Now Teach was set up in 2016 to encourage people who have already had one successful career to retrain as teachers. These people will start a movement of senior professionals re-deploying their skills in the classroom and teaching the children who need it most. Now Teach exists to find them and help them become formidable teachers.

One of the biggest problems facing secondary schools in the UK is the shortage of maths, science and language teachers. At the same time, there is a colossal waste of talent as people who are reaching the end of one successful career want to do something meaningful.

Now Teach was co-founded by Lucy Kellaway, a lifelong columnist on the FT who in September started training to teach in the inaugural Now Teach cohort and Katie Waldegrave, a Teach Firster who founded the literacy charity First Story.  They founded Now Teach with a mission to serve challenged schools, and address educational inequality, by recruiting and retaining exceptional late stage career changers into critical teaching vacancies.

Since launching in November 2016, over 1,500 people have expressed interest in retraining as teachers after successful careers doing something else. Our first cohort of 47 started training to teach in September 2017 and we are making great progress on recruiting our next 80 to start in September 2018, across London and Hastings.

Our ambitions are big. In a few years, we aim to grow from a London-based programme into a national organisation. We want to start a movement that will make it seem perfectly normal when someone who has had one career announces that they want to teach in a challenging comprehensive.

The Programme Director role is critical to the success and direction of Now Teach. We need to provide a unique and highly effective support programme to ensure the retention of Now Teachers within schools during their training, NQT year and beyond. The success we have with retention will define the impact of Now Teach.

This role will develop our key partnerships with training providers, schools and MATs, ensuring we deliver a programme that meets their needs, works within the current system and delivers results. As well as managing the programme team, the Programme Director will play a key role in defining the strategy and growth of Now Teach working with the Chief Executive, Operations Director and Board to build an organisation to match the ambitions that we have.

We are looking for an exceptional individual with teaching and leadership experience with a focus in teacher training. We are seeking someone dynamic, open to change and with the ability to embrace a start-up environment. They need to be ambitious and driven to deliver the Now Teach mission. A key aspect of the role will be to mentor and support the programme manager in order for their role to expand into new senior opportunities as Now Teach grows.

Job Description

Reports to: Chief Executive
Start Date: Ideally March 2018, or as soon as possible
Location: London
Negotiable depending on experience (+11% employer pension contribution)
Working arrangements:
We are willing to be flexible and would consider part-time, or other working arrangements for the right candidate.

We are looking for an inspiring Programme Director who will design and build the Now Teach support offer to be an efficient and effective programme to support, develop and retain Now Teachers, working alongside our training partners and placement schools. The ideal candidate will be a creative and highly collaborative thought partner, with substantial experience of education and teacher training.  They will be responsible for the overall strategy of cohort support, training and development as well as building and managing our relationships with schools, MATS and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers. Success in the role will mean that Now Teachers make rapid progress, ensure pupil achievement and help schools thrive.

This role will work very closely with the Chief Executive and Operations Director to provide the leadership and direction for Now Teach that will enable the organisation to reach its national potential and deliver the impact to the education system in line with the Now Teach vision.

The successful candidate will be keen to mentor the Programme Manager and develop the knowledge and skills of the organisation as we grow. The Programme Director will oversee the Programme Manager’s strategy to deliver effective support to the Now Teach cohort.  The aims of the programme are to:

  • Retain, motivate and develop our Now Teachers who will have better than average retention rates, will become expert teachers and will drive the achievement of their pupils and schools
  • Equip them with training to help them survive and thrive
  • Help Now Teachers and their schools get the most out of their past professional and personal experience.
  • Resolve problems which are more likely to be encountered by Now Teachers than other trainees.
  • Research and improve practice in recruiting, training and retaining Now Teachers.
  • Advocate to remove some of the barriers to entry which are particularly unhelpful to experienced hires
  • Support in-school mentors

In addition, you will bring with you your extensive network and experience within the field of education in order to leverage the work that Now Teach is doing. You will help to connect Now Teach in to key organisations within the sector and give us the ability to adapt and thrive in a changing education landscape (even in an increasingly competitive market). You will help us to advocate for our cohort in terms of part time employment, training developments, and previous skill utilisation.

Key Responsibilities

Programme Management

  • Be accountable for the design and delivery of the Now Teach programme of events and activities for the cohort. This includes: training and development days, ad hoc training and ongoing support (academic and pastoral)
  • Drive progress, innovation and quality within the programme by ensuring rigorous monitoring, evaluation and reporting with a focus on accountability, learning and impact in line with the Now Teach vision and aims.
  • Reviewing impact of the Now Teach programme and making necessary adaptations
  • Working with initial teacher training partners to review/adapt content and ensure Now Teach trainees have the best support and experience possible. You will strive to ensure coherence of curriculum and support as we grow.
  • Manage the programme team and operations to ensure that their work is delivering the programme in a focussed, effective and impactful way, focusing on Now Teacher retention and success.
  • Guiding the programme steering committee/sub-committee – with leaders/experts from across the education field
  • Plan and manage the budget for programme activity in line with organisation’s strategic objectives
  • Review the governance framework for the programme and amend where necessary
  • Scale programme and partnerships in line with organisation’s strategic objectives

Relationship Management

  • Maintain existing relationships with schools and ITT providers
  • Identify and build new relationships with schools / MATs and ITT providers to support the growth of Now Teach regionally and nationally
  • Manage the team to effectively manage school relationships to support recruitment, placement and ongoing programme delivery
  • Develop relationships with third parties, peer organisations, colleges and universities, and business representatives as required
  • Identify and lead on new opportunities for strategic project partnerships
  • Manage the relationship with any funding partners as necessary

Organisation leadership

    • Support the strategy and growth of Now Teach.
    • Create a positive and collaborative Now Teach working environment
    • Promote the work of Now Teach enthusiastically and convincingly within the sector at events and conferences
    • Identify and nurture talent across the team
    • Mentor and support the programme manager in order for their role to expand into new senior opportunities as Now Teach grows

Person Specifications

Values and alignment

  • Care about the power of education to change lives and think it matters to find the right people to become teachers
  • Committed to Now Teach’s vision and mission of:
    • Serving challenged schools, and addressing educational inequality, by recruiting and retaining exceptional late stage career changers into critical teaching vacancies
    • Building a movement of experienced professionals retraining to be teachers
  • Willing to work within a start-up environment and the flexibility that this will require

Experience and knowledge

  • Qualified and experienced teacher / senior leader within a school
  • Detailed knowledge and experience of teacher training programme design and delivery
  • Experience of creating new business opportunities with schools / MATs
  • Experience of building partnerships across different stakeholder groups within the education sector
  • Experience of research, data monitoring and evaluation of programmes
  • Experience of successfully recruiting, managing performance, developing colleagues and delegating to large teams that you have been responsible for managing
  • Experience managing and controlling expenditure, setting large scale budgets with input from colleagues, and have experience of contract management

Characteristics and Skills

  • Able to present and connect with a range of audiences, including the most senior stakeholders
  • Ability to listen, influence and persuade stakeholders of the strengths of proposals and decisions
  • Able to represent and advocate for an organisation in a way that is confident, articulate and credible to a wide range of stakeholders
  • Well considered judgement and an ability to reach clear decisions for the organization
  • Able to skillfully articulate and communicate decision making and rationale
  • Adept at adjusting your leadership style for the circumstance
  • Willingness to provide feedback and have difficult conversations that are needed to improve performance
  • Support decision-making and risk management, addressing major barriers in a timely manner


Applications will be reviewed and interviewed on a rolling basis with a final deadline of Wednesday 28th February.

If you would like to have an informal and confidential discussion about the role, or have any queries, please contact Katie Waldgrave at Katie.Waldegrave@nowteach.org.uk

For technical queries, please contact the Ark recruitment team on 0203 116 6345 or email recruitment@arkonline.org

Questions?   Give us a call on: 0207 430 8878