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Academic Support and Retention Manager - London

Location: London

Salary: £33,797 to £40,322

Hours: Full Time, 35 hours per week

Contract Type: Permanent

Placed On: 4th  May 2022

Closes: 23rd May 2022

Point Blank is an award-winning music school based in London, Los Angeles, Ibiza, Mumbai, China and online. The School specialises in Higher Education and practical courses in subjects including Music Production and Sound Engineering, DJ Practice and Performance, Singing and Songwriting, Music Industry Management, and Radio Production and Broadcasting.

As a specialist music education provider, we take pride in teaching the creative process of making music at the highest level, with expert lecturers and state-of-the-art facilities. Consistently awarded high scores by our students through the National Student Survey, we have a reputation for giving our community a unique and high-quality experience. Point Blank nurtures and supports students, providing them with a curriculum connected to industry and the tools to succeed in their careers. Our degree courses are validated by Middlesex University, and we are expanding to meet demand as well as expanding the course portfolio to meet the needs of our students.


The post holder will be working in a newly created department responsible for providing and signposting students towards academic and wellbeing support and enabling the School to meet our targets for first attempt passes. They will also support students through resubmission and help the School meet its targets for resubmission passes, academic support engagement, student retention and achievement.

The post holder will work in collaboration with various teams including Student Support, Education and Wellbeing.

The post holder will be expected to work closely with at-risk students.


Key responsibilities include

  • Identifying and contacting at-risk students
  • Developing tailored learning support plans
  • Identifying and implementing retention systems where required


  • Work in collaboration with Officers, Resubmission Tutors and Personal Tutors to support and provide guidance on academic support and retention, acting as an escalation point and advise on related policy/procedure.
  • Work with our Assessments Team who initially identify those at risk of resubmission, and provide lists of resubmission students who require extra tutoring in subsequent terms.
  • Liaise and work closely with the Wellbeing Team and Assessments Team as referrals and ensure a safety net of early identification and early intervention where possible.
  • Work with Heads of Departments to facilitate academic and skills workshops, advising where further workshops, course guidance, VLE or human academic support resources may be required.
  • Work closely with the Quality and Planning Team, highlighting where School improvements may be required to systems, policy and procedures, courses or resources.
  • Research and monitor the School’s performance, gathering data and analysing the effectiveness of projects and “what works”. Report on evaluations and provide insight into the efficacy of the system and enable-evidence based decision making.
  • Maintain a reporting system for at-risk students, and records of actions/recommended actions and contact.
  • Analyse relevant policy and the HE landscape, providing evidence for integrating new or innovative ideas, making improvements and planning decisions.
  • Draft related policy and reports for informing staff and committees.

Academic Support

  • The post holder will be expected to work closely with at-risk students alongside other members of staff. Key responsibilities include:
  • Identifying and contacting at-risk students
  • Developing tailored learning support plans
  • Identifying and implementing retention systems where required


  • This role may require writing reports and proposals for consideration at committees.



  • Undergraduate degree or solid relevant experience in a senior student support/academic support role.


  • Demonstrable experience within an academic support/student retention role.
  • Experience of working in higher education in a student support role where difficult decisions have been communicated, or advice given.
  • Experience of re-engaging students, considering the context of difficult personal or academic circumstances and developing learning support plans or working with and supporting students with additional learning needs.


  • Excellent diplomacy and communication skills.
  • Strong skills in MS Office software, and experience in using databases or spreadsheets to track student academic progress.
  • Excellent attention to detail. Experience of analysing key documents, student profiles and concisely writing informed papers for consideration at committees.
  • Ability to communicate with students at potential risk with diplomacy and clarity.
  • Strong understanding of higher education policy and regulation.
  • Ability to work independently and with initiative as beneficial to the School’s requirements.
  • Ability to effectively coordinate projects, prioritise workload, communicate diplomatically and motivate teams. Ability to seek the consultation of senior staff.
  • Ability to work under pressure and within time constraints.



  • Postgraduate degree


  • Management experience / experience of managing people.
  • Experience in writing policies, procedural/system documentation and reports.


  • Ability to proactively identify potential improvements or quality enhancements.

How to apply

To apply, please send a CV and cover letter setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the criteria in the person specification to work@pointblankmusicschool.com.

Point Blank is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of society.