Interview for an HR Officer's role in the education sector

Hi all,

I am part-way through my CIPD Level 5 to which I finish in June.  My background is Secretarial/PA in the Higher Education Sector to which now I work flexi-time in our own Micro-SME as a Company Secretary.  I have been wanting to get into a direct HR role and have got my first interview as HR Officer at a Secondary School to which I am really pleased since it links with my background of being in the educational sector, a school governor to a primary school and with my CIPD Level 5.  

I also have other qualifications which lead up to a MBA to which I have chose to study two electives in HRM.  I have volunteered in a HR and Payroll setting but it was mainly the Payroll side due to the audit that was occurring at the time.

I regulary network and have just attend the CIPD Student Midlands 2019 Conference in Birmingham to gain more advice and network with people in the field.

My question is based around the job.  Can anyone offer some advise around the job interview.  I am a confidence person, I am changing career direction to HR.  I have a good background on administration, payroll, aware of policies and procedures but need further advise about the HR elements to do the this profession.

I would very much appreciate any comments and advice that you can all give me.

Thank you for your time.


  • If you peruse the 'schools and academies' page you'll find a lot of queries that regularly come up in the school environment. I moved from higher education to schools education about 2 years ago, and it's a very different culture.

    The absolute priority is in safeguarding pupils, and everything else stems from there. Practically in an HR role that means a LOT of stages in recruitment, detailed checking and recording on the Single Central Register (SCR) for all staff, contractors, ad-hoc coaches, invigilators etc, training that needs to be completed each year and logged etc.

    Recruitment is very intensive - it's like a transfer window because of the specific points when a teacher has to resign by to be able to start at a new school the following term. In the state sector that's the half term of the previous term (so end of May resignation to start in September) and in the independent sector it's usually a full term (so beginning of April resignation for a September start).

    Very happy to talk off line if it would be helpful before your interview - email me at nina.waters@emanuel.org.uk if there's anything.
  • Hi Elizabeth, I work in a School and happy to talk through it if you want to drop me an email?
  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    Really appreciate your comments that you have given me.

    I am also liaising with my CIPD L5 peer group too and they’ve given me some great things to consider.

    Going to collate all my research together.

    Thank you so much.
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:


    Thank you for this link.

    Kind regards
    Elizabeth Lockhart