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Chief Executive Officer ASDAN

ASDAN, a leading educational charity, is seeking a visionary Chief Executive Officer to shape our strategic direction and drive innovation. We're looking for an experienced leader with a passion for education, a commercial outlook, and a commitment to collaboration and growth.

  • Location: Hybrid – with the expectation of regular working from the Bristol office
  • Salary: £87,000- £95,000

About the role

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at ASDAN will lead the organisation through a pivotal phase, building on a strong foundation laid by the current CEO, Jenny Williams. The successful candidate will play a critical role in driving innovation, navigating challenges and shaping ASDAN’s future direction. This role offers a unique opportunity to impact the lives of young people and to contribute to the ongoing development and success of ASDAN.

Reporting directly to the Board of Trustees, you will lead a team of dedicated professionals and oversee various departments to ensure the sustainability and growth of the charity.

ASDAN is currently positioned well, with a strong financial footing and an organisational structure which has been re-designed to enhance effectiveness and relevance. The new CEO will be instrumental in maintaining and advancing these efforts.

Key focus areas include:

  • Developing and nurturing relationships with members, particularly schools, special schools, colleges and alternative provision settings.
  • Ensuring ASDAN remains innovative, agile and responsive to the evolving needs of the education sector.
  • Building national relationships, contacts and connections to expand ASDAN’s reach and impact.
  • Leading change projects, such as property and premises developments, with a keen understanding of the change process and the ability to inspire.

As the CEO, your impact will be significant as you guide ASDAN in fulfilling its mission to empower learners and enhance educational opportunities in the UK and with centres and partners overseas. Through strategic leadership, innovative thinking and collaborative partnerships, you will drive positive change and make a lasting difference in the lives of learners and communities served by ASDAN.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for an experienced leader with a passion for education, a commercial outlook and a commitment to collaboration and growth. The Board are seeking a Chief Executive Officer with a diverse skill set to effectively lead the organisation through its next phase of development.

The ideal candidate should possess a strong educational background, commercial acumen and policy expertise to navigate the complex landscape of the education sector while ensuring the sustainability and growth of ASDAN. Demonstrable experience in using principles of effective curriculum, pedagogy and assessment design to enable positive outcomes for learners is important.

A deep understanding of the education and commercial landscape, with a particular emphasis on awarding organisations and curriculum development, is crucial for identifying opportunities and addressing challenges. In addition, the ability to build and maintain strong networks and partnerships will be vital in promoting collaboration and driving growth initiatives. You will need to be externally focused, developing personable relationships with senior leaders and stakeholders in new and existing centres to grow member numbers, and have a greater impact on those most in need to achieve meaningful outcomes and elevate them to go further in their education, training or work careers.

The Board are also open to applications from those looking to step into their first CEO role. However, you must be able to demonstrate the ability to inspire and drive teams towards achieving strategic objectives. Significant leadership experience and a track record of success are essential.

A cultural fit with ASDAN’s values and mission is paramount, requiring empathy and understanding of the organisation’s identity and goals.

This work is flexible, with a preference for a hybrid working style that accommodates a balance of working regularly from the Bristol Office, home and external networking activities, reflecting ASDAN’s commitment to adaptability and innovation.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Katy Lennon | katy@peridotpartners.co.uk

Polly Mortimer | polly@peridotpartners.co.uk

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Katy Lennon

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Welcome from the Chair of Trustees

Thank you for your interest in the role of CEO at ASDAN.

Under the leadership of our outgoing Chief Executive, Jenny Williams, we have a refreshed strategic plan and a commitment throughout the organisation to our core purpose of engaging, elevating and empowering young learners. Our financial situation is sound, and we are looking to innovate, not just consolidate, whilst keeping true to our values.

As ever, there are challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Therefore, we are looking for a leader to take forward the next chapter of ASDAN’s story.

In particular, as trustees, we have identified the following short and medium-term priorities:

  1. To build empathetic relationships with our existing members in mainstream schools, special schools, colleges and alternative education providers, to develop our offer of programmes and qualifications in a spirit of collaborative learning and evidence-based innovation.
  2. To build partnerships and networks, locally and nationally, to raise the profile of ASDAN and to grow our membership.
  3. To oversee the development of our property strategy, to make the most of our assets and to lead and inspire staff through a major change programme.

Rik Boxer,
Chair of Trustees


Diverse teenage students in uniforms sitting side by side at desk, working on writing assignment, and receiving assistance from teacher.

ASDAN is an education charity and awarding organisation providing regulated qualifications, accredited curriculum programmes and a range of short courses to engage, elevate and empower young people aged 11 to 25 years in greatest need.

We define young people in greatest need as those living in poverty, without support for their emotional and social needs, those with a special educational need or disability, those not engaged or succeeding in their education, who miss an English and/or Maths pass at 16 or subsequently, and who are at risk of becoming NEET.

We believe that young people should have the opportunity to discover, develop and make use of their abilities to affirm their identities, contribute to society, and challenge educational and social inequalities.

Our goal is to engage with them through relevant and motivating courses that achieve meaningful learning outcomes. We aim to elevate them to go on to further education, training and work, and empower them to take control of their lives. We do this by developing courses with an accessible and practical pedagogy for learners; and by working with our partner educators to foster the personal, social and work-related abilities of young people in greatest need.

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “ASDAN – Chief Executive Officer” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Katy Lennon | katy@peridotpartners.co.uk

    Polly Mortimer | polly@peridotpartners.co.uk

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

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    Closing date: 9 a.m. Tuesday 26th March 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: By Tuesday 9th April 2024
    First Stage Interviews: Monday 15th April 2024 (online)
    Second Stage Interviews: Monday 22nd April 2024 (in-person)

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and ASDAN are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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