Executive Recruitment
Three children in a line eating ice cream and laughing

Welcome from James Thomas, Corporate Director, Children & Culture

Dear Candidate

Thank you for your interest in becoming our next Director of Education, a role which provides the system leadership for all our children and young people and the education that supports them to fulfil their potential.

Tower Hamlets is a great place to work!

Tower Hamlets offers the best of London in one borough. We provide the UK’s third largest economic output; we are steeped in London's history and one of the most culturally diverse places in the world; we are the fastest growing and most densely populated place in the UK; and we have a set of destinations that would be the envy of any city.

Our council is a beacon for diversity and inclusion. It is ingrained in the history of Tower Hamlets from immigration at the docks, to the suffragette movement in Roman Road, or fighting fascists in Cable Street. We want a borough where everyone feels valued and included, and we want a council that collaborates to deliver excellence. That’s why we look for people with our TOWER values of Together, Open, Willing, Excellent and being Respectful.

For this role I am looking for an outstanding candidate. 

Someone who is driven by their values. Someone who is child-centred and focused on ensuring that every child is able to fulfil their potential. Someone whose behaviour exemplifies public service in being focused upon our young residents, their outcomes and the quality of provision that they receive.

Essential for the role is to be credible with, and have the confidence of, our Headteachers and Principals. Tower Hamlets is a place where exceptional educationalists, both past and present, have flourished and so you will need to be someone who can hold their own in terms of current educational thinking. You will also need to demonstrate that you can operate in a demanding political and corporate environment, as a member of the corporate Senior Leadership Team.

There is a very strong culture of collaborative working in the borough between schools and settings, and the Tower Hamlets Education Partnership (THEP) has established itself as an extremely effective and well-regarded framework for that collaborative approach of challenge and support. You will need to be someone who is able to work effectively in a complex set of partnership relationships, using your influence and brokering the right interventions, as well as providing leadership on a challenging SEND agenda.

You will be joining a strong and experienced Directorate Leadership Team, and a culture in which directors work closely together on the big issues, sharing in each other’s success as well as sharing responsibility for driving improvement. I place a high value on team working and so you will need to be a team player.

Finally, I am leading a focus upon equalities outcomes for both our children and our staff, and recognise that there is currently under-representation of Black, Asian and Multi Ethnic colleagues in senior roles across the council. I want to recruit the very best candidate for this role, and so I want to encourage applicants from Black, Asian and Multi Ethnic backgrounds to apply.

This is a particularly exciting time in our history as we move into our new Town Hall at the Grade II-listed former Royal London Hospital opposite the new Whitechapel Station on the Elizabeth Line. And we are on course to be a carbon neutral council by 2025.

I welcome an informal discussion if you want to discuss the role further before you decide on whether to apply. 

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