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Head of Strategic Projects and Management (Maternity Cover)

Employer
The Schools of King Edward VI Birmingham
Location
Birmingham, West Midlands
Salary
From £45,000 (dependent on skills and experience) + excellent benefits
Closing date
14 Jul 2024

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The Head of Strategic Projects and Management (Maternity Cover) will be pivotal in the Strategic Management Department, which is a supportive and hard-working team playing a critical role in the organisation. This role involves leading strategic and project management efforts, along with reporting for the Foundation and Academy Trust, to ensure a unified approach to strategic and operational changes. The individual will conduct research to identify, propose, and lead specific projects that enhance the organisation’s development and operations. Additionally, they will spearhead the execution of the Academy Trust’s growth strategy as agreed upon.

 

Purpose of the role

The Head of Strategic Projects and Management (Maternity Cover) will play a key role in the Strategic Management Department. The postholder will lead strategic and project management and reporting for the Foundation and Academy Trust, ensuring that there is a coordinated approach to strategic and operational change. The postholder will lead research, identifying, proposing and leading specific projects which will enhance the organisation’s development, operations and reach. The postholder will also lead the delivery of the Academy Trust’s growth strategy in its agreed form.

 

 

 

Responsibilities

 

 

Strategic Development

 

 

 

  • Identify, propose and lead strategic development opportunities for the organisation. Conduct sector research to ensure that the Foundation’s strategy is data and environment-informed. Keep abreast of political developments in relation to MAT growth and development and investigate emerging opportunities in the field. Produce feasibility studies for prospective longer-term growth and development options in line with the overall Foundation Strategy.
  • Develop and maintain an organisational analysis, including undertaking and presenting research on potential joiner schools and strategic partners, such as for joint ventures and new initiatives. Champion the Foundation Office’s adoption of Microsoft Viva Goals and the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework across various leadership groups, leveraging the platform as a tool for collaboration and strategic planning. This includes the delivery of training workshops and either leading or overseeing regular check-ins.    Monitor and track major projects across the Foundation, supporting colleagues where required with project management oversight, visibility of key activity and effective resource allocation. Roll out and then embed the new major projects approval process across Academy Trust schools, ensuring consistent usage of the documentation and a commitment to continuous improvements. Maintain an engagement plan designed to attract and secure new joiner schools and strategic partners. Review and refine joiner school and strategic partner criteria on an ongoing basis in response to internal and external drivers. In collaboration with the External Relations Department, develop marketing and communications collateral linked to both the departmental and growth strategy.

 

 

 

 

Project Management and Reporting

 

 

 

  • Have oversight of and manage the methodology, quality assurance and compliance of major organisational projects, ensuring that these projects are well-planned and well-executed, with appropriate approval, resourcing and evaluation. With the support of others, embed effective reporting processes across the organisation so that the Foundation Executive Committee and governance Groups, Committees and Boards benefit from a comprehensive schedule of reported information.

 

 

 

 

Growth Projects

 

 

 

  • Conduct growth research with a focus on the current educational and political climate, looking to the Department of Education and West Midlands Regional Directorate for changes and updates to relevant policy. In the event of an academy conversion, transfer, or merger, the postholder would also undertake the following duties:   Convene and manage a project group comprised of representatives from the school, the Academy Trust and Birmingham City Council if appropriate. Manage all project documentation (including a comprehensive and regularly updated project plan, a register of risks and issues, an action tracker, project meeting notes, and reports to Trustees). Lead a thorough due diligence process. Support the incoming school to run a consultation process. Liaise with the Academy Trust’s legal advisers, Birmingham City Council, the DfE and other parties to bring about the completion of necessary land transfers, funding agreements, commercial transfer agreements and any required supplementary agreements. Manage the school’s integration into the Academy Trust’s operating model, ensuring that operational leads from relevant departments are kept informed of the project’s progress and issues and deliver any integration requirements. Act as a point of contact and support for operational leads, presenting issues and information arising from the due diligence process advising where actions are required. Develop and manage conversion budgets in collaboration with the Finance Department. Report to the appropriate board on project progress and risk mitigation.

 

 

2026 Foundation Strategy

 

 

 

  • Prepare for the next iteration of the Foundation Strategy, supporting the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Strategic Management to research, write, communicate, refine, and then implement the strategy.

 

 

Leadership and Management

 

 

 

  • Deputise for the Director of Strategic Management. Be accountable for the achievement of relevant objectives and associated key performance indicators set from the Foundation Strategy. As appropriate, represent the Foundation’s and Academy Trust’s interests in relevant internal and external fora. Play a full part in the life of the Foundation’s and Academy Trust’s communities and support its ethos. Be responsible for ensuring that relevant Foundation and Academy Trust policies are effectively implemented. Produce papers and report to appropriate Boards, Committees and Advisory Groups. Any other tasks which may be agreed from time to time with the post holder.

 

 

The post holder will be required to attend meetings (including evenings) and to travel off-site. 

 

 

This job description reflects the current requirements of the post. As duties and responsibilities change and develop due to changes in organisational and other circumstances, so the actual duties and responsibilities will vary from the particulars of this job description. Job descriptions will be updated or amended from time to time to reflect such changes.

 

 

General responsibilities and duties

  • To support the wider department which is comprised of Governance and Risk and Compliance in addition to Strategic Projects and Management, providing ongoing advice and guidance to schools within the Foundation and growing the reputation of the department.
  • To develop a clear understanding of the Foundation’s vision, mission, and strategic aims and to actively support these.
  • To remain up to date with the Foundation’s policies, procedures and code of conduct and always uphold these.
  • To identify and undertake relevant training to enable continuing professional development, where resources allow.
  • To prepare for and proactively engage in the performance review cycle with your line manager.
  • To attend appropriate internal and external meetings, as directed by your line manager.
  • To undertake such other duties as are agreed as being in keeping with the general nature of the job and its grade.

 

 

 

 

 

Person Specification

Essential

Desirable

Knowledge and experience

Demonstrable experience of working in a project management environment within a complex organisational setting Knowledge of and experience in successfully applying recognised project management methodologies Experience of producing comprehensive research papers Experience of driving change and an ability to work on short and long term projects simultaneously to deliver against organisational objectives  Experience of working in an education environment Proven experience of delivering an academy conversion or transfer project to the desired outcome, on time and to budget Proven experience in the interpretation and application of legal advice Understanding of the educational landscape within Birmingham

Qualifications

Qualified to degree level with significant post qualification experience and in-depth professional knowledge acquired through experience Evidence of continuing relevant professional and personal development

 

 

Competencies

Leader

 

High expectations for all Collaborative spirit Vision Integrity Openness to learn  

 

Leading

 

Shaping the future Unlocking potential Ensuring impact Creating collective efficacy Contributing to Birmingham and beyond  

 

General

 

  • Highly developed written and verbal communication skills with substantial experience of writing succinct papers and documents and presenting information to senior stakeholders   Strong attention to detail and ability to analyse complex data Numeracy and analytical skills sufficient to be able to manage budgets effectively Excellent relationship building skills, with the ability to harness collective strengths and work cross functionally to deliver success An excellent communicator, influential, credible, calm under pressure and able to deal effectively with a diverse range of issues Authoritative but diplomatic, willing to challenge constructively with strong influencing, persuading and negotiating skills Ability to work effectively with senior stakeholders and suppliers displaying confidence and gaining trust Politically astute and sensitive to the priorities and dynamics of a large educational organisation Self-motivated and able to use initiative to plan work effectively and prioritise tasks, staff and resources and work methodically under pressure A pragmatist with a positive and can-do attitude, willing to be hands on and understand the details where necessary Highly competent in using Microsoft Office applications Holding and articulating e a clear set of values and strong moral purpose that aligns with the Foundation’s mission An outstanding ambassador for the Foundation, displaying the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership Committed to safeguarding student safety Committed to equality, diversity and inclusion A customer focus, understanding a range of needs and delivering on those needs within the wider organisational priorities Ability to deliver at pace

 

 

 

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