AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.

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AHEAD are Hiring: Education Manager

Job Title: Education Manager

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Duration: This position is offered on a 2-year contract commencing as soon as possible with expected potential for extension, subject to continued funding.

Location: AHEAD offices are located within the UCD Smurfit Business School campus in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, however due to the current Covid-19 restrictions and in line with public health guidelines, it is expected the person appointed will work from home initially and may work part from home, part in the office in the future.

Hours: The successful candidate will work full-time (8 hours per day including 1 hour for lunch) Monday to Friday with flexible start times on agreement between 08:00 and 10:00. Occasional weekend/evening work may be required for out of hours events.

Deadline for Application: Fri 13th November 2020

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AHEAD, established in 1988, is a non-profit organisation working on creating inclusive environments in education and employment for people with disabilities. You can find more about what we do by watching this short video.

You can also read AHEAD’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022 where you will find our values and strategic themes in order to achieve its vision of shaping an inclusive future where students and learners with disabilities can succeed.

Nature and Scope

The Education Manager will lead and manage staff within AHEAD’s education team, overseeing and contributing to projects which seek to positively influence and change policy, culture and practice in further education and training (FET) and higher education (HE) regarding the inclusion of students and learners with disabilities.

The Education Manager will participate in a diverse range of activities alongside engaging with stakeholders across the FET and HE sector. The Education Manager will be adaptable, motivated and have well established skills and experience in planning, reporting and delivering on project work.

The Education Manager must be interested in and willing to further develop an understanding of the key issues facing students and learners with disabilities to ensure a positive impact on their experiences on the ground.

Key Responsibilities

Team and Project Management

  • Directly line manage staff working in the Education Team and collaborate with the team in executing successful work plans by setting out project timeframes, assigning tasks and monitoring progress.
  • Identify and manage any project risks, oversee and monitor project budgets where relevant and adhere to reporting requirements.
  • Ensure all AHEAD’s education activities, projects and work plans are delivered effectively and on time including any specifically funded education projects within the terms of associated Service License Agreements. AHEAD staff undertake many different types of activities/projects and activities are subject to changing needs of the sector but an example of some are:

Organisational Development and Strategic Planning

  • Play a key role as part of the senior leadership team to execute AHEAD’s strategy and to identify and develop new long-term strategic aims and project ideas.
  • Work collaboratively as part of this team to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations and administration of AHEAD and the policies and systems which support it.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

  • Build and maintain key strategic relationships and alliances with staff in the membership organisations of AHEAD and other key education stakeholders ensuring the visibility and reputation of AHEAD is upheld.
  • Build strong relationships with funding bodies and identify relevant new funding opportunities.
  • Work with the CEO and other relevant staff as required to develop and produce policy and/or research consultation submissions to state agencies.
  • Represent AHEAD in a variety of external contexts, both at local, national and international level and act as spokesperson on relevant policy area. Present the work of AHEAD at relevant conferences/events.
  • Support the (non-technical) development of AHEAD’s communications, events and social media output including producing and supporting the design of new campaigns on relevant policy areas.

Other Key Activities

  • Participate in and lead weekly Education Team meetings, produce written reports on the work of the Education Team for the CEO and AHEAD Board on request.
  • Keep abreast of relevant changes to research, policy and practice concerning education and the inclusion of students with disabilities and update staff as appropriate. Develop the capacity and knowledge base of staff in related areas to ensure the quality and effectiveness of their work.
  • Ensure the work of AHEAD is informed by the authentic experiences of students with disabilities.
  • Undertake other duties as may reasonably be assigned by
    the CEO.

Person Specification

Management Style

  • A supportive management style that seeks to play to individual strengths and provide support and development where individuals needs to improve.
  • A flexible approach to management that recognises individual workloads and personal circumstances. An approach that recognises it’s ok to make mistakes and instead of apportioning blame, seeks to put a process or support in place to ensure same mistakes are not repeated.
  • A very strong ‘team player’ ethic and willingness to help with day to day activities and work to support the team and other AHEAD staff during busy periods.

Required Experience & Skills

  • A minimum of three years’ experience of managing a team.
  • Demonstrable background in/understanding of issues concerning disability, universal design and/or education.
  • A minimum of five years’ relevant work experience which includes planning and delivering big projects and/or development of new projects/services.
  • Experience in developing and managing relationships with stakeholders.
  • Ability to adapt writing styles for different contexts and target audiences e.g. board reporting, sector guidelines/guidance, funder reports and public event descriptions etc.
  • Ability to communicate messages effectively in a variety of contexts, e.g. at national policy meetings, presenting at events, training staff and facilitating meetings.
  • Demonstrated experience of ICT skills including database management (excel), word processing and associated report formatting etc. Willingness to identify and engage with new technologies/platforms to improve AHEAD’s ability to achieve its mission.

Desirable Experience & Skills

  • A third-level qualification in a relevant area.
  • A project-management qualification or equivalent level of experience managing projects
  • Experience of working in the community and voluntary sector and/or in an area related to AHEAD’s work – inclusive practice, assistive technology, inclusive teaching and learning, disability support etc.
  • Experience being involved in the management of events or workshops.
  • Understanding of how to produce accessible documents/events.

How to Apply

To apply for this role, please send a CV and cover letter to Cass Horton (cass.horton@ahead.ie) by Fri 13th November 2020. Cover letter can reference and link to sample projects managed if relevant. The starting salary range for this position is available from Cass on request. For shortlisted candidates, first round interviews will take place online in the week of Nov 23rd.

AHEAD is an equal opportunities employer. Applications from people from diverse backgrounds are welcome and AHEAD will provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities where appropriate, as identified through our needs assessment process.

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Video: How we help students & Graduates Succeed