Closing in 6 days
£80,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Base location – Negotiable, including hybrid working and some attendance at NIoT Head Office in Blackburn

This is a unique opportunity to join the National Institute of Teaching at the start of its journey as a newly formed organisation. The Institute will boost the quality of teacher and leader development nationally by generating and interpreting research, applying the insights to the design and delivery of high-quality teacher and school leader development programmes, and sharing it with the sector.

The Chief Operating Officer will be a pivotal member of the Institute’s Executive Team, leading the Finance, HR, IT, Contract Management, Registry and Quality Assurance teams. It will also work directly with the Board of Directors, CEO and Executive colleagues to design and develop the organisation’s principles and strategy as it grows.

The Institute is run by the School-Led Development Trust, a charity founded by four of the country’s leading school trusts: the Harris Federation, Outwood Grange Academies Trust, Oasis Community Learning and Star Academies, and supported by the Department for Education. We are building a school-led movement, strengthening relationships and collaboration across the system. 


Overall purpose of the post:

To provide strategic leadership and hold accountability for the operations functions of the National Institute of Teaching in order to:

· Provide exceptional support to the Trust Board, CEO and Senior Leadership Team, allowing them to deliver the programme, academic and research aspects of the Institute;

· Lead and develop the operations departments of finance, IT, HR , contract management and the registrar & QA function;

· Conduct strategic financial planning to support the decision making of the Board and Senior Leadership Team;

· Build leadership capacity at all levels.

Main duties and responsibilities:

⮚ Building and leading an effective and cohesive operations team;

⮚ Working with the Chief Executive and SLT to create appropriate short, medium and long term strategy;

⮚ Communicating and implementing these strategies across the operations functions and wider staff of the organisation;

⮚ Creating and co-ordinating annual financial and operational plans to include appropriate targets for heads of operations functions;

⮚ Reporting regularly to the Chief Executive and the Board on the progress of the organisation against financial, strategic and operational plans;

⮚ Managing the senior team who currently have responsibility for the following: finance, human resources, health and safety, site management, IT, registry & quality assurance and contract management;

⮚ Providing leadership to the Board on finance and accounting strategy to optimise the NIoT’s financial performance and strategic position;

⮚ Developing and overseeing the quality of management information, budgeting and forecasting processes;

⮚ Liaising with the Institute’s legal partners to ensure legal compliance to relevant company and charity legislation;

⮚ Ensuring the continued evolution of sound information systems to enable the Board, CEO and Executive team to make measured strategic and operational decisions;

⮚ Establish a high level of credibility and manage strong working relationships with external parties including the ESFA, HMRC, the DfE and external auditors;

⮚ Ensuring that the NIoT makes effective use of technical innovation in achieving its strategic and operating plans;

⮚ Ensuring the operations structures, systems and processes are appropriate to ensure long and short term plans will be achieved;

⮚ Liaising and negotiating with third parties over the maintenance and development of service level agreements and contracts for the delivery of some aspects of advice and support to the organisation and reporting these to the Chief Executive and Board accordingly;

⮚ Implementing best practice in recruiting, developing, managing and supervising staff;

⮚ Working with the Board to continue the development of outstanding governance policies and practices;

⮚ Acting in the capacity of Company Secretary to the Board and other companies and charities operated by the Board;

⮚ To represent the Board or Chief Executive Officer to regulatory authorities, the media, stakeholders and the public as required;

⮚ Having due regard for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of adults, children and young people and to follow the safeguarding procedures;

⮚ Demonstrating an active commitment to their own professional development.

Your team

There will be five main teams in the functions that this role will be accountable for

· Finance team

· HR team

· IT team

· Registrar & Quality Assurance team

· Contract Management

What we are looking for

Knowledge & Experience

Relevant managerial and professional experience in a related area at a senior level

A successful record of working within a changing environment and a commitment to the delivery of best value services

A sound knowledge or experience of relevant legislation and regulatory environment

An innovative leader with a vision for strategic financial leadership

Knowledge of experience of the charity sector would be advantageous


A degree and/or professional qualification relevant to the post and/or equivalent learning

through professional experience


Ability to demonstrate a business focus and commercially minded approach

Ability to win support for new ideas and concepts through effective advocacy skills

A strong understanding of ICT and its potential for the effectiveness of the organisation

A proven ability to successfully manage resources effectively

The ability to translate a visionary/innovative concept into a practical implementation


Personal Qualities

A commitment to the aims of the National Institute of Teaching, with a focus on

improving schools and communities to raise standards for children;

A commercially astute, articulate, technically strong, dynamic, insightful and influential

leader with the ability to operate at a strategic level

A team player with excellent communication skills and robust and focused approach to

the delivery of key strategic imperatives

Highly motivated, with an inquiring mind and a passion for excellence and innovation in

pursuit of success

High integrity and openness combined with commitment to good governance

A mature and balanced approach to the assessment and management of risk

An ability to use the full range of leadership skills and qualities, including emotional

intelligence, as appropriate to the situation

Someone who is resilient and determined but can also provide support, demonstrate

empathy and deal with staff and situations in a sensitive and considerate manner


Personal Contacts


External: Department for Education at all levels, key decision makers across the sector including CEOs, contractors, ESFA, HMRC

Internal: Fellow Executive members, Campus Principals, Board of Directors


Working at the National Institute of Teaching

Location: Flexible

Contract: Permanent

Key benefits available to all Institute of Teaching staff:

· Flexible start and end working times (core hours between 10am and 4pm);

· Flexible working opportunities;

· 27 days’ holiday a year (plus 8 bank holidays).

Diversity and inclusion

The National Institute of Teaching is committed to creating a diverse environment and ensuring that all qualified applicants receive equal consideration for employment. We are committed to fair and inclusive recruitment practices and are open to job shares, secondments, part-time, and flexible working schedules.

Things to know

• All National Institute of Teaching staff are subject to a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The level of check which will apply shall be an “Enhanced” level check.

• We regret that we are currently unable to sponsor visas.

How to apply

Key Dates

· Closing date: 21 August 2022

· Shortlisting: w/c 22 August 2022

· First round interviews: w/c 29 August 2022

· Final interviews: w/c 5 and 11 September 2022


We reserve the right to change the closing date depending on the number of responses received. Please submit your application as soon as possible to ensure that it is considered in the selection.


If you have a disability and can demonstrate that closing this post early would impact on your ability to submit an application in time, please contact our Human Resources team to request arrangement for an application to be submitted within the original time-frame.

Refreshed on: 06 August 2022
Closing date: 21 August 2022 at 23:59
Tags: Senior Management, Operations

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