Abingdon School - Director of Human Resources

Director of Human Resources Candidate Information Pack



Thank you for your interest in the Abingdon Foundation. I am delighted that you are considering working here. As a member of the support staff, you would play a pivotal role in supporting the school to deliver the very best academic, pastoral and Other Half opportunities to our pupils. Please take some time to look at our website , as this will tell you a lot about us and give you a taste of the atmosphere. The Abingdon Foundation is a community of some 1300 students across the two schools. Boarding houses are full with around 150 boarders and the sixth form has around 360 pupils. We employ some 400 teachers and support staff across the Foundation. The Board of Governors oversee the whole Foundation. Abingdon School and Abingdon Preparatory School occupy large and beautiful campuses. The facilities are excellent with recent significant developments including a new Sixth Form Centre, library and Art department and Science Centre. New facilities for the Economics and Business Studies and Computer Science departments opened in 2020 alongside two additional houserooms for the students. In autumn 2023 we also moved into new and refurbished boarding facilities as well as a flexible and beautiful new dining pavilion. We have also added recently to our extensive sport facilities at Tilsley Park and on the school campus which offer some of the best sport resources in the area. The Foundation benefits from a continuous refurbishment and development plan, adding further impressive facilities to a very well- resourced organisation that also prioritises sustainable development. In May 2024, the Abingdon Foundation announced its decision

to move to co-education. We will be welcoming girls to our APS Pre-Prep from September 2024; to Years 3 to 6 in September 2025; to Abingdon’s 1st Year and Sixth Form in September 2026; and to 3rd Year from September 2028. We may be over 760 years old, but we are a forward-looking, dynamic school. There is pride and commitment amongst those who work here, and we always look for high calibre professionals to join us. I hope that you might see yourself joining this happy and purposeful community.

Justin Hodges Director of Finance & Operations



The Role

Director of Human Resources As the Director of Human Resources, you will be at the forefront of shaping HR at Abingdon. Reporting to the Head of the Foundation and DFO (dotted line), this pivotal leadership position offers a dynamic and engaging opportunity to drive the Foundation’s HR priorities and manage the HR Department’s diverse functions with innovation and efficiency. You will leverage your exceptional operational expertise and deep knowledge of HR information systems to modernise and enhance our HR operations. Leading a dedicated team, you will play a crucial role in optimising processes, implementing cutting-edge digital solutions, and driving strategic initiatives that boost productivity and efficiency. As a regular attendee to weekly SLT meetings, your interpersonal skills will be key in influencing senior leaders, ensuring that HR priorities align with the Foundation’s Development Plan. Your core responsibilities will encompass several key themes: Recruitment and Development: overseeing recruitment, onboarding, training and development initiatives to attract and retain top talent. Operational Excellence: streamlining HR processes and systems to enhance efficiency and productivity across the Foundation. Compliance and Governance: ensuring all HR practices adhere to legal, safeguarding, and regulatory standards, maintaining the highest levels of compliance and integrity. Employee Engagement: fostering a positive workplace culture through effective employee engagement, benefits management, staff surveys and comprehensive training. Employee Relations: effective and timely management of grievances, disciplinary and capability processes and restructuring initiatives. Supporting Senior Leaders: collaborating with senior leaders to shape and implement HR priorities that support the Foundation’s Development Plan.

The Department In this role, you will lead a team of six HR staff (three full-time and three part-time) dedicated to supporting the Foundation’s 400+ staff across Abingdon School, Abingdon Prep School, and Abingdon School Enterprises. This team also provides HR support for around 300 additional personnel, including casual workers, self-employed coaches, visiting music teachers, volunteers, governors, and third-party contractors. Our people are key to Abingdon’s success and the HR Department is central to the people agenda, managing a busy schedule to support various HR needs year-round. This includes running approximately 70 recruitment campaigns annually, handling extensive pre-appointment and onboarding checks, managing significant employee relations casework, and organising mandatory training sessions. Additionally, the department collaborates closely with the Finance Department on monthly payroll and benefits and oversees annual processes like staff surveys and support staff salary reviews. This role promises an exciting challenge for a proactive and ‘hands-on’ leader eager to make a significant impact on the Foundation’s people agenda. Duties & Responsibilities Lead daily HR operations and ensure effective delivery of objectives, including: • Overseeing employee relations, including managing grievances, disciplinary actions, and capability processes. • Conducting pre-appointment checks • Supporting the Low Level Concerns process • Administering pay and benefits (with Finance) • Enhancing employee engagement • Monitoring staff absence and attendance • Maintaining and updating HR policies • Management of staff training • Promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) in HR processes • Lead and manage the HR team. Support SLT Provide proactive and reactive HR advice to SLT members, ensuring compliance with professional standards and regulations.

HR Operational Excellence Assess and enhance the school’s HR processes and systems, implementing best practices and transformation projects, including: • Digitising personnel records • Using data, reports, KPIs, and digital tools to improve HR services. • Implementing new HR information systems and Applicant Tracking Systems • Supporting Employee Self Service to reduce HR workload. • Streamlining training management systems Safeguarding, Compliance and Recruitment Ensure comprehensive oversight of the Single Central Record (SCR) and provide leadership for all recruitment, selection, and onboarding processes in compliance with Safer Recruitment requirements. Policies and Training Ensure the development and maintenance of consistent, compliant HR policies (including a Staff Handbook), and help ensure suitable staff training on HR policies and personal development. Payroll and Systems Integration Collaborate with the IT and Finance Departments to integrate HR systems and ensure accurate monthly payroll delivery. HR Performance Monitoring Collaborate with the Head/Director of Finance and Operations to monitor HR metrics, analyse data (e.g. staff survey results), and report trends to SLT and Governors. Advise on initiatives related to gender pay gap issues and ensure efficient management of HR budgets. Support for Other Teams Provide advice and guidance for HR activities managed by other departments, including staff induction, performance appraisal, and absence management. DEI and Employment Laws Promote DEI in HR processes and systems, and compliance with the Equality Act and relevant employment laws.



Person Specification Essential Qualifications Minimum CIPD Level 7 and/or relevant degree (e.g., HR Management, Organisational Psychology, Business Administration) in a related field, preferably with equivalent CIPD accreditation. Experience Proven senior HR role experience, including HR system improvement programmes, leading teams, and managing staff. Skills • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, capable of influencing senior leaders effectively under pressure with confidence, positivity, and approachability. • Demonstrated expertise in HR processes, systems, and best practices, coupled with a deep understanding of HR law, regulations, and compliance. • Exceptional organisational and time management abilities, with a proactive approach to embracing change and new ideas. • Proficient in IT, with advanced analytical and problem- solving skills, enabling quick, evidence-based decision- making. • Extensive experience in managing end-to-end HR processes and implementing HR information systems, complemented by strong project management capabilities. Knowledge of • Employee relations, experience, and engagement • EDI, HR data and analytics, reward (pay and benefits), training, and recruitment. Desirable • Experience in an educational environment, with a thorough understanding of teaching and non-teaching staff contracts, KCSIE, and SCR requirements. • Proven experience in managing HR system implementations, including supplier/product comparison, selection, project planning, system configuration, and roll- out. The duties and responsibilities outlined in this job description are indicative and may vary over time. Post holders are expected to undertake other relevant duties and responsibilities. • Restructuring and redundancy • ACAS guidance and processes

Benefits Foundation Grant

Up to 25% tuition discount for employees’ children at Abingdon schools, subject to availability and admission requirements. Pension Auto-enrolment with 3% employee and 6% employer contributions; enhanced pension scheme available with 6.4% employee and 14.1% employer contributions. Private Healthcare Free private health insurance for permanent employees (taxable as a benefit in kind). Closure Days Four Christmas closure days (in addition to the seasonal bank holidays). Death in Service Benefit of three times scheme salary for staff aged 18-70. Parking Free parking and bike storage on a first-come, first-served basis. Lunch and Refreshments Free lunch during term time. Employee Assistance Programme Includes an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) tool. Cycle to Work A cycle to work scheme is available. Sports Centre Membership Free access to the gym and swimming pool at agreed times. Super Camps 25% discount on school holiday courses for children, childcare vouchers accepted.



How to Apply The Schools Leadership Team has been retained as our exclusive advisor for this appointment and any third party or direct applications will be forwarded to them. For a confidential discussion, please contact: Kirsty Hassan 07706332749 | kirsty.hassan@schoolsleadership.com Sian Gardiner 07932717458 | sian.gardiner@schoolsleadership.com Initial applications should be by CV and covering letter by email to: talk@schoolsleadership.com. We recognise the value of a diverse and inclusive workplace and are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and job applicants. We aim to ensure that our staffing at all levels and in all roles is diverse and we welcome applications from all backgrounds and all sections of the community.

In accordance with the updated KCSIE 2023, an online search will be conducted for all shortlisted candidates. Abingdon is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff to share this commitment. All appointments are subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS check. Shortlisted candidates will be required to complete the school’s application form prior to final interview. Closing date for applications: Wednesday 26th June Preliminary interviews with Schools Leadership will be held Thursday 27th June onwards. Interviews are expected to be held at the school on 11th July.


Page 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online