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Head Of Public Affairs (part time)


The Independent Schools Council is seeking a part-time (0.6 FTE or above) Head of Public Affairs to join their small team in Central London.


The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is the umbrella body representing 1,300 independent schools educating more than 500,000 children. ISC schools include the famous name boarding schools, though the majority of ISC schools are day schools which are not widely known beyond their local communities. The great majority of children in UK independent schools are in ISC schools: ISC therefore speaks for the sector as a whole. ISC is strictly independent of all political parties and acts in the interests of all children.

The successful candidate will improve engagement with political decision-makers and influencers and will positively influence the public image of the independent education sector, engaging in the wider world and promoting clearer understanding of the benefits of our sector in the UK.

2018 heralds several new reports from legal, tax and economic experts which, along with ISC’s own research, will inform messaging and provide up to date information. The new role-holder will incorporate the relevant findings in an integrated work plan, developing ISC strategy.

Personal attributes include:

  • Compelling and credible communicator, able to promote independent education and represent ISC
  • Experienced, astute and well-connected networker with a keen understanding of the sensitivities of political engagement
  • Ability to build and develop a portfolio of external contacts and advocates, developing relationships according to given priorities
  • Experience of working successfully to strategic priorities and operational needs
  • Willing to champion the independent education sector and understand relevant political policy issues as well as public attitudes and perceptions of the sector
  • Able to analyse, manage, develop and drive forward campaigns, quantifying and reporting success
  • Experience of managing campaigns, including quantifying and reporting success
  • Knowledge of education would be a considerable advantage.

Responsibilities include:

  • Working with the ISC Political Strategy Working Group to map and prioritise stakeholders and establish messaging and approach for key audiences
  • Developing and implementing an approved political and public affairs strategy for ISC including timescales and KPIs
  • Building and servicing relationships with government bodies, civil servants, MPs and peers , teaching unions and other stakeholders
  • Advising and supporting heads in engaging with MPs at a local level and facilitating visits and events including other influencers
  • Advising the ISC Board, Chairman, General Secretary and appropriate committees/groups on effective approaches and feeding into the overall ISC strategic plan
  • Working closely with the ISC media and communications team to ensure messaging is aligned, supporting the public affairs strategy and campaigns within it
  • Working with the ISC research team and others to identify relevant supporting information and to ensure that data is collected and updated
  • Developing KPIs and tracking the success of campaigning, reporting to the ISC Board through the General Secretary and the ISC Political Strategy Group

Competitive, commensurate with experience.

Contract type:
Initial fixed term one year with a view to permanent extension subject to political conditions relating to the sector.

Please apply by the end of January with a CV and covering letter including current salary. A more detailed job description is available upon request. Interviews will be held in central London on Wednesday 14 February, Thursday 15 February and Friday 16 February.

Further Information