Head of Professional Learning

Posted 5 months agoExpires in 6 days
£54,469 - £58,569 per year

Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.

The Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership was set up in 2017 with the mission to ‘develop inspirational leaders who are called, connected, committed to deliver the Church of England vision for education’. Since then, it has operated a wide range of leadership development programmes, networks, research, conference and events, and published a range of key leadership resources to equip school leaders at every level to put their vision into practice.

Part of this provision has been as a very successful national provider of the current NPQ framework, working with over 500 leaders at NPQH level across the country. As the Foundation continues to grow and expand, we are seeking to further build our capacity to design and deliver such programmes, including the new suite of NPQ programmes. NPQ delivery will be in partnership with the Catholic Education Service. Across both organisations, this represents 6791 schools (around 34% of the sector).

We are looking for an outstanding Head of Professional Learningwho will oversee the research-driven approaches curriculum development and coaching, and work with Programme Leads, and a large national team of facilitators and coaches who will lead the programmes in every region.

With a strong track record of the development and delivery of effective professional development in an educational context and educational leadership experience at a senior level, you will create and sustain vibrant and transformational learning experiences on all leadership development programmes, through expert instructional design, resource creation, rich educational leadership thinking and research engagement.

For an informal discussion, please contact andy.wolfe@churchofengland.org

Interviews will be held on the 1st October 2021.

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

The Role

Curriculum Development

  • Oversee a team of Programme Leads and designers to create and implement outstanding evidence-led learning experiences for all NPQ programmes, including all synchronous/asynchronous teaching, coaching, knowledge application and assessment design
  • Mobilise the digital Learning Management System (e.g. Blackboard) in highly creative online learning experiences to complement face to face delivery
  • Oversee training and development of all facilitators and coaches to enable high quality delivery, and strong levels of support for the Foundation’s design principles and signature pedagogies
  • Ensure that all learning empowers and enables participants to successfully complete the summative assessments at the end of every course leading to exemplary success rates
  • Contribute significantly to the creation and authorship of key leadership resources (blogs, films, articles, booklets etc.)

Research Engagement

  • Lead the Foundation’s research engagement work, with particular reference to the Expert Research Challenge Group, ensuring that all programmes are fully underpinned by the strongest evidence
  • Develop and sustain strong working relationships with leading education leadership research organisations (such as EEF, Sutton Trust, Chartered College of Teaching, Ofsted)
  • Support the wider development of the Foundation’s research strategy (including annual research conference and blog/journal publication co-led with Professor Bill Lucas)

Coaching Culture

  • Oversee the development of expert coaching for every leader on every programme, working with a wider team of coaching experts to train, implement and quality assure a national cadre of 150 outstanding leadership coaches
  • Develop and implement the Additional Support Offer for Headteachers in partnership with Dioceses, to support the wellbeing and development of leaders early in their role

Wider Educational Impact

  • Extend the impact of the NPQ programmes across other Education Office work (including, but not limited to, Growing Faith programmes/networks and RE curriculum development)
  • Support wider Church of England approaches to leadership development (for example clergy leadership development and the development of younger leaders)

The Requirements



  • Strong track record of the development and delivery of effective professional development in an educational context
  • Creation and delivery of vibrant, engaging, transformational learning experiences for adults and children
  • Outstanding presentation and communication skills in a variety of media – verbal, written, electronic, video/audio etc.
  • Effective curriculum development experience including instructional design
  • Credible leadership skills to lead a dispersed central team of programme leads and designers plus a larger group of facilitators and coaches


  • Educational leadership experience at a senior level
  • Deep understanding of research evidence underpinning effective leadership development, with specific reference to the NPQ frameworks, research base and equivalent ECF documentation
  • Experience working with strategic educational stakeholders, both within and beyond the Church of England system
  • Effective quality assurance experience, establishing and responding to clear evaluation methodology to embed a culture of continuous improvement

Personal Attributes:

  • Reflective, incisive and evaluative evidence-led thinker and designer
  • Visionary leader able to draw others around a shared vision
  • Creative and innovative resource creator and presenter
  • Patience and resilience under pressure
  • Strong sense of collegiality and team


  • Degree level Qualifications (or equivalent)



  • Postgraduate qualifications in Education, Leadership or related field


  • Track record delivery of effective professional development in an educational context outside your immediate institution
  • Expertise in online/blended delivery of programmes/networks


  • Theological reflection and strong track record of presentation, facilitation and resource creation
  • Lived experience of the Church of England Vision for Education at a local or regional level, with strong track record of putting vision into practice

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.

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As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.

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

We are committed to being an equal opportunities employer and to ensuring that everyone, job applicants, customers and other people with whom we deal, are treated fairly and not subject to discrimination. We will do whatever is necessary to provide genuine equality of opportunity. We continuously review our policies and processes to support our aim to create a workforce as diverse as the nation the Church of England serves..