Margate, Kent
£35,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

We are seeking to recruit a Deputy Director who will be responsible for delivering against the organisation’s strategic aims and core vision, working closely with the Director and Trustees, in particular by managing and overseeing the charity’s operations, finances, funding, communication and its staff, and taking a leading role in fundraising. The Deputy Director reports to the Director, with whom they closely collaborate, and line manages the Administration Assistant and the Activities and Events Manager.

The Deputy Director will be part of an eight-people strong team composed of a mixture of part-time and full-time employees and freelancers, who work on a weekly basis with up to 40 learners and welcome around 3,500 participants and visitors a year to OSE’s public programmes.

About Open School East

Open School East (OSE) is an innovative arts charity that delivers free and flexible education programmes with and for communities less likely to access traditional provision. Located in Margate, Kent, OSE offers a space for artistic and collaborative learning that is experimental, versatile and non-exclusive.

We run four complementary strands:

  • The Associates Programme: a year-long development programme for emerging artists and cultural practitioners from diverse backgrounds and generations;
  • The Young Associates Programme: a full-time, year-long, accredited art and design programme for local young people aged 16-18 who experience difficulty in their education;
  • The Public Programme: a multifaceted programme of events, activities and short courses open to everyone;
  • The Despacito Art School: a weekly art, craft and functional object-making programme open to 5 to 12 year olds who lack opportunities to develop creatively.

Open School East is committed to making the arts a more open sector and to fostering cultural and social exchanges between artists and the broader public. We do this by making our programmes entirely free of charge and opening them outwards, responding to our locality, and providing an informal and welcoming environment for the development and sharing of knowledge and skills across all communities and generations.

We equip artists at an early stage of their career with the tools to become resourceful and self-sufficient, and enable young people and adults alike to develop confidence and life skills and to shape their creative voice by becoming active learners and co-producers of OSE’s programmes.

OSE strives to be a self-scrutinising and adaptable organisation; accordingly, it keeps its doors open to change and places access, in its widest sense, at the centre of its agenda.

Open School East was founded in 2013 in East London and relocated to Margate, Kent in 2017. Since 2019, OSE operates from two locations in Margate: the first floor of the Adult Education Centre, formerly the Thanet School of Art and Crafts (1931-74), where we deliver all our programmes; and the ground floor of CRATE, where the Associates have a shared workshop and studio space.

Open School East is a registered charity and National Portfolio Organisation, supported by Arts Council England and Kent County Council. Core and project funding further comes from trusts and foundations, and individual giving.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities


  • Setting financial policy and procedure, and monitoring compliance;
  • Oversee OSE’s financial systems, ensuring they are operating properly and that all records are maintained in a systematic, timely and accurate manner with support from the Director and the (external) Accountant;
  • Prepare, manage and monitor OSE’s overall annual budget and individual project budgets with staff;
  • Liaise with OSE’s Accountant in the production of monthly management accounts and yearly cash flow monitoring documents;
  • Process weekly payments to contractors and the monthly payroll, ensuring all tax, National Insurance and pension payments are made and statutory employer responsibilities are met;
  • Ensure necessary financial and information returns and reports are submitted to the Charities Commission on a timely basis.


  • Support the Director in the overall management of the organisation and to deliver the business plan;
  • Lead the annual review and business planning process;
  • Oversee the organisation’s risk management with a particular focus on health & safety, safeguarding, financial, human resources and reputational risks;
  • Ensure good governance in all aspects of the organisation’s activity and introduce management best practice and continuous improvement to processes;
  • Support the Board of Trustees, including by preparing and circulating papers and minutes with support from the Administrative Assistant, and setting the agenda for subcommittee meetings;
  • Support the Board in the implementation of its governance improvement plan;
  • Promote and ensure compliance with policies relating to equality of opportunity and diversity, and Data Protection regulations (GDPR).

Fundraising and Relationships’ Management

  • Develop and deliver OSE’s fundraising strategy with support from the Director, Fundraising Consultant and the Fundraising Subcommittee to ensure that income targets are agreed and achieved in line with the OSE business plan;
  • Promote and maintain productive relations with strategic and operational partnerships, working alongside and reporting to the Director and the Board of Trustees;
  • Manage and maintain funding agreements with core funders, including reporting on audience data and impact evaluation.

Human Resources and Policies

  • Deliver OSE’s Human Resource function, ensuring compliance with best practice guidelines;
  • Manage personnel processes including employment contracts, appraisals, annual leave, TOIL and sickness;
  • Ensure that OSE’s policies and procedures are in place and that all staff and users are aware of their responsibilities;
  • Ensure compliance with employment policies relating to equal opportunities, access and diversity;
  • Ensure the charity’s operations are managed efficiently and compliantly with particular regard to health & safety and safeguarding;
  • Act as OSE’s safeguarding and health & safety officer.

Communication and General Management

  • Oversee the implementation of OSE’s communications strategy and lead on regular reviews thereof;
  • Act as OSE’s advocate and representative in partnership with the wider team;
  • Ensure that the office infrastructure supports all aspects of activity, including IT equipment, storage, insurance and maintenance.

Person specification


  • Experience of business planning and strategic management;
  • A proven track record of fundraising and/or managing raised funds;
  • Experience of developing and implementing policies and procedures;
  • Experience of managing staff, with a strong ability to build team-spirit in the work place;
  • Excellent administrative and communications skills, both written and verbal;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to relate to, and confidently engage with, varied stakeholders.


  • Good understanding of the local arts and education context and how OSE’s work is situated in this;
  • Experience of working in an arts or community organisation.

At Open School East, we are committed to improving the diversity of our organisation as a whole and to building inclusive cultures every day. Therefore we encourage and welcome applicants from all backgrounds, generations and sections of the community.

Posted on: 11 December 2019
Closed date: 13 January 2020
Tags: Finance, Operations

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.