Executive Recruitment
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About us

Message from Chair of the Secondary Headteachers Consultative

Working in Tower Hamlets is both a joy and a challenge - and often both in the same hour. It is a borough of contrasts and for that reason, a fascinating and exhilarating place to be: the strap line, ‘the best of London in one borough’ is certainly an accurate description. Tower Hamlets’ proximity to the city, Canary Wharf and London’s universities provides unparalleled opportunities particularly for secondary phase pupils. It is impossible not to appreciate the rich and diverse culture.
With high levels of disadvantage, it would be easy to think life in our schools might be depressing. At times, there are challenges to overcome but our community is one of the most vibrant and hardworking I have experienced. Headteachers are united in purpose to make a difference to the lives of the young people in our charge: ambition for our community drives us all. This does make us a bit of an unforgiving bunch at times but we appreciate that we are well supported by local authority officers and elected members. The school professional community collaborates well no matter the status or phase through the consultatives and various alliances and is incredibly loyal to the borough and its people.
The person appointed to this role will need resilience in these challenging times but the education community will support you and work with you to achieve the goals we all share.

Jill Baker, Chair Secondary Consultative

Council story

Tower Hamlets Council supports the UK’s most dynamic place.

We are working to make our borough a safer, cleaner and fairer place to live.

We have one of the fastest growing populations in the UK with more homes being built here than almost anywhere else. Our average age is just 31.

Our economy has the third largest output in the UK with 291,000 employees working for 16,925 businesses.

Our strengths are also our greatest challenges

We are a borough of contrasts.

As with any inner city area, Tower Hamlets has issues including crime, pollution and ensuring new developments support our existing communities as well as new ones.

Tower Hamlets is the second most densely populated local authority in the country.

Almost 19,000 people are on our council house waiting list – the second highest in London – and 35,110 additional homes are needed over the next decade.

There are great disparities of wealth. One in four residents live below the poverty line.

The average household income of our most wealthy ward is more than double that of our poorest.

Our borough has also significant health problems. Tower Hamlets has the lowest life expectancy rates in London (disability-free) and 43 per cent of Year 6 children are overweight or obese.

Tower Hamlets experiences the third highest emissions of air pollution which contribute to the average lung capacity of our children being 10 per cent smaller than other parts of the UK.

Financial pressures

64 per cent of our core government funding has been cut since 2010.

We have saved £176 million since 2010 and continued cuts and rising pressures on services mean we have to save a further £44m by 2022.

There is also great uncertainty for future budgets with the fair funding and spending reviews, along with the business rate reset. Our council has to change to meet these challenges.

Smarter Together

We are becoming smarter, more agile and strategic in our approach.

We need to be brave, take more risks and deliver change at a faster pace. We push ourselves to improve by measuring our outcomes and using external reviews.

At the heart of our change will be digital innovation and partnership working to achieve the best outcomes we can for our residents and businesses. That means commissioning services when other organisations are in a better position to provide them.

We are overhauling our IT infrastructure and the way customers transact with us so council services will feel similar to other online experiences.

Read more in our Corporate Narrative 

Our Structure

The council employs around 10,500 staff in five directorates around 4,800 of whom are based in schools.

The corporate structure is designed to support the council's objective of ensuring the provision of services that are responsive to the needs of individuals and communities and integrated at the point of delivery.

The council management structure consists of five directorates:

  • Governance Directorate comprises Democratic Services, Legal Services, including Electoral Services and Registrars. The Communications function and the Strategy, Policy, Equalities and Partnerships function sit in this directorate but report to the Chief Executive.
  • Resources Directorate comprises of the Finance, Procurement and Audit, Revenues and Benefits, HR & Organisational Development, Customer Services & IT functions. Risk Management and the Programme Management Office are also located in this Directorate.
  • Children's and Culture Directorate is responsible for services improving outcomes for children and young people including education and children's social care.
  • Health, Adults and Community Directorate is responsible for adult social care, integrated commissioning, public health and community safety.
  • Place Directorate includes five key service areas: Growth and Economic Development, Property and Major Programmes, Planning and Building Control, Housing, and Public Realm.

You can view our organisational structure here.