London, Greater London
£27,000 per year
Contract, Full-time
Job description

1. Summary

We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic individual to assist with the design and pilot of a Further Education (FE) project within our wider Access to Higher Education (HE) Programme. Responding to increased need which has been exacerbated by the educational inequalities arising from Covid-19, this new project coordinator will work with the programme manager and HE project coordinator to 1) embed FE advice, guidance, training and support across this programme and 2) provide direct FE advice, guidance and support to young refugees and asylum seekers referred to the programme. This post holder’s FE expertise will complement and enhance the programme’s existing services for young refugees and asylum seekers and lay the foundation for longer term FE advice, guidance and support in RSN beyond this development phase. 

Job title:  Further Education (FE) Project Coordinator

Reports to: Head of Access to Higher Education

Staff responsibility: None 

Hours: Full time

Salary: £27,000 

Contract: 6 months (with potential for extension, subject to project development and funding). We are proactively applying for funding for a longer term role.

Location: RSN is based in Willesden Junction, north west London. The majority of our team are currently working from home due to Covid-19. Ordinarily this role would be based out of our London office but will be predominantly home-based whilst COVID restrictions make this preferable.


2. Application process

You must have a visa that allows you to work in the UK for the duration of this contract to apply for this job.

As with all roles at RSN, we particularly welcome applications from people with refugee backgrounds.

To apply, please submit your cover letter and a tailored CV (ensuring any gaps in employment are explained) through CharityJob by 8am on Wednesday 11th November. Interviews will take place online on Wednesday 18th November and references will be taken up prior to appointment. 

In the cover letter (maximum 2 pages of A4) please: 

  1. Explain what attracts you both to working at RSN and in this role specifically and what about our ethos makes us a good fit for you;

  2. Demonstrate how your experience evidences competencies 1-3 (FE/refugee sector knowledge and experience; experience of working with young people; developing and delivering training and workshops) in the person specification below; and

  3. Tell us about a time you have successfully worked on multiple work streams whilst ensuring that all work is performed to a high standard and no balls are dropped.

  4. Clearly state the earliest date you would be available to start should you be appointed. The funding for this role must be spent within a 6 month period and so we are not able to accommodate long notice periods.


3. About Refugee Support Network (RSN)

At Refugee Support Network we are working towards a world where all young people displaced by conflict or crisis are able to build more hopeful futures. We do this by supporting young refugees and asylum seekers to access, remain and progress in education. Currently, over 500 young people each year benefit from our three core programmes: Educational Mentoring, Access to Higher Education and Specialist Education and Wellbeing Support. Alongside our direct work with young people, we undertake research and consultancy and provide training, ensuring that the voices of young refugees and asylum seekers are heard by the policy- and decision-makers who affect their lives.

4. Job mission and outcomes

Our work and research demonstrate the many challenges young asylum seekers and refugees face in educational progression such as barriers caused by the intersection of their immigration status and age.

This new project coordinator will enable RSN to 

  1. Embed FE advice, guidance, training and support across RSN’s higher education programme which equips young asylum seekers and refugees to access and succeed at university through the provision of advice, support, scholarships and training

  2. Respond to the increased need for individualised FE advice, guidance and support for young asylum seekers and refugees seeking to progress in their education

This post holder will be the go-to person for all further education queries within RSN. They will need to have a strong understanding of both the FE sector and the rights and entitlements of young refugees and asylum seekers. This role was created in acknowledgement that for many young refugees and asylum seekers, their pathway to university is through FE and/ or “non traditional” qualifications and a lack of accurate and timely advice and guidance is often a key barrier to their progression. This role will sit alongside RSN’s HE project coordinator and will be expected to deliver the following outcomes: 

Outcome 1: Young asylum seekers and refugees, and the professionals supporting them, receive prompt, accurate and targeted advice in response to queries about FE.

To this end, key tasks will include:

  • Answering any FE queries on RSN’s advice line (WhatsApp and email) promptly, courteously and accurately and maintain up to date records.  

  • Developing and delivering new bespoke 1:1 online educational pathway planning sessions and the process through which young people can be referred for a session, both internally (through our advice line and/or other RSN programmes) and externally (through key partner organisations).   

  • Creating a suite of template answers to the most commonly received queries on the advice line regarding FE and ensuring these are updated regularly.

  • Writing accurate, informative and accessible FAQs for RSNs website covering the key areas in FE to complement the existing HE FAQs page of our website.

  • Working with RSN’s Specialist Support team to establish casework referral mechanisms for access to specialist FE educational support.

  • Building RSN’s/the sector’s capacity to support young people at critical roadblocks such as enrolment and admissions.

  • Working with the HE project coordinator to establish effective monitoring and evaluation of both advice line queries and 1:1 pathway planning sessions, which allows us to discern both the effectiveness of our services and monitor any trends.

Outcome 2 High quality online workshops are developed and delivered to 50 young refugees and asylum seekers. 

To this end, key tasks will include:

  • Developing and delivering a series of online workshops aimed at young people covering an overview of educational pathways within FE, the most commonly asked queries about accessing and progressing in FE and pathways to HE from FE. (NB - there will be technical support with this but we are looking for someone to lead on content and delivery)

  • Gathering and analysing feedback from the workshops to continually refine and improve our service.

Outcome 3: RSN has developed a high quality training, for both an internal and external audience, on the educational rights and entitlements of refugee and asylum seeking students in FE.

We run a popular and effective training session for practitioners about access to HE for young asylum seekers and refugees. In response to high demand for training with an FE component, this postholder will work with the Head of Access to Higher Education to:

  • Update existing training packages and write and deliver new material on the rights and entitlements of refugee and asylum-seeking young people within the FE system, educational pathways through FE and the intersection between these two systems.

  • Write and deliver training in accessing and progressing in FE for RSN staff and volunteers.

  • Ensure that any changes in policy or funding guidance is highlighted at the earliest opportunity and incorporated in our training material.

  • Gather and analyse feedback received from external training to continually refine and improve our offering.

Outcome 4: Expertise in FE is fully integrated into the Access to HE programme and there is a clear way forward for this to continue beyond the pilot phase.

To this end, key tasks will include:

  • Working with the Head of Access to Higher Education to evaluate this pilot of FE integration and make recommendations for the future of this role and any adaptations needed to refine and improve our service.

  • Working with the HE project coordinator to integrate FE pathways into our existing Access to HE provision in a sustainable way beyond this pilot phase.


5. Person specification

In order to achieve this role’s mission and deliver the above outcomes, candidates must demonstrate the following competencies (evidenced by the listed behaviours):

Competency 1: FE/refugee sector knowledge and experience

  • Demonstrates a particularly strong knowledge of the further education sector, including enrolment and progression through FE. 

  • Understands the particular challenges and opportunities facing refugee and asylum-seeking students in the further education sector including access to funding and limited educational opportunities and has experience in strategies to overcome these.

  • Demonstrates a strong understanding of the refugee/education/youth sectors in which RSN operates, and proactively seeks to develop and maintain technical knowledge in these areas. 

Competency 2: Experience of working with young people

  • Displays a track record of working with young people from a variety of backgrounds, evidencing ability to sensitively explore and understand a young person’s needs and provide appropriate support, helping them to build resilience.

  • Deals promptly and calmly with safeguarding concerns as they arise and follows safeguarding processes accurately.

  • Respects and is inspired by the uniqueness of individual young people and shows commitment to their perspectives being heard and their potential being realised.

Competency 3: Developing and delivering training and workshops

  • Has experience of developing and delivering both youth-centred workshops and training for professionals.

  • Has experience of developing training materials for learners with English as a second language (desirable).

  • Delivers training to young people and frontline professionals in a clear, engaging and informed manner.

Competency 4: Communication and team working 

  • Communication: Communicates clearly, appropriately, promptly and warmly - both verbally and in writing - to a range of audiences from those with limited English to senior staff within partner organisations.

  • Team working: Understands, values and speaks affirmingly of the work of others, being helpful, kind and sensitive to their needs.

  • Self awareness: Works well independently, is able to ask appropriate questions to elicit information to make informed decisions, is confident to make such decisions on their own whilst recognising when it is appropriate to discuss with their line manager or the wider team

  • IT: Sufficient IT knowledge to work effectively on the RSN team, eg is able to use, or quickly pick up,  Google Drive, Whatsapp, Google Hangouts.

Competency 5. Working style, skills and ethos

We value the way in which a person works just as much as the actual work they do. To this end, we are seeking candidates with the following attributes:

  • Attention to detail: Thoroughly accomplishes a task by showing attention for all the areas involved, no matter how small

  • Motivation: Maintains stable performance when under heavy pressure and/or juggling multiple work streams, demonstrating strong willingness and internal motivation to work hard and get the job done

  • Self care: Has developed and practices effective self care to avoid burnout, including the ability to maintain appropriate boundaries in order to keep workload at a sustainable level.

  • Character: Has integrity, earns trust and maintains confidences, and speaks plainly and truthfully

  • Mission-led: Is engaged by RSN’s vision of enabling young refugees to build more hopeful futures through education

  • Ethos and values: Is motivated by personal core beliefs (whether Christian or not) and values being part of an organisation which is founded on, and seeking to outwork, the Christian faith


6. Equal opportunities 

We are an equal opportunities employer and will apply objective criteria to assess potential suitability for roles within the organisation. We actively seek to recruit with the right mix of talent, skills and potential, promoting equality for all, and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those from refugee backgrounds. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications, experience and commitment to the values and purposes of the organisation. We aim to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, age, sex or sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, or any other protected characteristic (under the Equalities Act 2010).

If you feel you would require reasonable adjustments in order to carry out the role or attend an interview at RSN due to a disability, caring responsibilities or any other reason, please give details in your cover letter or get in touch with Katie, Head of Access to Higher Education, to discuss further.


7. Disclosure of a Criminal Record

The Rehabilitation of Offenders 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 1986 does not apply to posts where there is access to children. This means that applicants for employment which involves working with children and young people must disclose any criminal record. If your application is successful, you are required to make these disclosures and consent to Refugee Support Network verifying the accuracy of your response with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). References will be taken up and a DBS check carried out for the successful candidates, but as part of our safer recruitment policy all shortlisted candidates are required to complete a Self Disclosure form before interviews.


More about Refugee Education UK
Refugee Education UK

At Refugee Education UK (formerly Refugee Support Network), we are working towards a world where all refugee children and young people ... Read more

Posted on: 26 October 2020
Closed date: 11 November 2020
Tags: Advice, Information, Practitioner

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