Manchester, Greater Manchester
SE1, London
London Living Wage
Full-time, Internship
Job description


New Schools Network (NSN) is a dynamic, growing charity. Our purpose is to ensure that every child has an equal chance to succeed, irrespective of their background, by supporting communities to establish, run and improve 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. Through our programmes, we partner with individuals, groups, trusts and business leaders to establish, run and improve pioneering and innovative schools.

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. Over the last three years, NSN has expanded its activities to support the 800 or so free schools that are open or have been approved to open. This is an exciting opportunity to work in medium sized charity and to improve the quality of education in England by joining NSN’s Free Schools Programme Directorate.

New Schools Network is powered by a dynamic and enthusiastic team, united by a passion for improving life chances for children through education.

Free Schools Programme Directorate

As a member of the Free Schools Programme Directorate (FSPD), you will be supporting the team to deliver services to free schools at all stages of their journey. No two days will be the same; you will be involved in a varied range of projects across the team and wider organisation. The FSPD intern will primarily support NSN’s two free school services:


  • Advisory Services: NSN’s Advisory Services offers support and guidance to free school applicant groups. This includes researching and reaching out to groups who are best placed to set up specific types of schools, and working with them to develop their idea and prepare them to submit a free school application to the Department for Education (DfE).
  • Delivery Services: NSN’s Delivery Services offer a range of support to free schools that have been approved to open, and those that are open. NSN supports approved groups by providing a range of paid-for services, specially designed to help groups achieve the key milestones in a challenging and rigorous set up process. Open free schools can access a range of free support including events, meetings with specialist consultants, and NSN’s dedicated helpdesk service.

The FSPD intern will also be expected to provide ad hoc support to other projects and teams across the organisation.

Our values are:


  • We take action to generate change.
  • We embrace innovation.
  • We believe in individual agency.
  • We celebrate diversity.

Key responsibilities

Interns work across all areas of NSN’s work. They have an opportunity to develop a number of key skills, including research, writing and presenting, event organisation and database management. This role will include the following responsibilities:

  • Helping to deliver accurate advice to free schools at all stages, including applicant groups, through NSN’s universal helpdesk service;
  • Supporting the co-ordination of one-to-one advice surgeries;
  • Researching various topics in public policy, politics and education;
  • Helping to organise events, including (virtual) visits to schools, roundtables and webinars;
  • Supporting advisers to identify and contact high quality potential free school applicants;
  • Updating and maintaining records on NSN’s internal database, including running reports and logging queries in a timely and accurate manner; and,
  • We commit to continuous improvement.
  • Supporting the work of the wider team and the administration of NSN’s work in general

Candidates need to demonstrate the following skills and attributes:

  • Enthusiasm – NSN’s interns must be passionate about education, and support the free school policy.
  • Proactivity – NSN’s interns must be able to use their initiative to solve problems, handle external queries appropriately, and support the team.
  • Impressive communication skills – NSN’s interns communicate with a great variety of individuals and groups in person, over the phone and in writing, including civil servants and senior leaders of national academy trusts.
  • Strong time management skills – NSN’s interns need to prioritise their workload and be able to balance time sensitive tasks with longer-term projects.
  • Professionalism – NSN’s interns are often the first point of contact for external stakeholders, so they need to represent NSN in a professional manner in any situation.
  • Adaptability – NSN’s interns are asked to complete a wide variety of projects and need to be adaptable.
  • Attention to detail – NSN’s interns need to complete both written and data-related tasks with precision and accuracy.

We are interested in applications from anyone with the above attributes, regardless of your level of education or experience. A proven interest in education (e.g. tutoring, volunteering with young people) and/or experience in a customer facing role would be beneficial.


Please note: We are keen to appoint as soon as possible and may interview for this position before the deadline. Candidates are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Interviews will be held virtually due to COVID-19.


 London or Manchester (with initial flexibility around working from home due to COVID-19).

How to apply

To apply for this role, please e-mail with your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are the right person for this job. NSN operates a 'blind' recruitment process, whereby all personal and identifying details are removed from candidates' applications. We do this to ensure that the hiring team evaluate applicants on the basis of their skills, aptitude and experience instead of factors that could potentially bias decision-making.                                                                                                                                              

More about New Schools Network
New Schools Network

New Schools Network (NSN) is a dynamic, growing charity that aims to improve the quality of education – particularly for the most deprive... Read more

Posted on: 03 August 2020
Closed date: 21 August 2020
Tags: Advice, Information

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