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Assistant communications officer

Salary: £23,000
Full time, fixed term one year
Office based with WFH flexibility
Apply by 5 Aug 2022

Background

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is a trade body which represents the independent schools sector in the UK. It comprises seven stakeholder associations which represent over 1,390 independent schools educating more than 530,000 children. ISC schools are diverse, ranging from well-known boarding schools to non-selective day schools serving local communities. The great majority of children in UK independent schools are in ISC schools. The ISC is strictly independent of all political parties and acts to support member schools in the interests of all children.

Perceptions about independent schools are too often based on misconceptions or stereotypes, so a key task for the ISC is to convey the true picture and raise greater awareness of the work independent schools do as part of the country’s diverse education system. To support this work, a role has been created in the ISC’s communications team to increase external and internal communications capacity, in particular through social media.

The successful applicant will be joining a small and friendly team of dedicated professionals at what is an interesting and busy time for the independent schools sector, particularly given the impact the pandemic has had on education. Key areas the communications team is responsible for supporting include the work carried out by schools to further develop their relationships with state schools, means-tested bursaries and range of cross-sector partnership projects.

Person description:

  • Excellent verbal and written skills with the ability to work with speed and accuracy and to prioritise their workload to adapt to changing deadlines.
  • Enthusiastic about communicating with, and writing for, different audiences. Confident and proactive, they must be fully familiar working with social media and able to effectively communicate complex information and issues.
  • The role-holder will have the presence, sensitivity and diplomacy necessary to deal directly with senior figures in the sector and journalists.
  • Comfortable working as part of a small team, able to use their initiative and be keen to contribute flexibly to all aspects of ISC’s work.
  • Educated to degree level, some communications experience will be an advantage but not essential; all candidates must demonstrate a keen interest in the education sector, including independent education, and have excellent media, news and political awareness.

Role overview

This role covers all aspects of communications for the ISC office, writing for different channels and audiences – both external and internal.

Break-down of responsibilities

  • Produce the ISC Daily News Summary - a key service with approximately 10,000 subscribers. Compiling the summary involves scanning all UK national daily broadsheet and tabloid newspapers online, as well as key sector publications and a number of influential news websites for education news.
  • Support and track the development of the ISC’s main social media channels – currently Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as YouTube. Take a lead in content creation for these channels, including paid-for targeted campaigns, and share good news stories from ISC member schools. Monitor, report and potentially engage in conversations taking place on social media relevant to independent schools.
  • Work with the communications officer to track and report back on social media reach and engagement through analytic tools.
  • Contribute to the ISC’s regular publications as required – including the bi-annual Bulletin, the Celebrating Partnerships booklet and any ad-hoc publications.
  • Support the other members of the communications team with projects when necessary, including media enquiries, press releases, producing video content and finding case studies and expert commentary – often to tight deadlines.
  • Alongside the communications officer, encourage a steady flow of topical blogs from staff at member schools, constituent associations and ISC spokespeople for publication on the ISC website and potentially in the press.
  • Support the creation of updates/commentaries for publications produced by ISC associations and articles for independent sector and lifestyle magazines.
  • Seek opportunities to proactively promote the ISC and its member schools to all sections of the media.
  • Contribute to the development of an education news calendar to enable the communications team to stay ahead of key moments throughout the academic year.
  • Attend the ISC Communications Working Group.

Additional responsibilities

  • Work with other members of the ISC staff team as required.

How to apply

To apply please write to ceo, including your CV.