National Director of Safeguarding

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Hybrid working with attendance at Church House, Great Smith Street, London and other locations as required.

The Church of England is committed to the care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Church activities. The National Safeguarding Team (NST) supports the dioceses, parishes, churches and worshipping communities on their journey to become safer places for all, and to promote good safeguarding practice as integral to the mission of the whole Church. The NST also leads the Church of England’s engagement and response to the Government’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, including a published action plan.

Safeguarding in the Church of England has changed and developed considerably in recent years, in recognition of the need to ensure consistently high standards of safeguarding across all church institutions. Further changes and developments are being explored as the Church seeks to achieve this goal and respond to the IICSA recommendations. The Director will need to be open to change and to contributing to this developing work.

The Church of England is an extraordinary community of organisations seeking to make a difference across a diverse society. The Church is committed to the care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Church activities, and safeguarding is at the heart of the life of the Church of England.

The National Safeguarding Team (NST) supports the dioceses, parishes, churches and worshipping communities on their journey to become safer places for all, and to promote good safeguarding practice as integral to the mission of the whole Church, and we are looking for a Director of Safeguarding to lead the team.

This is a role that faces many stakeholders, and needs a leader who can operate through influence and personal authority, with resilience and emotional intelligence. It calls for experience in senior leadership in a large and complex context, and a demonstrable track record in safeguarding, and in leading organisational change.

Whilst there is no requirement for candidates to be practising Christians, sympathy with the work and mission of the Church is important.

Successful candidates will be subject to an enhanced DBS check.

Full information is here, including how to apply and how to speak to our search advisers, Green Park. Please DO NOT apply using the link below.

The closing date for applications is 21st April 2022.

We are taking a flexible approach to work, with many colleagues opting for a hybrid approach to their working week, with a mixture of home and office-based working. Further details will be discussed at interview.

The Church of England is for everyone and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitably experienced people, we would particularly welcome applicants from UK Minority Ethnic Backgrounds.

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

Strategic leadership and management of the National Safeguarding Team. Ensuring that there is medium and long-term strategic direction and vision for safeguarding across the Church of England, taking overall responsibility for working in partnership to deliver national systems, policies and procedures, change management, engagement with survivors and supporting and enabling safeguarding provision across the wider Church of England. Effective management of a team of c20 people plus associates and consultants.

  • Effective leadership of the complex and substantial Safeguarding Programme of the national Church, including management of the safeguarding budget ensuring effective prioritisation and resource allocation and the maintenance of strong quality audit and assurance systems across the National Church Institutions, dioceses and other Church bodies.
  • Acting as the senior source of professional advice on safeguarding matters for the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, the Lead Bishop on Safeguarding, Diocesan Bishops and other national officers and senior clergy.
  • Ensuring that the Church’s external communications and positioning on safeguarding matters is professional and effective, managing external stakeholders on safeguarding matters with the media, government departments, survivor groups, external safeguarding experts and others in conjunction with the Lead Bishop and the Communications Office.
  • Maintain and develop further work with victims, survivors and survivor-interest groups including the Safe Spaces project and the work to develop a Church-wide system of redress, to ensure this receives appropriate priority within the Church’s safeguarding activity.
  • Instil safeguarding culture across all of the NCIs and in partnership with others, support the development of this amongst the wider Church whilst championing a learning culture and, in particular, ensuring that outcomes and lessons from Safeguarding casework are learned and practice improved as a result.
  • Network with senior safeguarding professionals from the full range of environments, ensuring that the Church draws on best practice from a range of contexts and that benchmarking is completed against similar organisations.
  • Make recommendations to establish appropriate improvement powers with regard to safeguarding, to enable the NST, the Archbishops’ Council and/or the House of Bishops to have appropriate influence with regard to Bishops and/or dioceses that can be exercised when required.

The Requirements

  • Significant experience of operating at a senior strategic leadership level within a large and complex organisation, ideally where leadership is delivered via influence as much as positional power.
  • Significant experience of excellence in safeguarding work, delivering high quality services with demonstrable outcomes, with knowledge of legislation, regulation and statutory frameworks and experience of application, and how these might apply in different types of organisation from voluntary to statutory sectors.
  • Accomplished change manager with a proven track record of successfully leading and influencing transformation, driving innovation and delivering substantial improvements to safeguarding strategy, policy and practice.
  • Substantial experience of senior programme management with the ability to lead and inspire a team of professionals to achieve relevant goals.
  • Ability to engage diplomatically and with a natural affinity for cultivating relationships through persuading, convening, facilitating and building consensus among diverse individuals to influence improvements to practice.
  • Strength of character and sophisticated influencing, collaboration and stakeholder management experience to influence policy with an ability to change, build and manage strong and effective relationships in an institution where power is hierarchical yet dispersed.
  • Substantial experience in conflict resolution, dealing with sensitive issues and working in a highly confidential environment.
  • Ability to maintain personal resilience within a challenging environment and role model high standards of behaviour to a team of professionals.
  • Passion and enthusiasm for delivering high quality work.
  • Strong and compelling writing skills, a clear analytical approach with a meticulous attention to detail and good presentation skills and the confidence and sensitivity to explain and sell ideas, while overcoming challenges.
  • Possessing a high level of personal integrity, credibility and a natural authority, a person who engages and commands the confidence and respect of others quickly.
  • Ability to work in sympathy with the mission and ministries of the Church of England, comfortable working in a faith based organisation and able to engage sympathetically with ministers and others, being comfortable in meetings with prayers and understanding of the ethos of Christian faith.
  • DBS check required.

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 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.