New Schools Network
New Schools Network (NSN) is an independent charity improving the life chances of young people by supporting the creation and long-term success of new schools.
An unacceptable number of children fail to reach their potential because they lack access to an excellent education. Too often, a child’s background dictates their destination in life, entrenching inequality and impacting communities for generations to come.
NSN is passionate about ending educational inequality once and for all. We envisage a country where every child has an equal chance to succeed in life, irrespective of their background.
NSN is powered by a dynamic and enthusiastic team, united by a passion for improving life chances for children through education.
- We take action to generate change.
- We embrace innovation.
- We believe in individual agency.
- We celebrate diversity.
- We commit to continuous improvement.
What we do
NSN finds talented people and organisations, supports them to establish new free schools across the country and, through the Academy Ambassadors Programme, places high calibre business people as non-executive directors on boards of multi-academy trusts.
By offering advice, guidance and support, the charity has been instrumental in helping hundreds of groups of parents, teachers, charities and schools to establish new schools, and has matched over 1,800 non-executive directors to boards of multi-academy trusts. Over the last six years, NSN has expanded its activities to support the 780 or so free schools that are open or have been approved to open. With clear commitment to free school from the Government and over 557 free schools already open and more in the pipeline, this is an exciting time to join NSN.
How we do it
We’re proud of the supportive, fast-paced, nurturing, open, friendly team environment we’ve created at NSN. We’re a purpose-driven organisation, which is looking to grow over the next 18 months. If you like the sound of that, we want to find out more about you.
Director of Programmes
The role is responsible for strategic oversight and delivery of NSN’s free schools support services, as well as wider programmes and services for schools and trusts. The role sits within NSN’s leadership team and reports to NSN’s Director, Unity Howard, and the Board of Trustees.
— Provide direction and leadership to NSN’s Free Schools Programme Directorate, overseeing the work of 11 staff and 20 consultants working in the London and Manchester offices, across the Advisory and Delivery Services.
— Leadership support for NSN’s Academy Ambassadors programme.
— Develop senior managers and their teams to feel empowered and accountable for their actions and performance.
— Deputise for NSN Director as required.
— Strategic oversight of all DfE grant funded free school services, including:
- a robust strategy to find the next generation of innovative free school founders in line with programme and Ministerial prioritises
- ensuring high quality support via NSN’s flagship Development Programme for all types of free school applicant
- ongoing development of relevant guidance and support for open and approved free schools, responding to the needs of sector at pace
- delivery of high quality partnered events and conferences.
— Oversight of new programmes and service offers once established, including NSN’s CEO mentoring programme, the Innovation Unit School Design Labs and the NSN Hub.
— Hold effective relationships with senior policy makers responsible for free schools and governance policy within the DfE, including grant and contract relationship management and reporting.
— Support NSN’s wider policy work by contributing to policy discussions, consultation responses and select committee enquiries, and the production of high impact policy papers.
— Hold budgetary responsibility for NSN programmes - business planning, monitoring and management across grant funded and income generating services.
— Develop and foster relationships with key stakeholders such as local authorities, cross-party parliamentarians, private sector partners, partner organisations within the education sector, CEOs of multi academy trusts, and senior leaders in education.
— Represent NSN publically in discussions about free schools and academies and the future of the system, including at national conferences and in the media.
As part of a small organisation, you will have the opportunity to gain experience across NSN’s work and be involved in one of the most exciting and fast moving areas of public policy.
Candidates must be able to demonstrate strong and well developed:
— Strong leadership, project management and organisational skills; able to manage multiple concurrent activities and projects
— Presentation skills, including presenting at larger events and conferences
— Stakeholder engagement skills, including building relationships with senior external stakeholders in your field
— Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
— Client/ stakeholder management skills
— Leadership and management skills, including coaching, change management, performance management and development and conflict resolution
Candidates must be able to demonstrate the following traits and attributes:
— Strategic thinking
— The ability to work in a fast-paced, complex environment with competing priorities, make sound decisions and take accountability for these
— The ability to manage and lead change
— Passion for education
— Support of free school policy
— The desire to work collaboratively
— Excellent interpersonal communication
— The ability to solve problems by designing creative solutions
Expertise or experience in any of the following will be an advantage
— Experience of delivering programmes in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders, using high-quality and proactive approaches.
— Minimum four years’ experience working in a relevant role/s or organisation/s
— Experience working in/with schools, in particular free schools or academies
Details and how to apply
Full time, maternity cover (9 - 12-month contract). Contract to commence Tuesday 1st December 2020 to allow one-month handover with post holder.
- 25 days’ annual leave
- Office closure between Christmas and New Year- additional leave not taken out of your
annual leave allowance
- 2 days of study/charitable leave per year to allow you to take on charity work, further study or school governor activities
- Season ticket travel loan scheme and cycle to work scheme
- 10% employer pension contribution
NSN’s London office (NSN has a Manchester office and will consider exceptional candidates who wish to be based in Manchester). The role will require travel across England from time to time.
- Reports to: Director
- Line manages: Head of Delivery Services and Head of Advisory Services (direct reports) and the Free Schools Programme Directorate staff (indirect reports)
- The role also involves overseeing the organisations’ use of Associates, Specialists and
Regional Advisers – independent consultants who support NSN’s work
How to apply
To apply for this role, please e-mail the email provided with your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are the right person for this job. Please also include details of your current salary and notice period.
5pm, Friday 9th October 2020
Candidates must be available for interview on 15th and 16th October 2010, and if required a second interview on 22nd October 2020. Prior to invitation to interview, there may be a short telephone interview, depending on the number of strong applications.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.