Centre Leader London

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Job Description

As the UK’s leading university access organisation, our staff team is helping thousands of young people each year to achieve their potential. From Autumn 2021 we will have thirty-seven centres and extension projects across England and Scotland, with ambitious plans to scale-up our provision further over the coming years.

We are looking for high-calibre candidates to take up permanent roles as Centre Leaders in existing centres in London. You will have responsibility for running your IntoUniversity centre, including managing your team, planning and delivering the programme, liaising with external stakeholders and meeting IntoUniversity’s targets for delivery.

However, a substantial element of this role is delivering our education programme to children and young people aged 7-18, so you will need to have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for working with young people, including leading a class of 30 from the front, working with small teams of children and providing one-to-one support.

As a charity with social mobility as its core objective, IntoUniversity is wholly committed to equality of opportunity. We work with children and young people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and we believe that our staff team should be similarly diverse and representative. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be, and we recognise that we have much more to do in this regard. We are committed to building a culture where students, staff and volunteers are valued for the unique people they are. We, therefore, encourage applications from candidates
from as wide a range as possible of ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds. In particular, we actively and warmly welcome applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates, male candidates and candidates with a disability as they are currently under-represented within IntoUniversity.

If you believe that all young people deserve the chance to develop their talents regardless of their background and want to play a part in helping them succeed, then we would be delighted to hear from you.

Staff benefits

  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Staff in FOCUS – rewards, competitions and prizes across the year
  • Interest-free new starter loans of up to £1,000
  • Summer working hours
  • Cycle to Work Scheme and Travelcard Loan Scheme

You will be asked to:

  1. Upload your covering letter: Please tell us why the position appeals to you, and how your skills and experience demonstrate your suitability for the role. (Not more than 600 words.)
  2. . Upload your current CV, which should include full education and employment history (including dates, with no gaps left unexplained).
  3. Answer some short questions reflecting upon how you have demonstrated the IntoUniversity values of Talent, Quality, Compassion, Aspiration and Teamwork.
  4. Provide details of two referees (to be contacted upon successful appointment to the role). One of your referees should be your current or most recent employer.
  5. For external candidates only: an observation assessing your delivery with children or young people. The observation assessing your delivery with children or young people that you submit with your application should be from your current or previous employment. If you are a teacher, you may submit a formal observation from a school. If you have non-teaching experience, this observation should take the form of one of your listed referee’s formal consideration of the effectiveness of your delivery with children or young people. We will email all candidates after the application deadline on 30th June with details of a very short video presentation for you to complete, to help us with our shortlisting process. The deadline for submitting your video presentation will be 9.30am on Friday 2nd July. When we write to you, we will provide full guidance on how to complete this task, and we will ask whether you have any specific requirements or need adjustments in order to access the task or to perform to the best of your ability.
    If shortlisted for interview you will be invited to attend our selection day on Wednesday 7 the July 2021.

Please note that in line with our Safer Recruitment practices, successful candidates will be subject to an enhanced DBS check if selected for this role. The charity’s policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders can be found here, and you can find full details of DBS’s code of practice here.

How will COVID-19 affect my application?
We are delighted that our centres have reopened in line with government guidelines. Nevertheless, we recognise that circumstances may change and bring additional challenges for how we recruit and train new staff. The structure and timeline of the selection process, start date and training programme set out in this job pack are therefore subject to change. We’ll keep you updated during the selection process.

What training will I receive?
You will begin your employment with a seven-week training programme. We expect training to be a blend of face-to-face training and remote learning, dependent on COVID-19 restrictions. You’ll be training alongside other members of your cohort, so you’ll get to know them really well whilst you learn everything you need to prepare you for leading an IntoUniversity centre. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we can’t currently confirm the full details of the training, but we’ll make sure that you’re provided with accommodation and support for travel costs if you’re not based in the city the training is held.

You will also take part in our Leadership Exploration and Development Programme (LEaD), where you will receive further training on how to set and achieve meaningful goals for personal and professional growth, as well as further examining our values and your role in the wider organisation and having the opportunity to consider and develop your leadership profile.

Accessibility and adjustments
We are committed to providing reasonable adjustments throughout our recruitment process and we’ll always endeavour to be as accommodating as possible.

If you require a different format of the application form, such as large print or Word format, or if you would like to discuss any specific requirements, please get in touch with us at jobs@intouniversity.org or call 02072430242 and ask to speak to a member of the HR Team.

For further information on accessibility and adjustments during our recruitment process, and our commitments as a Disability Confident Committed Employer, please visit the Accessibility FAQs page on our website at https://intouniversity.org/content/accessibilityLondon

What will my main duties be?

  • To ensure that the ethos and values of the charity are maintained in the IntoUniversity centre.
  • To create and oversee relationships with local education providers.
  •  To oversee the successful delivery of our educational programme at one of our centres using positive behaviour management and adhering to the IntoUniversity safeguarding policy


  • Managing the centre delivery timetable, taking responsibility for leading and delivering (with help from the IntoUniversity Education Workers) the after-school Academic Support programme, including: leading and managing staff and tutors; recruiting and leading volunteers; liaising with university partners; publicity; taking responsibility for organising the classroom; maintaining the good behaviour of users; implementing IntoUniversity’s positive behaviour management policy; developing new resources.
  •  Assisting fully with the organisation and high-quality delivery of the Primary and Secondary FOCUS programme, supporting the IntoUniversity Education Workers with responsibility for these strands.
  •  Assisting fully with the organisation and high-quality delivery of the Mentoring Programme, supporting the IntoUniversity Education Worker with responsibility for this strand.
  • Taking responsibility, working with the support of your line manager, to ensure that the high quality of the educational programme is maintained, centre targets are reached and that the pastoral needs of the children and young people are met.
  • Taking the lead in working with your line manager and the IntoUniversity Education Workers to recruit children and young people to all strands of the programme.
  • Liaising with your line manager to plan project delivery over the academic year and to take the lead in working with the IntoUniversity Education Workers to liaise with existing schools and other partner bodies, including corporates, universities and other voluntary sector bodies.
  • To lead the staff team at the centre, generating a positive working environment and ethos and ensuring that the team are well motivated, are managing their workloads effectively, and are providing a high quality service.
  •  To work with the support of your line manager to oversee the administration and day-to-day running of the education centre, including, for example: organising small maintenance jobs, ensuring the site is left tidy, overseeing the cleaner, being the ‘face’ of IntoUniversity to parents and other visitors and ensuring Salesforce database records and monitoring requirements are kept up to date.
  • To provide input into the staff probationary and appraisal processes with your Regional Operations Manager.
  • To ensure that IntoUniversity policies and procedures are met and regularly reviewed at the centre.
  •  To take responsibility for petty cash.London
  •  To take responsibility for an additional area of the charity’s work – to be agreed on appointment.
  •  To play a full part in delivering the training of the Youth Development Interns.
  • To ensure compliance with all necessary regulations and legal requirements, including the Children’s Act, Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, and legislation and policies related to Equal Opportunities, Data Protection and Health & Safety.
  •  To undertake any task that may be requested from time to time that may be consistent with the nature and scope of this post.

Eligibility for the role

In order to be eligible for the Centre Leader role, applicants will:

  • Have completed an undergraduate degree to a 2.1 or higher (we will consider candidates who have achieved a 2.2 if they have successfully completed a PGCE or PGDE, or candidates who have achieved a 2:2 and who have exceptional mitigating circumstances).
  •  Have EITHER a minimum of 18 months full-time paid experience working in a delivery role at IntoUniversity; OR a minimum of 2 years full-time paid or voluntary experience working with children and young people, either at IntoUniversity, or external organisations, or a combination of both. Please note that we will not take part-time, seasonal or ad-hoc work into account when calculating the length of full-time experience.
  • Have achieved a grade C or higher in GCSE Maths and English/ National 5s or Standard Grade at Credit level (grades 1-2) (or equivalent).
  •  Have the right to work in the UK (please note that as a charity we do not have the capacity to sponsor work
  •  Be able to apply knowledge of F.E. and H.E. (e.g. UCAS applications) to help young people decide about their futures; and have knowledge of national developments in H.E. and their impact on young people traditionally underrepresented in H.E.
  •  Have experience of confidently negotiating with a variety of stakeholders, for example, headteachers, funders, universities.
  •  Ideally have previous experience in managing teams.
  • Ideally have previous experience in managing multiple projects. London

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people who can demonstrate our values: Talent, Quality, Compassion, Aspiration and Teamwork.

Talent: At IntoUniversity, we value and recognise the talent of every person.
Are you someone who enjoys motivating others by reinforcing their self-belief? We need staff who will believe in our young people and support them to succeed. You will be ambitious to enhance your own professional development and to support the professional development of your team members. You will also have effective leadership qualities and the potential to develop as a leader.

Quality: At IntoUniversity, we complete everything to the highest possible standard
Are you someone who is hard working and has the commitment to see things through? We need people who take pride in their work and complete tasks to the best of their abilities. You will have a growth mind-set, embracing challenges and reflecting on how to develop and improve. You will also have highly effective organisation and time-management skills, and be able to meet tight deadlines and carry out professional and effective monitoring and evaluation.

Compassion: At IntoUniversity, we practise pastoral, long-term care
Are you someone who is kind and supportive of others? We need leaders who can motivate and interact positively with children and young people as well as with colleagues and stakeholders. You will be attuned to the pastoral needs of our students alongside supporting their learning, and you will be able to model effective positive behaviour management in classroom settings. You will also manage members of staff and volunteers compassionately and constructively.

Aspiration: At IntoUniversity, we behave aspirationally and positively
Are you someone who has a positive outlook? We need team members to be aspirational role models to our young people and to make learning come alive. You will also need excellent communication skills to be able to communicate the ethos and value of the IntoUniversity programme to a range of audiences including schools, university volunteers and other partners.

Teamwork: At IntoUniversity, we promote teamwork and togetherness
Are you someone who enjoys working as part of a team to achieve shared goals? We work to transform the landscape of Higher Education in the UK and we want people with the vision and drive to help us make that a reality. You will be supportive of colleagues, students and stakeholders and committed to building an inclusive culture in which everyone is valued for the unique people they are.