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Andrey Prikazchikov

The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) is looking to appoint an Executive Assistant to join the COBIS Executive Team from December 2020.

As a valued member of the COBIS team, the post holder will support the work of the COBIS CEO, Board, Executive team, and the growing number of COBIS members worldwide.  

Currently the COBIS team is working remotely with occasional, optional, travel to the London office (subject to current guidelines). This role will support the CEO and the effective operation of the COBIS Executive team in this remote working set up.  It will be mostly home-based with some travel to the London office (bearing in mind current restrictions). This arrangement will be reviewed regularly. 

To find out more about the global reach, role and function of COBIS visit www.cobis.org.uk

Job description 

Job Title:  Executive Assistant 
Reporting to: CEO
Hours: Part time (22.5 hours a week)
Salary Package: £30,000 per annum (pro-rata)
Contract type: Permanent 

Job Purpose:

The Executive Assistant will support and provide a full and confidential administration service. The role will support with the operational aspects of the COBIS staff remote working and the COBIS Head Office. The role will support specific areas of administration relating to wider Board activities and contribute to the overall efficient running of the association.

Person Specification: 

This role would suit a highly organised, personable and client focused individual. In addition to high standards of verbal and written articulation, the successful candidate will be able to demonstrate commercial acumen, confidentiality, excellence in customer service and care, and the capacity to manage, coordinate and report on multiple projects that run concurrently. 

Essential:

  • Experience in a similar role providing diary management and support to directors or senior managers 
  • Good relationship building and excellent external and internal customer service skills 
  • Excellent written communication skills, with a fluent writing style and good knowledge and practical use of the English language and grammar.
  • Excellent verbal communication and phone manner and confident in communicating with a wide range of people at all levels.
  • Excellent minute taking skills.
  • Excellent IT skills, including MS Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.
  • Excellent time management and organisation skills. Confident, professional and calm.
  • The ability to be a pro-active self-starter and to use initiative to resolve problems and create solutions to improve the service provided; to work well within a small team and without close supervision.
  • Able to act with tact, diplomacy and confidentiality and deal with sensitive issues.

Desirable:

  • Educated to Degree Level.
  • To hold a professional qualification relating to business administration. 
  • Experience building positive relationships in a commercial environment and experience providing outstanding customer service.
  • Previous experience with some degree of HR responsibility. 
  • Experience working within a professional body, in a professional service environment and/or in education and to have an understanding of stakeholders connected to schools, colleges, universities, government departments and organisations within the Education Sector whilst not essential, would be a distinct advantage.

Job Description

1. To fully support the CEO and provide a first class and professional PA service by providing proactive and consistent administrative support which includes tracking and reporting on designated projects and Board activities.
 
2. To manage and be responsible for the CEO’s diary commitments. To implement an efficient, proactive bring-forward system, ensuring that the CEO is fully briefed for all meetings and events, liaising with other staff to provide the necessary paperwork, schedules, links, etc.
 
3. To monitor the CEO’s inbox and manage emails.
 
4. To be the initial point of contact for general COBIS queries including phone calls and website contact forms.

5. To support with operational administration of the COBIS Head Office.
 
6. To be the main point of contact between COBIS and its IT support provider, and to support internally with the management and effective use of ICT by COBIS staff working remotely and on occasion in the COBIS office.

7. To support with the best practice filing and content management of cloud-based information and files.

8. To filter, respond to and follow through on queries and telephone calls to the CEO and to deal with correspondence on behalf of the CEO as appropriate.

9. To manage the preparation, distribution and filing of agendas, reports and associated documents for COBIS Board meetings, Committee meetings, the yearly AGM, team meetings/appraisals and any other internal and external meetings as requested by the CEO.
 
10. At meetings as outlined in point 9, to record minutes and take notes.
 
11. To coordinate and book overnight accommodation, refreshments and room hire when required, and/or manage remote platforms for Board meetings, conferences and events.
 
12. To support the SLT with HR administration including managing recruitment campaigns, staff induction, pre-employment checks, maintaining performance management and staff training paperwork, etc.
 
13. To support the coordination of the complaints procedure for our member schools and to liaise with the CEO and Vice-Chairman as necessary.
 
14. To maintain a list of outstanding and recurring action tasks, and to work to ensure that these are dealt with as necessary. 

15. To attend and support the COBIS Annual Conference and any other events as requested by the CEO (restrictions permitting). When required, the cost of travel expenses and overnight accommodation will be covered by COBIS.
 
16. To prepare expenses claims on behalf of the CEO and other Board members and to reconcile the monthly credit card statements on behalf of the CEO and Chairman. 

17. To support with the administration of general COBIS office correspondence and to undertake general administrative duties and tasks as required by the CEO. 

18. To support the COBIS Safeguarding Officer with completing Prohibitions Checks on behalf of school staff as and when needed. 

19. To support other members of the COBIS team, CEO and Board in relation to communication activities, financial administration, the management of committees and associated development strategies.  

20. To coordinate and support with the delivery of Health and Safety requirements related to the office and staff remote working, including being the Fire Marshal and First Aider on site (training will be provided). 

21. To respond to all enquiries politely, quickly and efficiently whilst maintaining outstanding customer service standards.  

22. To ensure a positive image to customers and other individuals and organisations and to promote the COBIS brand, activities and services by whatever means are appropriate and available.

23. To support with regular account management of Member schools and Supporting Associates through phone calls, emails and online meetings as required. 

24. To support with administration of remote networking events, including but not limited to, contact management, sending invitations, and tasks related to technical set up. 

25. To support initiatives connected to improving staff wellbeing 

26. To be responsible for own self development and training as required and supported by COBIS

27. To maintain a working environment (whether that be virtual or in-person) in which diversity is respected and responded to, and equality of opportunity is promoted

These are the key tasks as currently defined. They are not listed in priority order and the post holder will be expected to take on such variations as are reasonable for this level of responsibility.
 

Remuneration and Conditions of Service

  • The post is available from December 2020
  • The position is considered a permanent, part time position (22.5 hours)
  • Flexibility regarding working schedule at peak times would be an advantage
  • The candidate will be required to attend the COBIS Annual Conference and Committee meetings which take place over 4 days in London in May as well as Board meetings in January, May and September (subject to current restrictions)
  • Salary package is £30,000 per annum (pro rata)
  • Holiday entitlement of 25 days plus statutory bank holidays (pro rata)
  • Access to COBIS pension scheme in line with pension regulations. COBIS employee pension contribution is currently at 5% of salary
  • Access to medical insurance 
  • Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK
  • Training and development opportunities are available
     

COBIS Safer Recruitment Procedure 

Candidates must be willing to undertake Disclosure and Baring Service checks (DBS). If appropriate to the role, a DBS check will be requested if an applicant is offered a contract of employment. All COBIS staff are required to undertake safeguarding and child protection training.

At least two professional references, both written and verbal, will be sourced from current and former employers/managers as appropriate.
 
COBIS Staff Structure and Place of Work

All COBIS staff are currently working remotely. The Executive Assistant will currently be home based, with some occasional travel to the COBIS Head Office (depending on restrictions).  The Head Office is located in Russell Square, Bloomsbury in Central London. This arrangement will be reviewed periodically, and regular office working may be required in the future.

In addition to the EA, the COBIS staff structure consists of the CEO, COO, Deputy CEO/Director of Professional Development and Research, Director of Accreditation, Director of Finance, Assistant Director of Accreditation, Communications Manager, 5 Officers: Accreditation, Student Engagement, Safeguarding and Membership, and 3 Executives: Finance, Events and Communications. The COBIS team works closely with the COBIS Chairman, elected members of the Board, consisting of serving COBIS Headteachers, Governors and School Inspectors and other colleagues within the global network who host conferences, training and student events throughout the year.

Equal Opportunities 

COBIS is committed to equal opportunities and non-discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. COBIS aims to ensure equality in recruitment and employment.

Application Procedure

All candidates wishing to be considered for the post are required to submit the following two documents:

1. A covering letter/supporting statement (maximum of 600 words), addressed to the COBIS CEO, explaining their interest in, and suitability for the post, referring to the job description and person specification

2. CV, plus the names and contact details of two professional referees

Completed applications are to be submitted by email to:

pa@cobis.org.uk

If you have any questions about the position or the role and function of COBIS, please contact Margaret Garrard, COO on +44 (0)7921 402 276

Closing Date: 12:00 GMT, 11th November 2020.

Interviews: w/c 16th November, w/c 23rd November.
 
Interview Location: These will be conducted online, through Microsoft Teams.