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Co-opted Advisor (Education) The English-Speaking Union

ESU invites a visionary leader to join our Education committee to help shape the future of oracy education globally whilst supporting the creation and development of new ventures and a new 5-year strategy.

  • Location: Dartmouth House, 37 Charles St, London W1J 5ED
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses paid
  • Closing date: Monday 29th April

Are you interested in supporting the The English-Speaking Union (ESU), a globally recognised 100-year-old organisation supporting children, young people and adults in developing speaking and listening skills?

As a co-opted advisor, you will join us as we embark on new ventures to develop our site and offer, diversify our income streams, grow our volunteering and ultimately create our next 5-year strategy.

The English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth is a membership organisation with a charitable purpose. It was founded by the journalist Sir Evelyn Wrench in 1918 and is governed by a Royal Charter, granted by Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1957. The Princess Royal is the President.

The ESU is best known for its extensive work in supporting children and young people to develop speaking and listening (oracy) skills through primary education programmes, public speaking competitions and debate.

The ESU is an international organisation with a network of 54 national ESUs, each operating independently and according to its own jurisdiction. The ESU provides secretariat to the International Council.

The international headquarters of the ESU are at Dartmouth House, one of the most notable properties in Mayfair.

It is Grade II Listed and is scheduled as a building of national importance. The venue is operated under licence by Graysons, who run weddings, private events, corporate activities and service our members.

The ESU also operates a private members’ club at Dartmouth House, where members establish new friendships and networks through its varied events programme.

We plan to refurbish our Grade II listed building in the heart of Mayfair whilst retaining our heritage and maximising our opportunities.

We plan to develop our volunteering strategy and grow our network of volunteers nationally and from within our existing membership and new audiences.

Alongside planning to establish our fundraising capability to grow, diversify and enhance our education and membership offers and establishing our new fundraising strategy.

About the role

We have just appointed a number of new Trustees to our board and are looking to appoint a new Co-opted Advisor who can offer us support, guidance, challenge, and strategic advice through our Education committee.

The co-opted advisor will have a one-year term.

We are looking for an advisor with experience preferably at senior leadership level in secondary education, however, we are open to people with experience in primary and further education.

We expect the time commitment to include quarterly virtual committee meetings, bi-annual board meetings, and ad hoc online meetings, particularly in the early stages of our strategy development with our Trustees and members of our executive team.

Overall, including meetings, ad hoc conversations, preparation for meetings, and engagement, we expect the time commitment to be the equivalent of 2-3 hours a month.

Explore the rich history, global impact, and future aspirations of The English-Speaking Union and join us on a journey where language becomes a force for positive change.

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

Jennifer Horan | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07519 070497


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Jennifer Horan

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About The English-Speaking Union

Welcome to the heart of global oracy education and cultural exchange – the English-Speaking Union (ESU).

Founded in 1918 by journalist Sir Evelyn Wrench in the aftermath of the First World War, ESU stands as a beacon for promoting dialogue, respect, and articulate communication in an interconnected world. Governed by a Royal Charter since 1957, ESU has evolved into a dynamic international organisation with a network of 54 national ESUs, united by a common dedication to the English language.

ESU’s legacy is woven into the fabric of history, championing the English language as a catalyst for global understanding.

Dartmouth House, our Grade II Listed headquarters in Mayfair, serves not only as a testament to tradition but also as a vibrant hub for weddings, private events, and corporate activities. The Princess Royal, our esteemed President, embodies our commitment to fostering cultural exchange and friendship through the English language.

At ESU, our mission is clear – to create lifelong opportunities for individuals to fulfil their potential as articulate and active citizens.

We envision a world where oracy education is not just valued but celebrated, contributing to both individual success and societal cohesion.

Led by Miles Young, our esteemed Chair, ESU holds a unique position in a world grappling with adversities. As the global lingua franca, the English language serves as our bridge to connect people, ideas, and cultures.

ESU’s focus on oracy education is unparalleled. We annually engage with over 600 schools, impacting the lives of more than one million young people in 50 countries.

Our dedication goes beyond national borders, ensuring that schools, especially those in disadvantaged areas, have access to high-quality oracy education opportunities.

By developing speaking and listening skills, we empower individuals to navigate the complexities of the modern world.

ESU is not just an organisation; it’s a lifelong community. Our vibrant domestic and international membership network is the cornerstone of our charitable work, fostering connections that last a lifetime.

Learn more about ESU

Accessibility information

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have made some modifications to the way we do business to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities. We offer the following amenities:

  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

For further information or to organise a conversation, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Jennifer Horan | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07519 070497

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Role 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 “ESU – Co-opted Advisor (Education)” into the subject field.

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

    Jennifer Horan | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07519 070497

    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.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support that needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: Monday 29th April 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: By Friday 3rd May 2024
    Interviews: Thursday 9th May 2024 (From 1 p.m. onwards)

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and The English-Speaking Union 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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