Job summary and Responsibilities
This position is part time (3 days per week) and the pro-rated salary will therefore be up to £15,765 per annum.
Please note this is a fixed term contract to cover maternity leave until 30 September 2020, though there may be a slight extension.
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a very successful track record of delivering transformational change. ECC anticipated change was needed in the public sector and has worked to deliver better quality at lower cost. We have an ambitious transformation agenda – one with the scope to reach every part of the council. We are changing the way we think, the way we work, and the ways in which we deliver our services. We are committed to becoming a place where individuals, partners and communities feel proud to play their role and genuinely want to belong. We’re immensely proud of our flexible working options.
The role is to validate, assess and determine a high volume of applications under legislative criteria, applying detailed knowledge of school admissions and education transport assessment, preparing case papers for appeal hearings to be heard under statutory guidance.
This role will work in a multi-disciplinary team handling application for admissions to more than 500 mainstream schools in Essex and the full spectrum of primary, secondary, special and alternative provision schools in relation to transport eligibility.
The postholder will be responsible for the timely assessment and determination of school places and transport assessment for children in response to several thousands of individual applications, interacting on a daily basis with schools, parents and other internal and external stakeholders to deliver outcomes under the law and Council policies.
• Validating, considering and determining applications for school places under national legislation and the statutory School Admissions Code to fulfil the Council’s statutory and published obligations on each individual application.
• Apply detailed subject matter knowledge of the law, statutory guidance and the Council’s Education Transport Policy to accurately assess each application and inform parents within service timescales.
• Ensure all individual school and casework deadlines are met, working in partnership with schools and preparing detailed, accurate documents for the statutory independent admission appeal process.
• Monitor and quality assure the accuracy and completion of the work of Customer Service Advisers, providing training and support.
• Work collaboratively and correspond with relevant stakeholders, including with parents of children with complex needs, as well as with schools and Headteachers to provide outcomes, whilst maintaining Council policy.
• Continuously monitor and review outstanding work, escalating casework and issues as necessary and keep parents and schools informed about any delays.
• Be responsible for providing detailed individual casework history and advising more senior officers in order to respond to complaints made through Cllr’s, elected members, MPs, the Local Government Ombudsman and other relevant sources.
• Challenge any inappropriate advice, robustly and clearly defending Council policy whilst demonstrating empathy for parents, including those with children with special educational needs and disabilities to deliver fair and lawful transport assessment outcomes.
• Use in depth knowledge to respond to high volumes of customer enquiries about admission and transport policy, co-ordinating information for complaints and transport appeals and sharing feedback to suggest and implement continuous improvement.
• To undertake effective complaint and conflict resolution with parents, schools and other relevant customers, evaluating issues and using effective oral and written communication skills to offer de-escalate concerns.
• Specific individual and shared targets and objectives are defined annually within the performance management framework.
Knowledge, skills and experience • Educated to A Level standard or equivalent by experience.
• A high level of attention to detail, accuracy, and organisational skills.
• Knowledge and understanding of the legislative and policy framework on school admissions and transport, including the Statutory School Admission Code and the co-ordinated processes.
• Excellent IT skills particularly in Microsoft Excel and the use of databases and email. Knowledge and experience of the Capita One admissions systems and software would be a distinct advantage.
• An understanding of the requirements of data protection and information security.
• The ability to work independently with limited supervision to complete essential tasks that are critical to the overall processes.
• Experience in working in a customer focused environment with an appreciation of accountability and the consequences of actions and ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with internal and external stakeholders.
• Adept and multi-tasking and working in a pressurised environment of non-negotiable deadlines, whilst maintaining quality.
(Qualification certificates should be brought to interview).
As part of employment with Essex County Council (ECC) should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please visit: https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service
Essex County Council is proud to offer an excellent benefits package to all its employees. More information can be found on https://www.workingforessex.com/benefits
Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.
We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is key to our success.
If you have any queries regarding this role, or require anything further, please contact the Essex Recruitment Team on 03330 135 888*
*Calls to this number are charged in the same way as calls to numbers starting 01 or 02, please check with your service provider