and correspondence, providing the HoS, Directors and School Manager with necessary information to assist with replies, drafting responses where appropriate, answering routine correspondence or re-routing those not requiring the managers’ attention. To take immediate action on matters for which general policy is well established and distributing relevant documents. To use initiative to respond in the absence of the managers
  • To arrange travel for the HoS, Directors and School Manager including visits to external organisations which may be regional, national or international so that the most efficient use is made of time and cost, and the managers are able to conduct their business with maximum efficiency
  • To manage the HoS and Directors diaries to ensure that urgent and/or important appointments are given priority and efficient use is made of the managers’ time. This includes prioritising meetings without consultation and liaising with relevant staff to avoid potential clashes of arrangements and using initiative to re-prioritise changing commitments
  • To provide a first point of contact for internal and external telephone contacts, enquiries and personal visitors for the HoS, answering routine questions, obtaining and furnishing information to save the manager’s time. This requires knowledge of University policies and procedures and those of any other organisation with which the HoS is actively involved
  • To communicate and co-ordinate the HoS, Directors and School Manager’s instructions with various parties both internally and externally to the organisation. To provide and obtain information internally and externally to the organisation
  • To identify, implement and maintain effective office procedures to ensure that the support to the work of the managers is managed efficiently. For example ensuring that there is an efficient filing system for storage and timely retrieval of confidential paperwork/electronic documents and a systematic brought forward system to deal with follow up actions from minutes, meetings etc
  • To scan correspondence and publications that arrive in the office and extract any relevant information which may prove useful for the managers. To research issues on which the manager is working to ensure that the necessary data and information is obtained for appropriate sources
  • To upload and manage areas of the School’s communications/events into the School’s annual diary
  • To set up and service committees, e.g., the School’s Management Team in which the HoS, Directors and School Manager are involved and ensure that all relevant arrangements are made so that a high quality of service is provided. This includes taking minutes of meetings, preparing agendas and papers, and ensuring follow up actions are taken
  • Dealing with highly confidential human resource issues, including correspondence concerning promotions, grading, reference requests, various matters concerning academic and professional services staff who liaise with the HoS, Directors and School Manager
  • Supporting the recruitment and selection process for the School’s academic and professional services staff. Liaising with People Services as and when required
  • Co-ordinating the performance development review process for all academic and professional services staff within the School, including: the timetabling of PDR’s appointments, collating documentation, disseminating staff training requirements
  • Recording academic and professional services staff absence and the associated documentation including organising back to work meetings with the appropriate personnel from the School
  • To monitor telephone expenditure across the School on behalf of the School Manager
  • To manage the Architecture Reception Office and its team of 2 staff on a daily basis in liaison with the School’s Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator
  • To assist in other School functions as and when required and determined by the HoS and School Manager

The Person 


 Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the skill to manage staff and office procedures 
  • Professional telephone/ reception manner 
  • Works to tight deadlines under pressure, prioritise workloads and multi task with excellent attention to detail
  • Supportive to colleagues and a good team player, though also able to work individually 
  • Excellent organisational skills, with the ability to use initiative and make informed decisions 
  • Service committees at senior level and manages complex administrative processes 
  • Acts with tact and discretion and maintain confidentiality, projecting a professional image of the School 
  • Experience in a PA role or senior administrative role 
  • Experience of working with Microsoft Office software with excellent IT skills 
  • Administrative work in a busy office environment 


  • PA and/or administrative work in an HE environment 


 Attributes and Behaviour

  • Uses clear, concise and accurate communication, tailoring the approach accordingly and encouraging a two way communication process
  • Projects a positive attitude through personal confidence and enthusiasm in order to achieve organisational success. Inspires the trust and confidence of others
  • Manages time and resources by planning and organising effectively
  • Generates a range of viable options and decides on an appropriate course of action that fits with organisational and school goals



  • 3 A Levels or equivalent 
  • 5 grade A-C GCSEs including Maths and English 


  • A degree 
  • An administrative qualification

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 20385