We are passionate about creating opportunities for care-experienced children/young people to access the great education and pastoral care available through bursary places at the UK's boarding and independent schools; and are looking for a Programme Manager with compassion and experience of working with children and young people who are either in, or on the edge, of children's social care, to organise all aspects of this programme.
You will be highly organised, maintaining excellent communication, empathy and case management skills to ensure quality support to the children, schools, parents/carers and Local Authorities that we work with. Working within our Programmes Team, you will coordinate all aspects of the Looked-After & Vulnerable Children Programme, including:
• Managing the day-to-day operations: developing relationships with children’s social care professionals with regard to selecting, preparing and matching care-experienced children/young people to available bursary places at boarding and independent schools, providing advice and guidance to Local Authority Virtual Schools, social workers, families/ carers, developing all aspects of the application process, assisting in coordination and management of admissions’ procedures, undertaking home visits and accompanying pupils on visits to schools
• Developing and implementing approaches to measuring and monitoring pupils' progress, needs and views including through liaising with parents/carers and schools staff; maintaining oversight of school reports, PEP and child protection information, analysing data on pupil's social and emotional wellbeing, and reflecting on this information to continuously adapt and improve the ‘wrap-around’ care/support provided by the charity for its' looked-after and vulnerable pupils, in order to create the strongest conditions for successful bursary placements
• Working with the Head of Alumni Programme to develop support for how the charity ensures that looked-after- and vulnerable children continue to thrive after they leave their bursary placements
• Participating in the development, implementation and delivery of relevant training courses and information sessions, both for local authorities and staff in schools; and supporting the charity's research partners to build the evidence of positive outcomes and impact of the looked-after and vulnerable children programme to relate trends in outcomes of relevance to a broader audience and disseminate that learning to key audiences
This is an exciting opportunity for an individual to build a programme that is sponsored by the Department for Education and has the potential to have a significant impact on a key social problem. Our current team includes recent graduates and those with experience up to Director level - all of whom share a passion for improving social mobility through harnessting the commitment of the UK's boarding and independent school sector to widen access to their fully-funded bursary places. This opportunity would suit someone skilled in programme delivery and management and with prior experience of working in the children's social care or charities working with vulnerable children/young people.
The ideal candidate will be confident in providing day-to-day operations management/support with a strong emphasis on the quality of relationships with Local Authority personnel and vulnerable children's families/carers. Managing complex cases involving multiple parties, including social workers and supporting multi-agency collaboration you will need to be a clear and confident communicator and know when to draw on the expertise and advice of management.
You will be able to work with uncertainty and ambiguity, demonstrating a determination to find what needs to be done and having it completed, no matter how complex the multiple agencies and adults involved in the care for the child/young person. You will be highly organised, maintaining an overview of multiple case loads, prioritising effectively and overseeing the programme through from identification of potential beneficiaries, to preparation, support and as the young person transitions to become an alumni.
The willingness to build a strong relationship with people face to face, over the telephone and email. Being happy to spend time with people through a variety of interactions. Have a good understanding of team work and will work with the team to create an inclusive team culture.
- Ability to prioritise effectively in order to meet short term and long term deadlines.
- Ability to work effectively with multiple agencies and know when to escalate issues, particularly with regards to safeguarding.
- Strong communication skills, both in writing and verbally, transparent record keeping.
- Caring and empathetic about the education outcomes of children in the care system.
- Advocacy skills to ensure timely delivery of services to the children we work with.
- Good understanding of business processes and strong attention to detail.
- Professional and polite telephone manner; have the ability to speak to individuals from a wide range of backgrounds; from social workers to senior local authority officers be empathetic with parents/carers in difficult situations.
- Proactive in responding to issues and a problem solving mindset.
- Knowledgeable of safeguarding and best practice in handling sensitive data and issues.
- Experience working within the local government/school/charity or social work sectors
- Understanding children’s services and delivery of local services.
- Knowledge of key issues relating to LAC/SEN, including trauma and attachment awareness.
- An understanding and experience of the boarding school system and wider independent education landscape.
- Experience or knowledge of SEN provision and local offering.
- Experience of working in or with a small charity.
Salary of £30,000-£37,000 dependent on experience and location. We are currently working remotely due to the COVID restrictions with access to an office in Central London on a hot-desking basis. The job is subject to having the right to work in the UK and an enhanced DBS check.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.