Board Trustee x 2

British Council London a month ago

Date: 14-May-2021

Location: London, UKM, GB

Company: British Council

The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) are looking to appoint two Trustees with specific skills and experience to the British Council’s Board of Trustees. Specifically, we are looking for:

  • A high calibre individual who is experienced in a global financial services or commercial enterprise of scale, ideally with experience of leading both M&A and digital transformation, and
  • A high calibre individual who is an accomplished education professional, with significant and extensive senior and international leadership experience in the education sector including in digital innovation.
About the British Council and the Trustees
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It projects UK soft power through its core mission of promoting UK arts and culture, education, and the English language. The Prime Minister, in his foreword to the Government’s Integrated Review, stated that the British Council is one of the ‘vital instruments of our influence overseas’. Founded in 1934, the British Council is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. It is also a UK public body and an arms-length body (ALB) of the FCDO. The British Council operates in over 100 countries and last year it generated £1bn+ revenues through its commercial teaching and exams business.
Successful candidates will join a Board of Trustees comprised of 10 members. Board members are guardians of purpose and strategy and are ultimately accountable for the organisation’s actions and performance. The Board also agrees the British Council's Corporate Plan and approves the British Council's annual accounts. The Board delegates responsibility for the management of the British Council to the Chief Executive.

Appointments to the Board are for a three-year term, which is renewable for a second term by mutual agreement. The role is unremunerated but reasonable travel and other expenses incurred while undertaking Board business will be reimbursed.
Trustees must devote the necessary time to the role, approximately 40 days per annum. Currently the British Council is holding monthly Board meetings, with additional regular committee meetings. The successful candidate with expertise in global finance will be invited to serve on the Audit & Finance Committee, Commercial Committee and Cashflow Committee. The successful candidate with expertise in the education sector will be invited to serve the Audit & Finance Committee, Risk Committee and Commercial Committee.

Your opportunity to help shape the British Council’s future
The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on most organisations, and the British Council has not been exempt – particularly as periodic closures of teaching and exam centres around the world impacted its operations significantly. The British Council pivoted speedily to digital products and negotiated a successful Government Spending Review outcome as well as a Government loan to ensure its future. There are now ambitious plans in place to rebuild an effective, efficient, focused British Council so that it can continue to play a leading role in projecting UK soft power. The Board of Trustees therefore needs candidates with the skills and expertise to successfully deliver this transformation.

What you will bring to the role
You will either be:

A) An accomplished senior business leader familiar with the financial issues, opportunities and decisions faced by a fast moving, global business of scale and complexity.
You will have experience of leading and implementing trans-national commercial transactions and developing new commercial partnerships. You will be familiar with rapidly changing internal and external scenarios, restructuring, reorganisation and transformation. If you have experience in digital transformation, this is particularly welcomed.
You will be able to add value at the nexus of commerce, charity and non-departmental government activity. Furthermore, you will have a record of handling sensitive and political issues in a positive and constructive manner as well as prior board experience.

B) A senior education professional who has contributed meaningfully to education policy and practice and is well-networked across the whole education sector.
You will be aware and informed regarding the issues and choices inherent in current education policy and practice. You will be deeply engaged with the international dimensions of education and a regular contributor to international education conferences and fora for senior education leads and influencers around the world. You will have a track record of excellence and achievement across all aspects of teaching and learning and of youth engagement and will be experienced in developing collaborative partnerships. Furthermore, you will be connected with ministers and senior officials in departments of education within the UK and ideally internationally and you will be experienced in leading digital transformation and innovation.

You will be able to add value at the nexus of commerce, charity and non-departmental government activity, with a record of handling sensitive and political issues in a positive and constructive manner. You will also have prior board experience.

Both of these new appointments will be fully rounded individuals who combines interest and passion in the overall mission of the British Council with collegiate skills, an enquiring mind and a positive attitude. They will have demonstrably high standards of personal integrity and the ability to maintain and build on the values of the organisation – with an enthusiasm for, and understanding of, contemporary British life and society.

Would you like to apply for the role?
If you are interested in applying for one of the above posts, then we would really like to hear from you. We particularly welcome candidates from the devolved nations, the regions of England and from diverse backgrounds.

In order to apply, it is essential that you follow the below link as we will not be reviewing applications made directly to British Council's careers platform - This link also contains full role profiles and our diversity monitoring form, which is an essential component of the application process.

Please apply by midnight on Thursday 3rd June by emailing your CV, cover letter and diversity monitoring form to [email protected]. Please do not attempt to apply directly through the British Council careers platform "apply" option as any applications via this method will not be reviewed.

Shortlisting for this role will take place the week commencing 7th June with interviews due to take place the week commencing 14th June via Microsoft Teams.

The two successful candidates must be available to take up their roles in September 2021 and participate in a prior induction programme in July 2021.

If you would like to discuss either role, please contact Helen Bower-Easton, Director of Communication, FCDO, via Allie Johns - [email protected]

Additional details:
Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.
In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.
The British Council’s headquarters are based in the International Quarter, Stratford, London E20.

Equality Statement

The British Council is committed to a policy of equality and to valuing diversity and is keen to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we work at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.
The British Council has Disability Confident Employer Status. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role. Applicants are encouraged to highlight any specific requirements or adjustments needed to enable participation in the recruitment process.

The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.

We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.

Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.