Head of Whitehall and Stakeholder Engagement


3rd March 2019

Role purpose

Establish and maintain excellent relationships with education stakeholders across Whitehall and provide stakeholder management support for the British Council’s leadership team in order to influence and support the development of government policy in international education.

The post holder will have strong education credentials, be able to speak with credibility on public platforms and have significant experience of Whitehall engagement in international education.

About us

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

Geopolitical/SBU/Function overview:

The British Council has recently created a new Education Policy Unit. with responsibility for both advising on International Education Policy and managing key education stakeholders in the UK and internationally.  The Education Policy Unit will develop policy advice and expertise through rigorous data analysis, research and the exchange of information and knowledge to help inform UK and international education stakeholders.

The Education Policy Unit works closely with UK HMG, the devolved administrations and international education policy makers.

Main opportunities/challenges for this role:

  • Establish and maintain excellent relationships with our key education stakeholders and partners across government departments in the UK.
  • Support senior internal colleagues in their engagement with education stakeholders and partners across the UK government departments.
  • Contribute to a strong reputation for the British Council in International Education through presentations at public events and representation at high level meetings and conferences.

Main Accountabilities:

Establish and build excellent relationship with key education stakeholders and partners (HMG & Devolved Administrations and Intermediary Agencies):

  • Create, oversee and monitor a stakeholder engagement plan for the British Council’s education engagement with UK government departments.
  • Gather intelligence on the development of HMG and DA policies (through meetings, networking and monitoring press releases, speeches, reports and statements).
  • Influence the development of UK government policy through building strong and trusted relationships with government policy leads and by sharing with them knowledge and insight from the British Council.
  • Use intelligence to provide strategic advice to education colleagues in the SBU and overseas.
  • Create/maintain systems to share our understanding and knowledge of stakeholders
  • Act as a first point of contact for key UK government stakeholder queries

Key Relationships:

  • Chief Executive, Chair and & Executive Board members with regards to Education Policy
  • Director Education Policy, and associated policy advisers
  • The Global Network including Regional Directors and SBU leads
  • Director Programmes and Professional Services, E&S
  • Policy and External Relations
  • Director UK Region
  • UK and International Govts: FCO, BEIS, DfE, DFID, DIT and Devolved Administrations
  • Sector partners and agencies (eg OfS, HEA, QAA, UKRI etc)
  • Education Institutions and Providers Leaders and Decision Makers

Role Requirements:

  • Qualified to degree level or equivalent experience in Higher Education context
Role Specific Knowledge & Experience
  • Track record in building and developing credible high-profile relationships with multiple government stakeholders in the UK and overseas and communicate strategic purpose to diverse audiences
  • ·An understanding of the education agendas and trends in the UK and education policy in the international context
  • Experience in external representation of organization at professional conferences or seminars as participant, presenter or organizer#
  • Evidence of leadership of large scale programmes/contracts
  • Experience developing high level strategic market approaches
  • Experience lead research programmes

Role Specific Skills:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Relationship building and management
  • Influencing skills
  • Strong presentation and communication skills
  • Commercial acumen
  • Leadership
  • Relationship management (clients & partners)
  • Sector expert (international)
  • Credibility across E&S sector
  • Deep expert on geo-political context

British Council Core Skills:

Plans and leads on accounts and partnerships

Develops and leads on the delivery of account management and development plans across a range of stakeholders/customers/partners to deliver medium term business and/or reputational gains for both parties.

Plans for the longer term

Shapes forward plans for 3-5 years ahead for a major unit or multiple units, taking account of British Council strategy and the need to manage contingencies, risks and impact.

Influences at the highest level

Influences and manages relationships at the highest levels to build mutual understanding, shapes perceptions of the British Council and creates positive change over the medium term.

Develops the culture

Has track record of analysing potential risks, promoting risk awareness, and holding others to account for their practices.

Operates as an advanced user

Works as an advanced practitioner in the use of office software and/or British Council standard and social media platforms and trains or coaches others in their use.

Solves complex problems

Able to apply or devise specialised concepts and methods of analysis – or commission them from others.  Understands the output and uses the results to make clear and / or solve complex business, market or policy problems

Additional E&S Technical Expertise

Please note: These relate to the different areas of technical expertise within E&S – e.g. Sector, M&E, Contract Management, etc. An individual may have a combination of these skills/knowledge (at a foundation level) or a more advanced level of one of them.

Education (level 3 – Expert)

Has advanced level technical skills, knowledge and experience related to education policy, education systems development, global education context and/or evidence, innovation and evaluation. Demonstrates leadership in thematic area and evaluates and manages risks to organisation in relevant thematic area

M&E (level 4- Equivalent to Level 2 in M&E framework)

Good all round understanding of evaluation with relevant practical experience, but still needs to develop depth and breadth

British Council Behaviours:

  • Creating Shared Purpose
  • Connecting with others
  • Working together
  • Being accountable
  • Making it happen
  • Shaping the future

Applications can only be accepted via the online application process at https://jobs.britishcouncil.org