DIRECTOR OF STUDENT WELLBEING
About the Academy
African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by identifying, developing, and connecting thousands of leaders for the continent over the next few decades. The Academy is founded on the philosophy that a new generation of ethical, committed leaders is the key to Africa’s development. ALA seeks to become training ground for these future leaders. Each year, ALA draws the most outstanding students from across Africa to its campus in South Africa. Here, they build a powerful intellectual foundation and develop their leadership capacity through ALA’s unique curriculum in Entrepreneurial Leadership. ALA then works with these young leaders throughout their lives as they enable lasting positive change on the African continent.
The Head of Student Wellbeing is responsible for promoting the overall health and wellness of our diverse community of students, and adults, through improved health and wellness programs and activities. The Head of Student Wellbeing leads the psycho-emotional and psycho-social programs at the Academy. This entails setting the direction for students’ psycho-emotional and psycho-social health and wellness, leading initiatives to support and enhance student wellbeing, communicating those initiatives to the leadership team and the community and ensuring the success of these programs and activities through well-defined measurement criteria. The Head of Student Wellbeing also acts as a safeguarding coordinator which includes educating students and adults on the Academy’s Child Protection Policy.
Leadership and Managerial Responsibilities
- Articulate department's strategies for achieving the mission and strategic goals of the Academy and set departmental objectives and evaluation activities.
- Articulate and implement department policies and protocols in cooperation with the members of the department.
- Set and manage the budget and expenditures of the department.
- Continuously evaluate the performance of each team member in the department through formal and informal goal setting, professional development and evaluation activities, culminating in a mid-year and annual performance reviews.
- Coordinate the submission, each April, of a complete list of resources needed for the following school year supporting annual budgeting activities.
- Produce an annual department report each June which includes a summary of the year’s activities, priorities for the coming year, and a complete inventory of department resources.
- Communicate department’s performance to the Dean’s office, on a monthly basis, through statistics in cooperation with the department.
- Lead the search for candidates to fill vacancies within the department, conduct interviews and make recommendations to the Human Resources department.
- Collaborate with members of the Student Success Leadership Team on issues pertaining and contributing to student wellbeing.
Health& Wellness Responsibilities
- Manage the school, counsellors, educational psychologist, consulting doctor and all other practitioners as needed.
- Set total health management strategy for the Academy- in collaboration with the Head Nurse.
- Design and ensure the delivery of a Wellness Curriculum and teach two classes.
- Hold regularly scheduled department meetings, maintain records of such meetings, and provide minutes of the meetings to the Dean's Office.
- Ensure best practices with the department services (counselling) and proper communication with students and parents.
- Consults with other departments/functions in the organization to align efforts and reinforce a culture of wellness for our students (head nurse, year heads, res head, sports, parents etc.)
- Stay on top of any changes to health and safety regulations with government and international agencies.
- Ensure that health and wellness cases are properly and expediently triaged to appropriate external services when necessary.
- Manage health (psychological) crises for students and ensure that parents are engaged meaningfully.
- Manage health-related crises in the community with support of the Deans.
- Set up effective responses for community-related health challenges, design community-related interventions and manage the teams responsible for implementation.
- Identify and develop processes, protocols and policies that are essential for the smooth functioning of the department as well as relationship management with different stakeholders (parents, service providers, interdepartmental).
- Provide a monthly report to the Deans on all Health and Wellness activities, issues and resolutions.
- Set and manage the budget for the department and provide monthly reports to the Department of Finance, with oversight from the Deputy Dean.
Child Protection Coordinator Responsibilities
- Develop training resources, raise awareness and deliver safeguarding training, ensuring everyone receives the appropriate training (at a level commensurate with their role) and understands the applicable safeguarding policies and procedures.
- Develop and review safeguarding policies and associated procedures in accordance with best practice, and current legislation, reflecting African Leadership’s ethos values and culture.
- Contribute to the recording of reported cases on the Child Protection Policy register, every term. The register should include leadership decisions related to safeguarding and records of any legal or professional advice obtained.
- Identify potential risks, ensure that suitable control measures are in place and monitored to manage and mitigate such risks.
- Keep abreast of legislation, regulatory requirements and codes of practice on safeguarding.
- Assist the leadership team in encouraging and upholding organisational cultural attributes that embed and integrate safeguarding at the core of the Academy.
- Prepare and provide content for the Compliance Information Hub in which guidance, processes, best practices, and training notes are consistently documented and made accessible internally.
- Assist the Dean and Deputy Dean in informing, advising, and issuing recommendations to the Academy’s Executive Team and Board of Trustees on safeguarding compliance obligations and responsibilities.
- Consistently demonstrates the courage to do what is right for the student and the Academy.
- Consistently guides, focuses, and energizes the health and wellness team to accomplish the Academy’s objectives even under stressful or ambiguous situations.
- Originates actions to influence events and to achieve goals; sees opportunities and acts on them.
- Displays the highest standards of personal and professional conduct.
- Supports organizational ethical standards and values.
- Must be able to recommend policies that supports the continued promotion of health and wellness in the organization.
- Must be able to change and design programs to accommodate emerging trends within the Academy and in the larger society.
Profile of the ideal candidate
- Master’s degree in educational psychology.
- 4-5 years counselling experience, preferably in a school environment.
- 2-3 years of experience managing a team.
- Experience with running wellness programmes.
- Working with 16–19-year-olds in a school setting will be an advantage.
- Understanding of trends and best practices in managing students’ health and wellbeing in a boarding school.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Excellent consultative skills to shape solutions.
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with audiences at all levels in the organization.
- Understanding of relevant national and international regulations that will enable proper delivery of health and wellness to our students.
Start Date: November 2023
Location: ALA Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa
Reporting to: Deputy Dean of the Academy