Appointment of an Independent Chair - Portsmouth Education Partnership

External Jobs

Job details



Job type

Part Time, Fixed Term


£0 - £0 Rates will be discussed at Interview

Closing date

7 May 2021


The Portsmouth Education Partnership (PEP) is seeking to appoint a part time Independent Chair, over a two year period initially, in order to provide supportive leadership for continued education improvement in Portsmouth as we begin to move out of the pandemic.


The Portsmouth Education Partnership was established in November 2016 as a vehicle through which Multi Academy Trusts and schools and academies in Portsmouth could collaborate to secure faster improvement of attainment and progress for school age children. It takes an interest in, and facilitates contributions from early years and post 16 settings, but has a strong focus on schools and academies.

A three year strategy was delivered. And whilst the partnership can cite a range of achievements and improvements which can be found HERE, the step change required in terms of educational outcomes has not yet been realised.   The full impact of the pandemic is not clear but our assumption is that the gap between our disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged will have widened.

The pandemic has brought a whole set of new challenges but importantly it has brought the city together as never before, building on the strong partnership arrangements that already existed through the PEP.  More than ever, the city needs strong education leadership with clear individual school / settings and city wide priorities, around which all education leaders focus their efforts. We must do all we can to ensure that the education of children in Portsmouth is not a casualty of the difficult demands of this time.

A new three year education strategy for Portsmouth was launched in September 2020. The delivery of the strategy will be done under the auspices of the PEP recognising the part that all partners of the PEP will play in delivering the nine priorities that are set out in the strategy, and will be overseen by the PEP Strategic Board. (A progress update for Year One can be found here).

An important agreement has been to discontinue with the Portsmouth Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) Strategic Forum and to merge it with the PEP Strategic Board to create a single entity.  This recognises that two thirds of schools in the city now belong to a MAT, and builds on the strong collaborative working with MATs over the summer to address the challenges posed by the pandemic. MATs have worked with the council and partners to share their processes, practices and expertise, contributed to work in all areas and have also led and chaired Covid-19 workstreams.  All are agreed that now is the time to formalise and extend this approach.

The PEP structures that were established three years ago will remain in place but will now be augmented by a number of other groups which have been established to address the challenges created by the pandemic. These structures are set out on page 4 of the education strategy. Terms of reference for all of the groups can be found here.

The role

We want to build on what the Partnership has achieved so far and the commitment that schools, MATs and other stakeholders have shown in getting behind ‘team Portsmouth’, taking collective action to address priorities that matter to us all.

We want to appoint an Independent Chair for a minimum length of two years to drive forward the work of the PEP and implementation of the three year education strategy 2020 – 2023; and to support the recovery of education in Portsmouth as we begin to move out of the pandemic.

Specifically, the Chair will:

  • Chair the PEP Strategic Board which meets on a termly basis, allocating additional time for the preparation of those meetings, supported by officers from the council.
  • Proactively work with key partners in the city, notably Multi Academy Trusts, the Local Authority and the RSC to support the drive to improve outcomes for children and young people.
  • Ensure that the PEP has a clear strategy for recovery and school improvement and a system for measuring progress and sharing good practice ensuring available support is appropriately co-ordinated, targeted and utilised.
  • Host an annual event, commencing with one in the 2021 summer term, which will reflect on what has been achieved during the pandemic and prepare for recovery in 2021/22 and beyond.
  • Attend Headteacher briefings as and when necessary to help with key messages and implementation of the PEP priorities.
  • Attend three termly meetings of the Council’s Education Advisory Board.

In order to cover this work we aim to agree a contract for up to 30 days each year. The day rate would be negotiated with the successful applicant.

The person

We are looking for a person with senior leadership experience in the education sector that can demonstrate successful experience of educational transformation which has had a positive impact on schools and outcomes for children and young people, whether as part of a Multi Academy Trust, a Local Authority or as cluster of schools.

Candidates will need to be able to have in depth understanding and knowledge of the complex educational landscape we are now working in and demonstrate evidence of how they have delivered success in spite of the complexity and challenges.

Partnership working is critical to this role and the candidate will need to be able to demonstrate strong influencing, negotiating and collaborative skills.

An understanding and commitment to inclusion is a crucial dimension to the role building on the excellent work that has taken place in the city to ensure we have an inclusive education system that puts children at the heart of the system and ensures no school or any other educational setting is left behind.

To apply

If you are interested in chairing the PEP Strategic Board can you reply by Friday 7th May 2021 and set out on no more than two pages why you would be suitable for this position.  Replies should be sent to Sarah Christopher at

If you would like an informal discussion then please ring Alison Jeffery, Director of Children, Families and Education (tel: 023 9284 1201) or Mike Stoneman, Deputy Director, Education (tel: 07947 532648).