• Head of Policy, Education and Skills

    Job Locations UK-London
    Posted Date 1 week ago(10/01/2019 16:12)
    Job ID
    Science policy
    Closing Date
    Position Type
    Permanent Full-Time
    Salary Max
    GBP £76,882.00/Yearly
    Salary Min
    GBP £61,506.00/Yearly
    Pay Band
  • Job Scope

    The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. It is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering and medicine.


    This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who has the drive and expertise to help take the Society’s education policy impact to the next level and who would enjoy the chance to work with many of the world’s leading scientists and educators. You will be an experienced leader in science, maths or computing education policy and direct the Society’s education policy portfolio that encompasses science, mathematics and computing education. You will enjoy exceptional visibility and variety and must have the experience and credibility to represent the Society externally and to network with influencers and decision makers at senior levels.


    You will make a visible and sustained contribution to the Society’s broader policy goals. The Society’s primary objective in education is to secure a broad and balanced curriculum for all young people. This curriculum should supply the knowledge, skills and experiences young people will need to thrive in a changing world of work. The Head of Policy, Education and Skills will also play an important leadership role across the Society, ensuring that education-related programmes align with its policy objectives.

    You will be a highly capable manager, able to juggle and prioritise a demanding mix of projects and tasks. You will have a detailed understanding and direct experience of policy processes in the UK, and ensure that the Society’s work is informed by robust evidence. You will have project and line management responsibility for a number of policy and project staff, and will play an active role in many aspects of the science policy directorate.


    The role reports to the Chief Science Policy Officer and is based in Central London. The post is also available for candidates interested in inward secondment. Salary will be commensurate with experience – please state current and expected salary in your cover letter application.


    Please submit CV and application letter to Dr Claire Craig via the Royal Society application portal.


    Reports to: Chief Science Policy Officer

    Line manages: Team of 8

    Location: Carlton House Terrace
    Hours: 35 hours per week

    Salary: £61,506 to £76,882 per annum

    Pay Band: F


    Closing date for applications: Thursday 7 February 2019 


    Interview dates: Week commencing 18 February 2019


    Leading a team of eight, you will be responsible for the strategic oversight of the Society’s education policy work programmes, which currently include:

    • Broad and balanced curriculum - creating the conditions for a broad and balanced curriculum in the UK;
    • Education research – harnessing education research to improve outcomes for young people;
    • Maths and computing education – ensuring that mathematics and computing education provide the quantitative and digital skills young people need to thrive.


    You will also:

    • Revise and implement the Society’s education strategic plan.
    • Devising ways of tackling each area of activity, setting objectives and targets and agreeing them with the Chief Science Policy Officer, Education Committee, Science Policy Expert Advisory Committee and, where appropriate, Officers and Council.
    • Identify synergies between policy objectives and the objectives of other parts of the Society to help deliver the Society’s wider strategy.
    • Advise the Society’s leadership including its Council.
    • Build and maintain a wide variety of external contacts across Westminster, Whitehall, UK and international policy organisations, at his/her own and at a higher level of seniority.
    • Ensure the effective governance and operation of the Society’s education advisory committees and working groups, include Education Committee and the Royal Society’s Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education.
    • Ensure the team delivers individual projects, working closely with colleagues and project teams and, where necessary, delivering project on time, on budget and to the agreed scope.
    • Manage the budget and reporting requirements for the education policy portfolio, and work closely with the Development Team to secure funding for new projects.
    • Line manage staff including the Senior Policy Advisors, supporting their personal development, undertake performance management and encourage wider participation in directorate and organisational activities.
    • With the Chief Science Policy Officer and other Heads of Policy, play an active and visible role in the management of the Society’s policy work and team.

    Key Knowledge and Skills Required

    A degree (or equivalent) - Essential


    A good understanding of national education policy - Essential
    Able to convey complex scientific, technical and policy-related ideas effectively - Essential
    Expertise and experience in one or more areas of science and/or education policy - Essential
    Skilled oral and written communication with a range of audiences - Essential
    Effective interaction with people at all levels of seniority - Essential
    Assessment and reporting of technical information in a clear and concise manner - Essential
    Self-organisation and management of several tasks simultaneously - Essential
    Highly motivated and an ability to elicit similar motivation in others - Essential
    An enthusiastic team player, with experience of collaborative working - Essential


    Influencing policy - Essential
    Managing complex projects - Essential
    Writing, editing and disseminating reports - Essential
    Establishing and maintaining a network of contacts - Essential
    Managing staff - Essential
    Science, computing or mathematics education - Essential
    Working with committees - Desirable


    Able to be flexible about working hours on occasions - Desirable
    Able to undertake national and / or international travel on occasions - Desirable



    • Identifies difficult situations
    • Recognises stress in others and takes steps to reduce it
    • Controls pressurised situations
    • Effectively enthuses those in the team
    • Proactively sets goals and targets for own work
    • Embraces new opportunities, responds to new risks and takes on new responsibilities
    • Encourages others to seize opportunities 
    • Recognises when it is appropriate to resist the objections of others and remain committed to a sound course of action 


    Working with others 

    • Actively seeks ideas and criticisms from within the team
    • Resolves conflicts within and between teams
    • Embeds feedback processes within the team
    • Seeks out new networks that will create opportunity for the Society
    • Able to present complex issues simply
    • Uses discretion, tact and empathy when negotiating with and/or seeking to influence others
    • Understands the need to manage expectations and to only promise what is deliverable
    • Demonstrates compassion in delivering hard messages
    • Leads and facilitates group discussions, surfaces and clarifies issues and keeps conversations focused, productive and constructive
    • Enlists champions to keep key messages alive and make them real
    • Acts as a role model, continuously demonstrating communication excellence and regard for the value of building shared vision and direction
    • Remains calm in front of challenging audiences, never diminishing others
    • Looks for opportunities to assemble a diverse group to discuss respective views
    • Keeps people at the table by articulating an outcome or goal that engages and encourages active participation
    • Shares resources across organisational boundaries to meet Society needs
    • Uses negotiation skills and adaptability to encourage recognition of joint concerns, collaboration, and to influence the success of outcomes


    Resource management 

    • Determines strategy and deployment of resources, balancing cost and benefit; risk and potential for maximum impact across significant business areas 
    • Manages complex cross-cutting projects to time, budget and specification
    • Ensures others accept responsibility towards results or quality
    • Sets the quality standards for own business areas in accordance with strategy and contributes to the formulation of quality standards across the Society
    • Sets and monitors priorities
    • Identifies and manages risk effectively
    • Analyses potential for surplus or loss, risks and/or return-on-investment of various courses of action
    • Demonstrates a solid understanding of the culture and recognises limitations in order to ensure that plans, actions and timelines will be effective.
    • Directs the creation of forums and discussion opportunities to generate innovative and breakthrough ideas, exposing others to experts and ideas to stimulate new thinking
    • Translates vision/knowledge to others to enable shared understanding and rapid execution
    • Facilitates the team to assess the viability of ideas based on a number of likely scenarios
    • Has patience and allows time for appropriate planning and engagement to take place in projects and day-to-day deliverables


    Critical thinking

    • Uses questioning, analytical and probing skills to ‘dig deeper’
    • Knows when enough information has been obtained and adapts presentation of information to the needs of the audience
    • Evaluates the benefits, practicalities and value for money of ideas and obtains feedback
    • Makes sound decisions in a complex or ambiguous environment and is able to gain support and manage challenges confidently
    • Directs the creation of forums and discussion opportunities to generate innovative and breakthrough ideas,  stimulates new thinking
    • Sees issues and mitigates as necessary the implications of a proposal. 
    • Justifies key results and procedures, explains assumptions and reasons.
    • Correctly evaluates the credibility of sources and correctly judges the strength of an argument 
    • Fair-mindedly follows where evidence and reasons lead



    • Actively seeks the input and opinions of others, often outside his/her section and accommodates and incorporates this thinking into any output.
    • Actively seeks new challenges and projects; leads discussions surrounding new ideas, approaches and projects
    • Anticipates need for innovation and seeks new ideas, approaches and solutions
    • Demonstrates courage by deciding and acting in the face of uncertainty
    • Works in a balanced fashion, managing tough calls by being adaptable and flexible to ensure needs of competing stakeholders are fairly and equitably met
    • Acts with foresight to anticipate and analyse many different scenarios
    • Acknowledges ambiguity and works with team to identify understand and manage polarities and other complex situations

    Managing people and relationships 

    • Sets expectations of others and ensures they deliver
    • Demonstrates a positive attitude towards work, celebrating success and instilling confidence, which encourages the same from others
    • Encourages others to share ideas and participate in the discussion and decisions of the team
    • Assesses needs of clients/stakeholders/staff and makes plans to meet these needs
    • Avoids micromanagement by delegating fully and giving latitude to others to do tasks in own way, including opportunity to make and learn from mistakes
    • Acts as a talent builder by challenging people with questions and assignments that will grow their capabilities
    • Coaches and mentors’ others, providing career guidance and perspective
    • Demonstrates compassion in delivering hard messages
    • Establishes personal relationships with customers, building an understanding of broader needs, issues, and aspirations beyond those solely applicable to the Society products or services
    • Uses knowledge to develop appropriate longer-term relationship management strategies
    • Assesses the long-term value of various types of external customers and manages each type appropriately
    • Ensures ‘one-customer’ mindset and offers customer exposure to the full breadth of products and services, as appropriate


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