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Deputy Head of Disability Services

Academic Development, Quality Enhancement and Inclusion

Location:  City Centre Campus/City South Campus
Salary:  £41,093 to £44,666 per annum
Posted On:  Wednesday 03 August 2022
Closing Date:  Sunday 04 September 2022
Interview Date:  Monday 03 October 2022
Reference:  082022-445

Our large Disability Support Team works across the University to support disabled students in all faculties, and also delivers a screening and diagnostic programme for students who think they may have Specific Learning Difficulties. We support students with complex requirements with all aspects of their disability support at university, we deliver training and consultancy to colleagues across the institution, and we work in partnership with colleagues and departments wherever we can improve the experience for disabled students. We are hitting our target of increasing our disability declaration rate by 1% each academic year but we continuously seek new ways of encouraging students to seek support as well as supporting our colleagues to develop an inclusive environment. 

We're looking for an exceptional operational manager to support and develop direct reports, maintain a strong team-work and customer service ethos, and effectively monitor, develop and deliver high quality disability support services in accordance with university requirements to ensure that strategic priorities and legal duties are met. You will take responsibility for overseeing operational matters relating to disability support for current and prospective students, including the Personal Assistance Scheme (PAS).

Duties include: 

  • Line-managing five members of the Disability Support Team
  • Deputising where necessary for the Head of Disability Services
  • Ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the Personal Assistance Scheme (PAS), including adherence to the Department for Education quality assurance framework and working closely with our partners in providing the PAS
  • Ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the screening and diagnostic programme (SpLDs, autism, ADHD), including liaison with an external contracted supplier
  • Supporting the design, planning and delivery of events and service promotion
  • Supporting the efficient and appropriate allocation of cases to Disability Advisers
  • Providing advice, support and training to team members and staff across the University, including delivering formal training on disability support and inclusive practice to academic and professional services colleagues
  • Investigating complaints, providing informal responses and resolutions, ensuring any lessons are learned and fed back into the service as continuous improvement.

Responsibilities include: 

  • Provide operational management relating to disability support (including PAS) for current and prospective students, to meet the University’s strategic plan, the Department’s aims and priorities, taking into account evolving client needs and the evolving landscape of disability support in higher education;
  • Maintain knowledge of current and emerging disability and equality legislation, including understanding practical application, and contributing to compliance across the organisation;
  • Provide advice and guidance to the Head of Disability Services as required in developing and improving service delivery, policy, and procedure relating to disability support and equality;
  • Contribute to the development of innovative and effective ways of providing student-focussed services;
  • Support the Head of Disability Services in the development and co-ordination of events and marketing;
  • Contribute to overseeing operational delivery and application of procedure and guidance relating to the promotion of student disability support, including the provision and implementation of reasonable assessment adjustments, and evolving student needs;
  • Develop and support the knowledge, capabilities, and customer focus of staff within the Disability Support Team and monitor the performance of PAS personnel;
  • Support the use and development of organisational systems and structures to effectively implement policies relating to student disability support;
  • Organising and/or delivering appropriate training programmes which meet identified needs;
  • Assist in obtaining, and act upon, student feedback;
  • Line-manage and ensure appropriate development of disability support staff;
  • Oversee and monitor the University’s Dyslexia Screening and Assessment Programme;
  • Maintain a small caseload of disabled students as their designated adviser.

Essential requirements include:

  • A good honours degree, equivalent professional qualification, or significant experience working in a related or comparable setting;
  • Thorough and recent theoretical and practical knowledge of disability support in further or higher education, including the application of compliance standards and legislation, and the ability to assess reasonableness and risk;
  • A good understanding of the funding mechanisms for disabled student support, including degree apprenticeships and postgraduate research programmes;
  • Significant experience of providing support within an education-related setting;
  • Experience of managing and supporting staff, and improving individual and team performance;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to build credibility and influence senior managers;
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering training and presentations to diverse audiences; 
  • Competent use of a range of IT systems, as well as an affinity to learn new or unfamiliar systems; 
  • Able to work both independently with minimal supervision, and within a close-knit team;
  • Creative or innovative thinking aimed at achieving pragmatic resolutions within a wider University context;
  • Accredited or senior accredited member of the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP) or committed to achieving accreditation at the earliest opportunity. 

Desirable requirements include:

  • Familiarity of working with data to produce succinct reports;
  • An ability to manage a budget;
  • Experience in investigating complaints, identifying key events in a timeline and points of failure and key learning points for improvement. 

With around 24,000 students from 80 countries, Birmingham City University is a large and diverse place to study. We put students at the heart of everything we do, giving them the best opportunities for future success. We put £270 million into the regional economy and support thousands of jobs in the area. We're investing £340 million in our estate, including a major expansion of our city centre campus at Eastside, providing students with an enviable range of facilities. 

Our staff and student community is defined by our Core Values, which outline who we are as a University and how we will work with each other. This is an exciting opportunity to work for friendly and dynamic team in a vibrant and fast growing University. 

We welcome applications from all sections of the community, including disabled people and people who identify as LGBTQ+. A combination of remote and office-based working is available - professional services staff are required to work on campus for a minimum 3 days per week.

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Further details:
Please be aware that this position will require an Enhanced DBS disclosure, please contact HR on 0121 331 6693 for a confidential self-disclosure form should you wish to declare anything in advance.

The University is committed to internationalism and diversity and welcomes applications from all countries, faiths and backgrounds.

It is each individual successful applicants responsibility to ensure that they have permission to work in the UK. Some applicants may require sponsorship from the University and a visa from UKVI to take up the role if successful. More information on this can be found here:

Some roles are not capable of sponsorship because they do not meet the UKVI criteria relating to skill and salary level. If you are unsure as to whether you would require sponsorship if successful, or whether the role is capable of sponsorship, please contact us:

Please note on occasions where we receive a large number of applications, we may close the advert ahead of the publicised closing date. If this does happen, we will contact all candidates via email who have started but not yet completed their application, giving 48 hours’ notice.  We would therefore advise that you submit your completed application as soon as possible.

At Birmingham City University we are proud to be an equal opportunities employer.  All staff are expected to understand and enact the University’s commitment to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion in our employment practice and in all that we do . This commitment is enshrined in our Core Values and is detailed in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Employment Policy. The University values and celebrates the diversity of our staff and students; we welcome people from the many  different backgrounds and life experiences that reflect the students and the citizens we serve.  We are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and actively encourage unique contributions, in particular from under-represented groups in respect of age, disability, sex, gender or gender identity, ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status

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