Head of Defence Children Services
Ministry of Defence
Head of Defence Children Services
Location: Upavon, Wiltshire
Salary: £71,000 per annum
About the job
To provide leadership to the newly formed Defence Children Services organisation which is responsible for providing education and childcare to c3000 children aged between 0 and 18 of Defence personnel the UK and overseas. In addition, Defence Children Services will provide direct support to families and children in the UK and overseas across a range of areas including educational psychology, speech and language therapy, social work and advice on all matters to do with children’s education.
The main objectives for the organisation and the post are:
Provision of a safeguarded, high quality education offer to the children of Service personnel, and the wider Whole Force, in the UK and nine overseas countries through the running of 15 primary and secondary schools.
Provision of safeguarded childcare to the children of Service personnel, and the wider Whole Force, in four overseas countries through the running of seven nurseries.
Provision of specialist support to the families and children of Service personnel, and the wider Whole Force in the UK and overseas.
As this is a new organisation, born from the dissolution of Directorate Children and Young People which had been in existence for ten years, the post holder will need to establish a new vision and mission for Defence Children Services that builds on the success of the past but looks forward together with all the usual challenges of bedding in a new organisation.
The day to day delivery of education and childcare will remain complicated by COVID for the foreseeable future as Defence Children Services will have to comply with both UK policy and host nation policies. Other immediate challenges will include working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to resolve significant infrastructure issues in Naples, with Strategic Command to determine future education provision in Cyprus, securing approval for a new teaching block for Queen Victoria School in Scotland, managing the impact of Brexit on the overseas teaching community who, unlike most MOD Civil Servants overseas, are recruited specifically for service overseas
The key responsibilities are:
- Developing and communicating the vision, mission, objectives and strategy for Defence Children Services.
- Oversight of a complex portfolio of education, childcare and specialist support worldwide
- Leading and managing a large, multi-disciplinary delivery team based across the globe.
- Establishing a new customer and stakeholder structure with overseas commands, single Services, Strategic Command, family federations and Head Office.
- Driving continued improvement in the provision of education and childcare to Service children, and those of the wider Whole Force, and support to families.
- Budget holder for the operating costs of the schools, settings and other activities of c£40M per annum.
- Senior Information Risk Owner and Personal Information Responsible Owner for all data, including extensive personal sensitive data, stored on the MOD Schools IT system.
The successful applicant must be able to demonstrate the following skills:
- Excellent interpersonal, communication and diplomatic skills, with the ability to earn trust, influence and advise senior stakeholders.
- Strong background in strategic planning, development of clear and deliverable vision and the ability to translate strategic priorities into clear outcome-focused objectives and drive forward implementation.
- Proven ability to lead in a challenging, dynamic and fast-moving environment, and seizing opportunities to innovate and challenge existing ways of working.
- Demonstrable understanding of complex portfolio delivery.
- Strong business skills particularly budget management.
- Experience of building and leading high performing teams across boundaries
Closing date: 7th February 2021.