Engagement and Inclusion Manager

Manchester or Flexible
£35k plus 5% employer contributions to pension
19 Feb 2018
19 Mar 2018
Full Time
Contract Type

The Role – Engagement and Inclusion Manager

Strategic Aims

It is expected that this role will support the strategic goals of CU Trust by:

  1. Increasing the number of children aged 5-14 years from lower socio-economic backgrounds to develop skills, improve their life chances and raise their aspirations as demonstrated by their sustained engagement in Children’s University
  2. Increasing the reach of Children’s University across the UK through the development of a revised network model and in several specifically identified areas 
  3. Building financial sustainability through the recruitment of more high-quality members and by ensuring greater cost recovery for CU Trust
  4. Improving the voice and influence of Children’s University as an advocate for learning beyond school.

Principal duties and responsibilities:

  1. Research and develop partnerships in the regions where there is greatest need and potential, establishing new Children’s University centres in these regions
  2. Creating and following up strategic links with local partners to develop at least 6 new locally contextualised Children’s University centres per year (total 18) under our new network model, that help address issues that schools see as barriers to learning, achievement, aspiration, parental and community engagement, based on local context and evidence
  3. Help develop, market and roll out our new network model to new areas and to transition the existing network of Children’s University centres to the new model focused on scale into areas of disadvantage
  4. Be strategic not reactive in the way we work, targeting those regions, children and families most in need, who may be less likely to independently seek out our support
  5. Help develop a stronger family-focussed offer that will join the dots between home, school and community by facilitating parental engagement where parents might otherwise feel alienated from their children’s schools, which in turn is seriously impacting upon the effect of their education
  6. Support existing local Children’s University centres to engage more schools in socially deprived areas, and to have a greater impact on children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  7. Support existing and new centres to work more effectively with families to enable them to support their children, helping to guide and create appropriate learning activities
  8. Help develop national learning partnerships which will inspire and excite
  9. Manage young research and evaluators projects to train children in evaluating the impact of Children’s University on their learning, and the difference this is making to them, their families and their schools (piloting this initially across a small group of local Children’s University centres) and managing the development of a network-wide toolkit, enabling all local Children’s University centres to develop these research projects with children and schools in their local area.

Specific Targets

The funding for this three-year post has been generously given to CU Trust by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. We have agreed a set of outcomes and performance indicators with the funder which will guide the work of the Engagement and Inclusion Manager and will be the focus of annual reporting to the Foundation in order to receive funding in years 2 and 3. These are:

  • Outcome: More children from disadvantaged areas will participate in informal learning activities beyond school
  • Indicator: Increasing numbers of children from disadvantaged areas participating in CU and progressing to a CU graduation. 6 new CUs established in target areas per year reaching a total of 40,000 disadvantaged children - new partnerships enabling CU Trust to reach the most disadvantaged young people
  • Outcome: A stronger family-focussed community offer is developed leading to more families participating
  • Indicator: New national partnerships result in an increase in number of quality family-focused learning destinations and activities offered and an increase in engagement from disadvantaged families
  • Outcome: CU Trust will become more financially resilient
  • Indicator: Annual increases in unrestricted income to CU Trust from membership fees and passport sales. Target is £65,700 over 3 years.


This is a fixed term post of 3 years from the agreed start date


£35k plus 5% employer contributions to pension

Holiday Entitlement

25 days p.a. plus statutory holidays

Reports Into

CEO and Director of Partnerships.

The post holder will be expected to present to the Board of Trustees and report to the network of CU stakeholders. The post holder will also be expected to have a close working relationship with other members of the CU Trust team and local Children’s University Managers.


Flexible or Manchester based. The role will require travel across the UK.

The Person

This new, high profile position has been created in response to the identification of a strategic priority for CU Trust and with funding support from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. We are looking for someone who is driven and influential, who has an eye for business development and has experience of working with strategic partners as well as developing partnerships and collaborative working arrangements in response to identified need. The successful candidate will be a strong communicator and convenor with the ability to relate with credibility to potential strategic partners who may be Local Authorities, Higher Education Institutions, Multi-Academy Trusts, schools or charities as well as the existing Children’s University network and CU Trust’s Board Members and other stakeholders. In addition, they will be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the strategic challenges that face an organisation like Children’s University and they will have real enthusiasm and passion for our work and a conviction to deliver positive outcomes for the young people that engage with Children’s University. You will also share the ambitions of the Board and the Executive Team to grow and develop CU Trust as a charity and to scale and develop the Children’s University network to have greater social impact on the children that need us most. Working knowledge of the education landscape and the ability to help further develop existing relationships with education partners as well as attracting new education partners who are willing to embed Children’s University in their extra-curricular delivery, outreach or widening access activity, or enrichment plans for children are a must. You will have excellent communication skills, with the ability to develop proposals and presentations and to clearly demonstrate value over cost and you will be able to use these skills to develop mutually beneficial partnerships within key areas of the UK, forge effective relationships with complimentary local and regional organisations with whom we can collaborate, and support effective programme delivery. Most importantly you will be dynamic and motivated.

Key Attributes

  • A warm and engaging personality, with good networking and interpersonal skills as well as credibility and the ability to influence
  • Advanced communication skills
  • Able to think creatively and capable of generating new opportunities and resources
  • Able to work and communicate strategically with people from a variety of organisations and backgrounds
  • Capable of tailoring key messages to different audiences
  • Excellent organisational, prioritisation and time management skills
  • Able to work effectively on multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Good project management skills, capable of liaising with many stakeholders
  • Good IT skills
  • A passion for telling our story and engaging others in the value and impact of Children’s University.

We know that applicants will naturally have a passion for: social mobility, the power and potential of informal education and informal skills development, raising young aspiration, closing gaps in educational opportunity, attainments and outcome, boosting the confidence, resilience and cultural capital of children regardless of their background and improving future life chances.

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