London, Greater London (Hybrid)
£55K FTE
Permanent, Part-time, 0.8 - 1.0 FTE role, Full-time
Job description

Come and join our team!

Director of Partnerships (and member of the CfEY Board)

0.8 - 1.0 role with at least two days a week in London

£55K FTE 

We are looking for a new member of our senior leadership team.

We want to hear from people who have a passion for improving young people’s lives.

We foster an inclusive culture at CfEY and are committed to building a diverse team. Therefore, we particularly welcome applications from people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, neuro-diverse people, and people that have taken non-traditional routes to get where they are today.

About Us

The Centre for Education and Youth (CfEY) is a ‘think and action tank’. We believe society should ensure all children and young people receive the support they need to make a fulfilling transition to adulthood. We work with a wide range of organisations, and people who share this belief, helping them make wise, bold decisions about how best to support young people. We use our timely and rigorous research to get under the skin of key issues in education and youth, aiming to shape debate, inform policy and change practice. Set up as a community interest company, we have a particular interest in issues affecting marginalised young people. We work with a wide range of clients across corporate, government and third sectors, as learning partners, investigation partners, action partners and communication partners.  

Unlike many other similar organisations:

  • We are grounded, bringing a wealth of professional experience as former teachers, teaching assistants and youth workers.

  • We are practical, supporting change by working directly with practitioners and young people.

  • We are independent, with no political or party allegiances, and positive relationships with a diverse range of funders who support our work through grants and contracts.

  • We are local, getting beyond Westminster to inform policy and practice in specific localities.

Our approach is special because…

  1. We bridge different realms – we work with schools and the wider youth sector and our projects bridge policy, practice and academia.

  2. We are ‘constructively critical.’ We avoid unhelpful cynicism, focus on how things could be better and are analytical and intellectually rigorous. We always seek pragmatic ways of helping people take action grounded in evidence and experience.

  3. We look underneath the surface, speaking to young people and practitioners in order to grapple with complexity and understand what’s really going on.

  4. We do not rely on a set catalogue of solutions. Different approaches and strategies are appropriate in different situations and settings. Our job is to have the emotional and intellectual competence to identify what will work where.

  5. There is almost always a simple way of doing things. Our job is to find it. We steer clear of time-consuming and gimmicky ways of doing things.

  6. We are a social enterprise. We are guided in everything we do by our view of society’s responsibility, as well as being committed to delivering high-quality projects. Income generation and social impact are mutually reinforcing for us.

  7. We are approachable and personable. We interact in a friendly and informal manner. Professionalism is not about pretension.

  8. We are committed to social justice and are acutely aware of the interaction between power imbalances and inequality. 

About the job

This is an exciting new externally-facing role here at CfEY, one with a dual purpose.

First and foremost, we are looking for someone who can help us generate the income we need in order to thrive and achieve an even greater impact. Our current approach to income generation is effective but largely reactive - responding to requests for proposals or to the needs of particular clients. We have already started moving towards larger, longer term and more proactive approaches, often in partnership with other organisations. The Director of Partnerships, as well as keeping the wheels turning on our current fundraising operation, will continue and catalyse this journey, designing and leading on new approaches to raising income - ideally including core funding, a membership offer and income from trusts and foundations - to achieve significant growth in our income by 2025. So we are looking for someone who has a proven track record in raising money and who will relish the opportunity to be creative and entrepreneurial.

You will not be alone in this mission. All of our team members engage in fundraising as a core part of their work - whether responding to tenders, having conversations with existing and potential clients, or writing concept notes for new ideas. Our CEO will continue to engage deeply with income generation efforts. We already have good systems and processes to track our pipeline of opportunities. We take collective responsibility for achieving our quarterly income targets. We do not expect the step change in our income to happen overnight. We do expect that some of your innovations may not succeed. This is not a ‘business as usual’ role, so we need to find someone resilient enough to enjoy the uncertainty, the networking, the inevitable setbacks and the hustle. 

Second, the director of partnerships will take overall responsibility for our approach to influence - shaping debate, shifting policy and changing practice. Unlike so many organisations in the education and youth space, our areas of interest are broad, as is our potential audience: policymakers, academics, practitioners, parents and sometimes young people themselves. This breadth creates challenges and opportunities, and we continually face the challenge of limited time and resources to engage externally beyond our projects. Again, the whole team are part of this mission. Working with them and especially with our fabulous Head of Policy and a new Head of Engagement (whom you will recruit), you will drive a more focussed, strategic approach to achieving influence and impact.

CfEY is a wonderful, unique place to work. Our culture is difficult to explain, but easy to feel when you arrive. We take our work seriously; we take ourselves less seriously. Our structures and decision making are as open and transparent as possible, and we encourage non-hierarchical approaches within our team. We all tend to muck in on all sorts of tasks, regardless of job title. We’re looking for someone who can both support this culture and move it forward, challenging and supporting the rest of the team and making working together fun.


  • You can be located anywhere in the United Kingdom. Our office is located in Hackney, London and the team gathers there every other Monday. Everyone works from the office for at least one other day every fortnight. 

  • All directors work in the office for at least one day per week, and are in London for at least one other day to participate in meetings or events. 

  • Your job will definitely involve evening networking events, most of which will be in London. Along with our CEO, we’d probably expect you to participate in at least one evening event each fortnight. 

  • You will be paid £55K (pro rata). We offer an employer contribution pension (following a three-month probation period) and 33 days holiday per year (including bank holidays).

  • The role can be anything between four and five days per week. Our CEO will be working 4 days per week so he can teach, and our Director of Research and Operations works a 9-day fortnight.

  • We would welcome job share applicants, but you will need to apply as a pair, with a single motivation letter and two CVs.


Role description

Provide organisational leadership

  • Direct our approach to income generation and long term business growth: creating new ideas and relationships; bringing in clients (including Trusts, Foundations, school groups and the corporate sector); securing grants and contracts, and supporting all team members to contribute fully to our income generation efforts

  • Direct our approach to influence and impact, informed by our existing theory of change, and work with our Heads of Policy and Engagement to create a new strategic approach

  • Support the Chief Executive, deputising when necessary, sharing leadership of team meetings and SLT meetings

  • Represent the Executive on the Board of Directors (initially in a shadowing role) 


Provide thought leadership

  • Maintain an active public profile and be a figurehead for the organisation

  • Build expertise and relationships across a wide range of education and youth issues

  • Secure coverage including mainstream and alternative press and through our own blog, social media and speaking at events

  • Oversee about a quarter of our projects, and a lead on a small number of them ensuring that they are high quality, on time and within budget


Work as part of the SLT

  • Attend Monday morning and monthly SLT meetings

  • Ensure the Heads of Engagement and Policy report to the Board as required

  • Help define CfEY’s overall vision, strategy, and direction of travel

  • Support the Chief Executive to make strategic and operational decisions


Oversee Engagement

  • Recruit and line manage the Head of Engagement 

  • Provide leadership of our income generation systems, processes and data (including our pipeline of opportunities) and of communicating information on income generation with staff, accountants and board members

  • Support the Head of Engagement to develop and execute our engagement objectives identifying areas for improvement in our approach to income generation and broader engagement, and developing and rolling out solutions


Oversee Policy

  • Line manage the Head of Policy 

  • Provide leadership of our relationships with key national organisations and policymakers working on education and youth, with a particular focus on London-based organisations

  • Support the Head of Policy to develop and execute our policy objectives, identifying areas for improvement in the way we develop, communicate and advocate for specific policies, and turning ideas into action


Take the following approach

  • Rigorous

  • Flexible approach to time

  • Bridging: linking people and organisations and sharing information and ideas

  • professional not pretentious

  • Critical but constructive

  • Understanding client needs and focusing on solutions

  • Continuously reviewing and agreeing who we are and what we are doing

  • Driven by CfEY vision and projecting a consistent image


About you

We get that life is complicated. If you've taken an unusual, less travelled path to get to where you are now then join the club! Almost all of our staff are former teachers or youth workers, but as long as you have had some experience working with young people, and love the idea of continuing to engage with them through our work, that’s good enough. Similarly, you don’t need a detailed understanding of England’s education system, as long as you’re willing to learn quickly about polices, trends and people in the education and youth sectors. 




  • You have a minimum of seven years experience in the education, youth charitable or consultancy sectors, and at least three years in a leadership role. 

  • You have a track record of driving income growth cultivating sustaining new relationships that each generate income of at least five figures.

  • You have proven experience of building and developing relationships with a broad range of people and organisations.

  • You have experience of designing and leading research and development projects with a range of partners.


  • You are creative and resilient, with the ability to think laterally, bounce back from challenges and be solutions-focused.

  • You enjoy leading change and weighing up options and risks, making tough  decisions and spotting opportunities even when resources are scarce. 

  • You have a natural ease with people, you build rapport quickly and have the ability to engage and influence in a collaborative way. 

  • You lead with humility and kindness as well as high expectations. 

Knowledge, Skills and competencies


  • You are a persuasive communicator who can make a compelling case for change and act as a figurehead for the organisation, building strong relationships across the sector, media and government. 

  • You write extremely well. You adapt your style to suit different genres including media, blogs, academic and policy reports.

  • You can think strategically to plan how organisations can meet their goals.

  • You have strong networks that can support our income and influence goals.

  • You are financially confident, including with managing funding databases, and monitor organisational performance carefully, ensuring efficient, punctual and high-quality delivery.


The Process

To support equal opportunities and minimise the risk of bias, we are asking candidates NOT to include their name in their CV and covering letter.


1) CV and letter

  • Please send a maximum two-page CV tailored to this role as well as a maximum one-page letter explaining why you think you are suited to this job and why you'd like to work with us, by the end of the day on Tuesday 21st June. Your letter doesn’t have to cover every single aspect of the JD or the criteria - your CV might do some of this for you. 


2) Interview

  • We will then select final candidates for interview. We will inform you if you have been selected for interview on Friday 24 June.

  • Interviews will take place on Friday 1 July, ideally in person at our office in Hackney, London, but online is also possible.

  • There will also be a group discussion with the team on Monday 4 July some time between 11am and 3pm, again in person if possible. 

If you can’t make either of these dates, please let us know when you apply. This won’t count against you when we shortlist applications.


3) References and DBS check

  • We will inform candidates who have been successful at interview, as soon as possible, before contacting referees.

  • Appointments will be confirmed once we have received satisfactory references and DBS check.

  • We would ideally like you to start in September, but earlier or later is also fine.


Posted on: 23 May 2022
Closed date: 21 June 2022 at 23:59
Tags: Fundraising, Senior Management

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