Welcome from James Thomas, Corporate Director, Children and Culture
I am really pleased that my Lead Member and other colleagues have contributed their messages to this recruitment campaign, both good evidence of our team working approach and gives you a more rounded set of voices to describe the role and the borough. I have only been here for six months (although it does feel like longer – in a good way!) and so I am going to focus more on describing what I want from an outstanding candidate.
I am looking for 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 THEP has established itself in a relatively short space of time 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 BAME 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 BAME backgrounds to apply.
I welcome an informal discussion if you want to discuss the role further before you decide on whether to apply.
James Thomas, Corporate Director, Children and Culture