Adviser, Advisory Team and Adviser, Delivery Team
New Schools Network is a charity that aims to improve the quality of education in England by helping to get more good schools set up. NSN has worked with over 70 per cent of the free schools that have opened or been approved to open so far. We want to help any group with a clear vision, a coherent education plan, a strong team and support from local parents, provided they can convince us that the school they want to set up is likely to be well above average. In particular, we want to help people to set up good schools in parts of the county where the quality of the local provision is not good enough. By offering advice, guidance and support, the charity has been instrumental in helping hundreds of groups of parents, teachers, charities and schools to establish new schools. We are currently recruiting for two advisers; one to join the Advisory Team and one to join the Delivery Team. Adviser, Advisory Team NSN's Advisory Team offers support and guidance to free school applicant groups. This includes researching which groups are best placed to set up specific types of schools, generating leads, engaging with applicants at the earliest stage of their thinking and throughout their journey until they submit their free school application to the Department for Education (DfE). You will act as a critical friend to groups of people who want to set up new free schools, responsible for delivering guidance and feedback on the quality and viability of their proposals, as well as co-ordinating access to the other services we provide. Adviser, Delivery Team NSN's Delivery Team offers support to the 340+ open free schools in England, as well as the 340+ projects that are approved to open and in the pipeline. With more schools than ever before in the pre-opening phase, we are rapidly expanding the scope of work carried out by our Delivery Team, as well as launching paid-for support services. You will have a chance to lead a wide range of new projects, some of which will be of a commercial nature, and help to develop the support that NSN offers open free schools and those in the pipeline. You will be responsible for advising approved projects on how to navigate the challenges of pre-opening as well as helping open free schools meet the challenges of the first few years. Role overview As an adviser in either the advisory team or delivery team, you will be joining a small team of other advisers who have come from a range of backgrounds, including recent graduates, former teachers, and those with a background in the third sector. These will be demanding and challenging roles. You will be directly responsible for your own set of free school applicant groups or schools in pre-opening but will also contribute to the development of the overarching package of support we provide. As part of a growing, dedicated staff, you will have the opportunity to gain experience of a range of disciplines and be involved in one of the most exciting and fast moving areas of public policy. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is interested in improving the quality of state education, particularly in disadvantaged areas, and who would enjoy interacting with the leaders of some of the country's most interesting new schools and the larger organisations and networks they are part of. Key responsibilities - Identifying free school applicant leads in priority areas - Liaising directly with free school groups to answer specific questions about the free school application or pre-opening process - Proactively working with groups to develop their free school applications and deliver those plans in pre-opening - Providing high-quality written feedback and advice to free school applicants or pre-opening groups - Research, edit and contribute to written guidance and resources for free schools - Supporting the organisation and delivering training and networking events for free school leaders - Work closely with officials in the DfE and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), as well as free school proposer groups - Developing NSN's strategy - Be accountable and responsible for completion of the NSN projects on time and on budget Strong candidates will be able to demonstrate the following key skills and attributes - A strong academic record and commitment to high standards - Experience of stakeholder management - Experience of managing and developing projects - Experience of working in a customer/client focussed environment - Ability to think creatively and proactively in difficult situations showing initiative - Able to review information and use it to inform strategy and practice - A passion for improving education - Support for, and understanding of, the free school policy Expertise or experience in any of the following will be an advantage: - Understanding the challenges facing school leaders - Experience of working in a school, or with school leaders, or the education sector - Experience of project management - Experience of event management How to apply To apply for this role, click apply now and attach your CV and a covering letter, explaining why you are the right person for this job. If you have a preference for which team you would like to join, please state this in your covering letter. Please note, the final decision about which candidate's skills and experience is best suited to which team will be at the discretion of the interview panel. Please also include details of your current salary and notice period. Please note: We are keen to appoint as soon as possible so will be interviewing and may appoint for this position before the deadline. Candidates are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible.