Head of Student Leadership Development & Engagement

This job has now expired
£44,298 rising to £49,113 after probation

Who are we and what do we do?

The Church of England is the largest single provider of education in England with one million students attending 4,700 Church of England schools. We now seek to build capacity across the Education Office so that “developing leaders, shaping policy, and creating capacity” form an integrated strategy for our national work in education.

The Church of England Education Office’s mission is to advance at a national level the breadth of education work by equipping a new generation of young people to shape society and contribute meaningfully to today’s increasingly complex and globalised world.

Why work for us?

You will be joining a truly wonderful team which works dynamically and collaboratively to develop a movement for education which offers a vision of human flourishing and embraces intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional, moral and social development.

What can you expect in this role?

In this role you will work with internal and external partners to shape policy for the Church of England’s role in education. You will work closely with colleagues (varying in level) to deliver key aspects of our strategic plan.

This work is a vital part of the mission of the Church of England and sits at the heart of the objectives of the Archbishops’ Council.

Who are you likely to be?

You will be an experienced middle/senior leader with strong track record of working with young people in relation to leadership development, education, personal development or social action. Your leadership experience may be in a school context, or you may have developed your impact in another sector such as youth work, chaplaincy, community engagement etc. You will have a passion for developing young people as leaders across primary, secondary and FE sectors. Having already made your mark at a local level, you will now be seeking the next challenge to influence this vital area of our work nationally, as part of the growing Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership.

You will have strong presentation skills and while your experience may be with one particular age group, you are confident to be able to engage young people across all Key Stages. You have a strong understanding of character education and personal development, and see leadership development as fundamental to the wider educational success of children, their schools and colleges. You are passionate about the voice of young people and want to make a significant impact in this area nationally establishing national advocacy and influence groups at primary, secondary and FE.

You are a strong networker with the ability to make connections and build relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders and partners, understanding the Church of England’s unique position/opportunity in bringing major organisations together to work with the students of our 4700 schools. You are creative and entrepreneurial, with the ability to put vision into practice, and you understand the importance of faith-based leadership development, particularly in Church of England schools in relation the SIAMS schedule.

Interviews will be held w/c 2nd March 2020.

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

What will you be doing (Your main duties and responsibilities)?

  1. Developing and leading student leadership conferences across a range of Dioceses for students from Primary and Secondary contexts
  2. Expanding the Foundation’s National Conference Student Leadership stream to engage student leaders across all Dioceses
  3. Improving national engagement with a range of existing youth leadership development programmes and awards, working closely with external partners to connect and inspire Church of England schools and Diocesan engagement and participation
  4. Establishing and embedding 3 core influence/advocacy groups (Primary, Secondary, FE) which place the voice of young people at the heart of strategic decision making at a national level
  5. Working in partnership with the Head of Networks to establish 6 further Rural Schools Networks for schools focused on younger leaders’ development through social action programmes, resulting in positive impact on their community engagement, partnership and courageous advocacy
  6. Contributing to the writing and presentation of a range of leadership development resources for young people based on the Foundation’s ‘Called, Connected, Committed’ approach

The main duties and responsibilities of your post are outlined in your job description. This list is not exhaustive and is intended to reflect your main tasks and areas of work. Changes may occur over time and you will be expected to agree any reasonable changes to your job description that are commensurate with your banding and in line with the general nature of your post. You will be consulted about any changes to your job description before these are implemented.

The Requirements



  • Strong networking skills with the ability to establish trust and credibility quickly to build partnerships
  • Outstanding ‘up front’ presentation and communication skills – both with adults and young people
  • Empathy and understanding of young people’s development, character formation and the ability to build strong relationships to underpin the work
  • Strong time management, and the ability to work under pressure and be proactive in planning and executing tasks
  • Self-starter comfortable with working without close supervision and using their initiative
  • Ability to deal with a wide range of external contacts / stakeholders (internal and external) in a professional manner which presents a professional and confident image
  • Organisation and implementation of strategic planning
  • Sensitivity and good judgement in handling complex or confidential matters in a secure and diplomatic way.
  • Strong Microsoft Office skills (Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint)


  • Experience as a middle/senior leader in a context working directly with young people
  • Knowledge and experience of developing younger leaders, and engaging student voice within your current context
  • Empathy with the mission of the Church of England
  • Degree or equivalent


  • Experience of working with other partners beyond your own setting at a local inter-institutional or regional level (including cross-sector work)
  • Experience of designing and delivering leadership development programmes/content for students at either primary, secondary or FE ages
  • Experience of online communication/social media
  • Implementation of large scale events or conferences

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome all applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.