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Head of Education Policy

Please Note: The application deadline for this post has now passed.

Post Introduction

Our Belonging and Inclusion Strategy aims for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.

The Church of England Education Office is a public facing operation through which the Church of England engages within the educational landscape. It is a combination of the work of the National Society (NS) and the Archbishops’ Council’s (AC) work in education and through the NS a strategic plan has been developed and agreed for the education office’s work. 

The strategic plan has three elements: “Developing Leaders, Shaping Policy and Growing Faith”. Each of these three areas are held together as a coherent whole since the development of leaders is vital to the successful delivery of policy and Growing Faith. 

The Head of Education Policy will lead a team of policy specialists and work with other experts in the sector to ensure the delivery of the strategic plan in this area.

Our work is both with the 4600 Church of England schools which we serve, and also within the wider education sector.


As Head of Education Policy, you will oversee and be responsible for the successful implementation of the Education Office strategic plan on shaping policy.

The role will require an innovative and creative approach to lead the development of the Church’s statutory education provision, securing its historic position and enabling new opportunities for growth and expansion in close partnership with relevant Government Departments. It includes the development of research, resources and strategies for successful development of policy and proactive engagement at diocesan level. 

This role is also the focus for the Church of England’s policy work with Further and Higher Education, through the Church’s engagement with FE/HE policy and practice and through a particular relationship with the Anglican foundation universities and through the work of Further Education colleges. It will promote the mission of the Church in relation to further and higher education and enable it to contribute effectively to national policy debates about the role and purpose of Further and Higher Education Institutions.

This post is subject to an occupational requirement that the holder be a communicant Anglican under Part 1 of Schedule 9 to the Equality Act 2010 as the post holder will represent the Church of England at senior level.

You will be based from home (from a location in the UK) with some mandatory team days to attend. 

The working hours for this post are 35 hours per week and the working arrangements will be discussed further at interview.

For an informal conversation please contact Nigel Genders on 07867 378582 or via email at

The closing date for applications is Thursday 11 April 2024.
Interviews will take place on Thursday 18 April 2024 at Church House, Westminster.

The Church of England is for everyone  and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitably experienced people, we would particularly welcome applicants from UK Minoritised Ethnicities (UKME)/Global Majority Heritage (GMH) and other under-represented groups.

We offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role

Lead the Church of England Education Office policy team (deputising for the Chief Education Officer in policy meetings as necessary) promoting and resourcing  a vision for education which is deeply Christian, serving the common good, including the role and significance of Church of England schools, colleges and universities. 

  1. Policy Stakeholder Engagement 
  • To contribute to the Church of England’s voice in the education sector, exercising system leadership and influence of other senior education stakeholders – including senior civil servants in the Department for Education, and other key sector bodies, including unions (ASCL, NAHT, NASUWT etc.) and other major organisations (CST, NGA, CCT etc.)
  • To work alongside the Chief Education Officer and Lead Bishop for Education in ministerial meetings and engagement.
  • To lead policy development in partnership with other faith groups, including a particular focus with the Catholic Education Service and Methodist Church.
  • To work with the Provincial Director of Education, Church in Wales, to ensure that shared policy areas and interests are managed in a way that supports the promotion of Church schools in England and Wales
  • To collaborate with the Church of England’s Parliamentary Unit to provide briefing and support of Lords Spiritual to ensure timely proactive engagement with the House of Commons and House of Lords on educational matters.
2. Schools Policy
  • To develop and monitor policy for the Church of England on all aspects of education, including the Church of England Education Office’s interface with government and other system policy leaders
  • To lead the implementation of the policy recommendations outlined in ‘Our Hope for a Flourishing Schools System: Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good’ (2023)
  • To ensure the Christian character of schools is sustained, leading a small team which is especially focused on:
    • Religious Education
    • Relationships, Health and Sex Education (including interaction with Valuing all God’s Children and Living in Love and Faith.)
    • Other areas of the curriculum
    • Collective Worship
    • Inclusion
    • Racial Justice
    • Environment
    • Small/Rural Schools
  • To work closely with Diocese Education Teams and Diocesan Boards of Education to support all aspects of policy development appropriate to local context
  • To oversee the work of the Education Policy specialist, ensuring the legal and regulatory framework, the provision and funding of Church schools, school organization, academy model documents and admissions and governance, ensuring that academy legislation enables Church schools to continue to flourish 
  • Developing a robust approach to data on Church of England schools to underpin policy development
3. Further and Higher Education (FE/HE) Policy
  • To develop, implement and monitor policy for the Church of England in relation to Further and Higher Education, including monitoring parliamentary developments and providing briefing and advice to the Church’s governance bodies and the lead bishop for Further and Higher Education.
  • To offer strategic policy support for the Anglican foundation universities, working in close partnership with the Vice-Chancellors of the Cathedrals Group of Universities, particularly in regard to their Anglican identity and governance.
  • To deepen strategic engagement and partnership between FE Colleges and the Church of England, both at a national level and providing support to dioceses in developing such engagement
  • To support the Head of Partnerships in implementing a range of apprenticeship training opportunities with FE/HE providers for non-teaching staff across our national MAT network 
The Requirements


  • Ability to develop and promote policies and initiatives which will add value and be implemented across a complex institution and sector where authority is widely dispersed
  • A good and persuasive negotiator with highly developed political skills and judgement
  • Ability to prioritise, work swiftly and manage delivery of outcomes
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to reflect theologically, especially on the missiological significance of education in the context of the Church 
  • A professional understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the Church in education
  • Experience of developing and implementing educational policy changes at a senior level
  • Track record of effective leadership impact at a senior level within the education system.
  • Knowledge of current issues in relation to statutory education in the maintained sectors
  • Proven experience of leading and managing a specialised staff team 
  • Track record of delivering projects on time to a high standard
  • Knowledge and understanding of the work of a Diocesan Board of Education
  • Understanding of the Church of England Vision for Education, its underpinning leadership/theological thinking, and the opportunities it offers to engage the whole sector
  • Degree level qualifications in a relevant discipline (e.g. theology, education, leadership/management)
Personal Attributes:
  • Commitment to the Church of England’s role, mission and purpose in education
  • Credibility at a senior level of educational leadership and policy formation
  • Ability to build effective relationships – establishing trust and delivering on expectations
  • Blend of educational thinking and theological reflection
  • Passion for the flourishing of adults and children
  • Patience and resilience under pressure
  • Strong sense of collegiality and team
  • An understanding of and sensitivity to the range of theological views within the Church of England

  • Postgraduate qualifications in education or related discipline
  • Track record of influencing policy development, writing policy/educational documentation 
  • Digital networking experience using social media and other platforms effectively to communicate and build networks
  • Track record in one or more of the key schools policy areas outlined in the role description 
  • Knowledge of and experience in policy development in FE/HE 
  • Theological understanding to enable the engagement with wider church thinking on educational and ethical issues in relation to the interface between school/church
  • Experience of ecumenical working 
  • Experience of inter-faith working

About Us

In the National Church Institutions (NCIs), we support the mission and ministries of the Church of England. We work with parishes, dioceses, schools, chaplaincies and other ministries, and with national and international partners including mission agencies, and other denominations and faith groups.

Find out more about working for the National Church Institutions at Careers | The Church of England

NCI values
  • We strive for excellence 
  • We collaborate 
  • We act with integrity 
  • We show compassion 
  • We respect others
We believe our commitment to belonging and inclusion fuels our progress and drives us forward.  The NCIs are a safe, inclusive workplace for people of all backgrounds and walks of life. We welcome applications from people of all faiths and of no faith. We want to encourage applications from a diverse group of people who share our values.  Even if you have never thought about working for us before, if you have the skills and experience we’re looking for then we would like to hear from you. 

If there is anything we can do to support you in your application please get in touch via email to

As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.  

We are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, and welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families. 

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