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WORK LIFE - TOMORROW'S PEOPLE

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Karen Smith, Head of Student Support Service and Education Welfare Benefits Service Cambridgeshire CC ...
Karen Smith, Head of Student Support Service and Education Welfare Benefits Service Cambridgeshire CC

WHAT IS YOUR JOB ABOUT?

I am responsible for two services. One, the students support service, which involves overseeing the 12,000 student support applications we receive each year. We work out any entitlements and the Student Loans Company handles the funding.

THE OTHER?

Administering the education welfare benefits service for school children, dealing with applications for free school meals and clothing vouchers, and managing the education maintenance allowance for post-16 education.

ANY DEVELOPMENTS?

The student support system is being streamlined in the next two years so people can self assess their entitlement, overseen by us. We are currently implementing an online tracking system for students to access information.

Y0UR CAREER?

I began with Cambridgeshire in 1986. I moved to Cleveland CC three years later and returned here in 1993. I have always worked in student awards. I have an HNC in business and finance.

PERSONALLY?

My partner is a long distance lorry driver. His hobby is motorcross - riding off-road motor bikes - and I follow the sport.

THE FUTURE?

I am comfortable with my current role. It offers plenty of flexibility and there are so many changes to see through.

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