Join Ambitious about Autism and bring your skills as an experienced leader of SEND provision to lead the development and growth of St John’s College.
Location: Brighton, East Sussex
Salary: c.£100,000 dependent on skills and experience
Closing date: 9 a.m. Wednesday 6th December 2023
The Story of Ambitious about Autism
At Ambitious about Autism, we have an unwavering commitment to working with autistic children and young people, advocating for their rights, and supporting them to achieve their dreams.
We firmly believe that every autistic child and young person has the fundamental right to be themselves and to realise their ambitions. We began as a single school and are proud to have evolved into a leading national provider of support for autistic people. The work we do creates opportunities and unlocks doors.
We began in 1997 when a group of dedicated parents established the TreeHouse Trust. This initiative aimed to break down barriers and ensure that autistic children and young people had access to the education they not only needed but deserved. Since then, our influence has expanded significantly across the United Kingdom.
About St John’s College
Situated in the diverse city of Brighton, St John’s is a happy, inspiring college where young people thrive and learn. We offer an inclusive, residential learning environment for young autistic people who require the support and care that many mainstream educational settings cannot provide.
We offer both day and residential placements, alongside care and therapy for autistic learners aged 16 – 25 years with a range of complex needs and associated learning disabilities. We provide a broad and stimulating curriculum with individual programs for each learner to ensure their hidden potential is unleashed. Our learners benefit from a range of activities such as drama, music, performances, open mic nights, dance, swimming and horse riding and, of course, our learners undertake travel training to engage with the community and local projects. As a national provider, our learners come from across the country and are supported by a transdisciplinary team who are specialists in helping them achieve their individual goals. When our learners reside with us, they do so in one of our five dedicated residential homes.
Our amazing team works with parents/carers, our governing body and our partners to develop and share our model and practice.
Earlier this year, we announced that we would be merging with Ambitious about Autism, and this became official on 1st October this year. We are committed to working with colleagues across the organisation to achieve better outcomes for autistic children and young people.
About the role
Our current interim Executive Head will leave us at the end of this academic year, having supported us through the merger and transition phase. We are now seeking to appoint her successor, who will be able to lead the development and improvement of our provision across the College into the future.
Our new Executive Head will be responsible for the strategic direction of the College, including residential provision.
They will work with our Board, led by the College Chair, Fiona Chalk, to drive quality improvement, widen our provision and continue to grow our reputation of being a nationally recognised provider of specialist provision.
The Executive Head will continue to ensure that policies, practices and processes are harmonised in line with those of Ambitious about Autism.
This role exists to provide on-site leadership of the provision delivered across St Johns. Our Executive Head is the key figure driving the provision, acting in line with our organisational values and being a supporting, developmental leader who can bring our staff team on a collective journey towards success.
Our new Executive Head will lead the development and implementation of strategic plans for St John’s College, which will require strong and decisive leadership coupled with an ability to recognise opportunities for growth and improvement. Our Executive Head will also have a role to play in forging new relationships with stakeholders whilst growing the reputation of St John’s College on a local and national basis as a respected and credible ambassador.
The role is vital in developing and implementing the “Ambitious Approach” within St John’s College, fostering a culture of excellence in autism education.
The Executive Heads and the Heads of our other settings, along with the Head of Safeguarding and Compliance, the Head of Integrated Services and the Head of Learner and Family Services, make up the Executive Education Management Team (EEMT). They meet twice a term to ensure shared quality and consistency across our education provision. As an Executive Head, you would be expected to be part of this very successful team.
Who we are looking for
Ideal candidates for this role will have experience at an executive level with a demonstrable understanding of specialist education with learners of a similar age range.
Whilst this is undoubtedly an exciting role, it is very busy too. With this in mind, the successful candidate will be someone who can get up to speed quickly with the immediate challenges faced by St John’s College whilst also having a long-term vision of the available opportunities.
As the Executive Head of St John’s College, you will oversee the leadership team across the College and residential services and work in partnership with the wider leadership across Ambitious about Autism. You will be engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders, which includes young people, parents and carers, commissioners, and regulatory bodies, so experience of successfully working with such groups will be essential.
We seek an experienced leader who can join our vibrant and inclusive College and take it on the next step of its journey using your experience of organisational development, growth and transformation.
Most importantly, our ideal candidate will be someone who can lead by example, using a set of shared values, to deliver our strategy that seeks to drive excellence in autism education, foster innovation, and make a lasting impact on the lives of autistic children and young people.
Please click ‘Apply Now’ to be redirected to the Peridot Partners website, where you can find full details of the job description and register your interest to apply.
Applications for this role close at 9 a.m. Wednesday 6th December 2023.