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Applications are invited for the post of Student Services

(Accommodation & Welfare) Officer

The Mayflower College is a private English language school, accredited by the British Council and a member of English UK.  It welcomes about 1000 international students per year (both adults and juniors) from 50+ different countries. The length of courses range from 1 week to 11 months. The College is open throughout the year, closing only for 2 weeks at Christmas. As well as English courses, the Mayflower College also organises students' accommodation and programmes of activities and excursions in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.  The Mayflower College also offers the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and TEA (Test of English for Aviation). The main areas of responsibility of the Student Services (Accommodation & Welfare) Officer are included in the job description and person specification (see below).  The position is a permanent position but is initially offered on a 12-month contract (which includes a 3-month probationary period). The salary will be £19,500 per annum (rising to £20,500 after 6 months) with 20 days paid holiday entitlement p.a. (no holiday should be taken during the peak summer season June, July and August). At certain busy periods of the year it may occasionally be necessary to work extra hours and overtime is not paid.  You may be required to meet groups upon arrival/departure at weekends, extra payment is provided for this. Working in a small office with 3 other colleagues the successful applicant will become involved, directly or indirectly, with all aspects of the running of the school. S/he will have the following qualities:- A sense of humour Excellent communication & counselling skill) Good computer skills Ability to work accurately and precisely Ability to work under pressure and to deadlines Cultural awareness An unquestioning dedication to providing a quality service A car owner (and clean driving licence) is an advantage.  Applicants are requested to send a CV and covering letter by Friday 7 February, 2014 in the first instance to:- Jill Tyler, General Manager e-mail: jill@maycoll.co.uk A limited number of applicants will be invited for interviews w/c 17 February. The successful applicant will ideally no later than 1 April 2014.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Student Services (Accommodation & Welfare) Officer. Job Title: Student Services (Accommodation & Welfare) Officer. Based at: Mayflower College, 1 Radford Road, the Hoe, Plymouth, PL1 3BY (*Place of Employment: 1 Radford Road, Plymouth PL1 3BY or such other place as the Company shall in its reasonable discretion direct. This may include up to 3-weeks of work overseas per annum provided at least one month’s notice is given.) Reports to: General Manager Period: 12 month contract (includes a 3 month probationary period) Pay: Starting salary will be (£19,500 rising to £20,500 after 6 months and includes a 3 month probationary period) Hours of work: Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm (with 1 hour for lunch)* (*Extra weekend work is available for meeting groups upon arrival/departure – additional payment is provided for this). Holiday entitlement: 4 weeks holiday entitlement, in addition to public/bank holidays* (*Please note: holidays during June, July and August are restricted and subject to negotiation due to the peak season.) Job summary (overall purpose) Student Service Accommodation & Welfare Officers are the initial point of contact for all of Mayflower’s international students. You will work as part of the busy administrative team (which also acts as the school reception) dealing with enquiries (face to face, telephone and email), processing enrolments and organising homestay accommodation for international juniors (groups and individuals) visiting Plymouth.  Arranging homestays suitable to accommodate juniors is a major part of this role.  This involves recruiting, selecting and monitoring and managing the accommodation arrangements.  Ideally you should be a car owner (and driver) in order to visit homestay providers. In addition, this role involves managing the relationship of international agents who send students (individuals and groups) to Plymouth.  This involves regular communication and dealing with enquiries, enrolments and calculating commission payments. The role includes the administrative, welfare and customer service aspects involved with supporting International students to study English in Plymouth.  Sensitivity to the issues facing international students (for example: adapting to life and study in UK) is required. The summer months of June, July and August are the busiest periods of the year, therefore flexibility and an ability to deal with changing priorities whilst working to tight deadlines is essential.  You may also be required to meet groups upon arrival and departure at weekends and additional payment is given for this.   Areas of direct responsibility include: 1. Welcoming new students and dealing with student enquiries and questions.  Student Welfare Officers are the first members of staff to be approached by students with problems of a non-academic nature (academic issues are referred to the Director of Studies and teaching staff). 2. Providing support to students who may be experiencing culture shock/social/emotional issues. Trouble-shooting problems and managing communication with agents, parents, students and host families. 3. Providing pastoral support and advice to students during their time in Plymouth. 4. Familiarising yourself with the safeguarding/welfare policies and procedures with respect to all students under the age of 18.  (A copy of Mayflowers Safeguarding and Child Protection policy is available to view online at http://www.maycoll.co.uk/policies/Safeguarding_and_Child_Protection.pdf) 5. Planning and arranging junior homestays throughout the year for groups and in particular for the busiest months of June, July and August.  This is an important responsibility and planning takes place in November/December of the previous year. 6. Responsible for managing the application process of all new homestay accommodation (including the recruitment, selection and monitoring) working alongside the existing Student Services (Accommodation) officer.  7. Responsible for the recruitment, interviewing and selection of junior homestays suitable to accommodate under 18’s visiting Plymouth.  8. Visiting all new homestays prior to placing students, obtaining declaration forms and references and completing all necessary paperwork. 9. Sending out paperwork and confirmation to students, group leaders and homestays with important arrival /departure information and personal information regarding students and homestays. 10. Dealing with homestay provider payment, checking payment details and providing information as necessary. 11. Building good working relationships with junior homestays involves re-visiting homestays at least every 2 years and monitoring feedback, accurately maintaining the homestay database and updating information relating to changes in homestay provision. 12. Trouble-shooting and dealing with welfare issues between homestay providers and students.  Liaising with students, homestay providers, parents and agents. 13. Processing enquiries from agents and preparing proposals for individual adults and groups through international agents, amending template documents. 14. Processing enquiries and enrolments from prospective students (individuals and groups) using the Student Database (Access).  Preparing invoices for student accommodation, courses and travel. 15. Providing advice and guidance to students regarding travel options between the airports and Plymouth.  16. Providing pastoral care; for example assisting all students with Doctors/Dentist and hospital appointments if required. 17. Accepting payments (by cash, cheque, bank transfers) and calculating and giving refunds, according the Mayflower’s cancellation/refund policy (available to view online at http://www.maycoll.co.uk/policies/Cancellation.pdf) 18. Meeting groups upon arrival/departure and managing the emergency mobile during the summer months. 19. Organising and assisting the Student Committee in arranging social gatherings for students at the Mayflower College (international food afternoons etc) 20. Assisting with producing a weekly newsletter for students, agents and partners of Mayflower College. Important: Please note, this role involves working a small, busy office, so you will be required to cover for other members of staff. You must be prepared to become involved in all aspects of the running of the business. Therefore you will need a flexible attitude towards your job role and be willing to undertake additional jobs as necessary.
Essential 1.	Impact on other people   	Flexible, customer focused attitude and courteous manner.  	Ability to develop good relationships with staff, students and homestays. 	Experience of relating to people from a variety of different backgrounds. 	Tolerant, patient and sensitive to the issues facing international students adapting to life and study in UK.   2.	Qualifications and experience   	Educated to A level standard or equivalent. 	Proven experience of working in an administrative role. 	Experience of working in a small team. 	Very good computer skills with knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher and Access. 	Ability to work accurately and precisely.    3.	Innate abilities   	Ability to plan and schedule your work (particularly summer junior homestay provision) and anticipate problems to ensure information is delivered on time and adheres to the quality expected by staff and students. 	The ability to grasp new ideas and procedures quickly and accurately. 	The ability to prioritise and meet strict deadlines. 	The capacity to work on various tasks at the same time. 	The ability to remain clam under pressure.   4.	Motivation   	Consistently provide a friendly and professional service.  	Understand the importance of satisfying customers.    5.	Adjustment  	The ability to work calmly, even when under pressure. 	Escalates problems/issues to more senior staff as appropriate. 	The ability to be patient and caring but, firm and decisive when required. 	A sense of humour.  Desirable   	Professional appearance, clear and confident manner. 	Uses a range of effective communication skills to establish rapport and maintain positive relationships with staff, students, homestays and agents/group leaders. 	Manage your own emotions and behaviour in difficult situations, ensuring your own anxiety or frustration does not impact on others.     	A University degree, Higher National Diploma or equivalent qualifications. 	Experience of working in a student-facing, administrative/welfare role in further or higher education. 	Experience of working in a counselling, welfare or advisory role. 	Experience of working with international students and an understanding of cultural awareness.    	Records new information learnt and is able to reflect and learn from new experiences. 	Ability to prioritise a heavy workload and manage conflicting priorities in order to meet deadlines. 	Ability to propose improvements to administration policies and procedures. 	Ability to handle stress and remain calm and cheerful under pressure.     	Recognises the importance of what factors constitute delivering a quality service to staff and students. 	Proactively seek feedback from staff/ customers / homestays / agents and group leaders in order to improve the service.     	Thinks through implications in order to take the most appropriate course of action.   	When confronted with problems, listen objectively and proposes appropriate solutions.  	Positive about staff, students and responsibilities: using a problem solving approach, rather than a problem finding approach.
Mayflower College, 1 Radford Road, Plymouth PL1 3BY, UK   Tel. 44-1752-673784   Fax. 44-1752-671537    english@maycoll.co.uk
My status
Person specification: Student Services (Welfare) Officer*. *Based on the Munro-Fraser System
Legal Information As this position involves working with students under 18’s, you will be required to sign a Declaration Form prior to appointment and must be willing to undertake an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check (now called Disclosure and Barring Service).  Please note: 1. All references will be followed up – this includes a specific enquiry as to whether there is any impediment to your being employed in a situation where you will have responsibility for the care of, or substantial access to children. 2. Proof of qualifications will be required and gaps in CV’s must be explained satisfactorily. 3. All staff working with juniors will be required to sign a Declaration Regarding Suitability to Work with Children (as required by the Children Act 1989). 4. Appropriate Criminal Records Bureau (DBS) disclosure may be requested prior to appointment. Mayflower College ensures that no person applying for employment is treated less favourably than any other on the grounds of race, colour, culture, ethnic origin, religion, gender, physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, HIV status or age, or is disadvantaged by any conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable. Mayflower College will ensure that anyone applying for employment is dealt with fairly and without discrimination and no application will be placed at a disadvantage by requirements or conditions which are not necessary to the performance of the job.
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