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Trustees The Edge Foundation

The Edge Foundation, a champion of relevant practical and vocational education, is seeking to appoint Trustees to its Board who will play a key role in overseeing the strategic direction of the charity and ensure all young people have the education that enables them to contribute to a changing world.

  • Location: Nationally based with travel expenses paid to London.
  • Salary: Unremunerated with reasonable expenses paid.

About the Role

The Edge Foundation is an independent and politically impartial foundation, working to inspire the education system to give all young people across the UK the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to flourish in their future life and work.

We work in collaboration with non-governmental organisations, government departments, education providers and academic establishments, among many other stakeholders, and gather evidence through research, trials and projects.

We use this evidence to both influence practice on the ground and lead the debate around future local and national policy.

Our Executive Team, led by our CEO – Alice Barnard, is supported by a Board of Trustees, which is chaired by Neil Bates and made up of independent Trustees who bring relevant expertise from a range of sectors. Together, the Trustees ensure that the organisation is managed through effective governance and the Executive receives supportive challenge around strategic decisions that will impact those who benefit from the Edge Foundation itself and its work.

At present, the Edge Foundation’s Board of Trustees comprises nine members, including the Chair and Vice-Chair. The Board works closely with and supports Alice and senior staff in the effective and efficient operation of the organisation. Some Trustees also serve on one of three committees which, alongside the Board itself, make up the Edge Foundation’s overarching governance structure: the Nominations and Remuneration Committee; the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee; and the Projects & Delivery Committee.

The Board meets four times per year in London, and all Trustees are expected to attend these meetings either in person or remotely. Alongside these regular meetings, Trustees also serve an ambassadorial role for the Edge Foundation and are encouraged to act as speakers as well as undertake outreach work related to the organisation’s charitable aims.

In addition to ensuring that the Edge Foundation is legally compliant and uses its resources sustainably and in line with its charitable aims, among other responsibilities, Trustees also serve an important role in upholding the reputation and values of Edge. Trustees must respect the independence of the organisation, and the power this brings to make a significant impact on the education system for young people across the UK.

Further to their role on the Board, Trustees have the opportunity to become more closely involved with the work of the Edge Foundation, which can include visiting particular projects or stakeholders to gain insight into their on-the-ground activities.

For example, one current member of the Board has also been involved with the Edge Hotel School, which offers unique, industry-engaged higher education degree courses in events and hospitality management.

Another Trustee supports researchers with expertise where needed and requested, which provides insight to contribute to Board discussions. Taking the time to network, both with fellow Trustees and the members of the Edge Foundation staff (around 21 people including our team and extended team), is also encouraged. Therefore, the Edge Foundation’s Trustees are truly woven into the fabric of the organisation and can be a real part of the impact that the organisation seeks to make in Education.

Who we are looking for

With a new strategy in place and a host of innovative projects currently in action and in the pipeline, the Edge Foundation is keen to diversify our Board to

  • reflect the broad communities served across the UK by the education sector;
  • develop the Board’s expertise in key areas related to the business of the organisation, including post-16 and Higher Education; and
  • engage passionate and committed professionals and those with lived experience to support the innovative and impactful work of Edge.


Candidates should be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to the Edge Foundation’s vision of ‘Making Education Relevant’; a keen understanding or insight of the UK education landscape (particularly technical, professional and vocational education) from their own sector or industry experience; and an ability to think strategically, challenge constructively, and work collaboratively as part of a collective board. It is essential that a diverse skill set is represented amongst the Board of Trustees, and that the Board work as a team.

Edge seeks Trustees who will bring a connected, empathetic, engaged, fair and inclusive approach to the role, and who can communicate effectively when expressing their own views and also when listening to others. Candidates should be able to exercise good judgment in the face of challenging situations and maintain confidentiality.

Ideally, we are seeking candidates who bring a knowledge and/or experience of education at school, further and/or higher education levels combined with a knowledge and experience of education and skills policy from a local, regional or national level.

In addition, we are keen to hear from candidates who have an appreciation for the ethos of charitable organisations and doing social good as well as recent experience or an understanding of charity administration, finances and investment. An understanding of the legal obligations of trusteeship would also be welcome.

If you are keen to make a difference as a Trustee within an organisation that cares about having a positive impact on education in the UK, this opportunity is an excellent one to consider.

Closing date: Monday 22nd November 2021

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

Dr Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

Dr Jenn Allen | jenn@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364034

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dr Sophie Carney

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Dear Candidates,

Thank you for your interest in the Edge Foundation. We are an independent education foundation working to inspire the education system to give all young people across the UK the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to flourish in their future life and work.

In 2003 educational services provider Edexcel was partially sold to Pearson PLC and the Trustees chose to use the proceeds of the sale to set up an educational foundation. The Edge Foundation was formed in November 2004 and the Trustees of the foundation at that time identified the promotion of practical and vocational learning as the new organisation’s primary objective.

The world is changing fast and the education system needs to keep up. Over the years, the charity has evolved in a variety of ways, however, our core vision remains. We believe in a broad and balanced curriculum, interactive and engaging real world learning, high quality technical and professional training and rich relationships between education and employers. This approach is embodied in our 5 year strategic plan, which can accessed as part of this information pack.

We are seeking a range of new trustees to drive forward our ambitious plans for the future of the organisation. As a trustee, you will be a member of our Board of Trustees; responsible for working to support and shape the strategic direction of the organisation, ensuring sound governance and that we stay true to our objectives.

I would invite you to read through the accompanying information and thank you again for taking the time to learn more about us.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Neil Bates


Neil was the former Chairman of the Association of Learning Providers and Chief Executive of the UK’s first college of advanced technology. He served as a Trustee of Edge before succeeding Lord Baker, the former Education Secretary, as Chairman.

Since its establishment in 2004, the Edge Foundation has championed the importance of practical and vocational education.

We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to achieve their potential by having access to a relevant and engaging education.

This can be achieved through high quality technical, professional and vocational education; a broad, flexible and engaging curriculum that includes real world learning; and rich relationships between education, employers and the community.

The Edge Foundation focuses on making education relevant for:

All – promoting greater equity in our society

The real world – making sure that learning is engaging and exciting

Employability – ensuring that all young people are ready for work

Communities – tailoring solutions to diverse nations, regions and localities

The future – preparing young people for our changing world and economy

Our approach comprises two tracks:

Track 1 – Practice (short-medium term)

Helping schools, colleges, training providers and universities to use existing flexibilities in the system to adopt new and engaging approaches and enhance relevance.

Track 2 – Policy (medium-long term)

Helping policy makers at all levels to change the system to enable this practice to become embedded, better preparing young people right across the UK for their futures.

Our levers for change include:

  • High quality independent research to build an evidence base and understand international and national best practice
  • Project trials to test, learn from and spread innovative practice on the ground
  • High quality CPD for teachers and tutors based on leading practice from around the world
  • Policy debates and developments to underpin the future of education

Although we are based in London, we work right across the UK with strong international links. Our Royal Patron is His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent.

We work in collaboration with non-governmental organisations, government departments and academic establishments, among many other stakeholders, and gather evidence through research, trials and projects. We use this evidence to both influence practice on the ground and lead the debate around future local and national policy.

We publish research reports, skills shortage bulletins, case studies, and policy reports on a regular basis to share our work with stakeholders across the Education landscape. We regularly seek to learn from the past to understand how previous policies worked, what went well, what were the challenges, and the lessons we can learn in current policy moving forward.

We also convene a range of research and policy networks to encourage discussion, debate, and sharing information with academics, researchers, policymakers, and fellow foundations, amongst many others.

Alongside our research and policy work, one of our most recent grant-giving initiatives is the Edge Innovation Fund (EIF), which we launched in September 2021. The fund has opened with £300,000 available for this calendar year and will be refreshed with new funds every January up until January 2025. The EIF is now open and looking for projects which are disruptive and innovative in their thinking and approach, challenging the current education system approach.

Learn more about us and where we stand on education on our website or in our booklet Introducing our Foundation.

Our Vision

Further Information

For additional information about the Edge Foundation, please access the links below.

Strategic Plan 2020-25

Financial Accounts 19/20

Governance Chart 


Edge is committed to being an accessibility-positive organisation and seeks to make our activities and our office accessible to all.  We are committed to making all reasonable adjustments to ensure that working for or with Edge is an option for all.

We offer the following amenities:

  • Our buildings and facilities have step-free access
  • Accessibility dogs are always welcome on our premises
  • We provide a flexible working environment, as well as work patterns including locations

Our website uses the Recite Me toolbar – a web accessibility tool allowing you to customise our website in the way that works best for you.

Why does Edge use accessibility software?

  • One in five (20%) people in the UK have a disability
  • One in ten people in the UK don’t speak English as their first language
  • 15% of the UK population have learning difficulties
  • 2 million people in the UK have a visual impairment

How could the toolbar help me access this website?

The Recite Me toolbar has a unique range of functions. You can use it to:

  • Have the text on our website read aloud (including PDFs)
  • Download the text as an MP3 file to play it where and when it suits you
  • Change font sizes and colours
  • Customise background colour
  • Translate text into more than 100 different languages
  • Access a fully integrated dictionary and thesaurus

You can find out more about how Recite Me works from the Recite Me user guide.

How do I access the Recite Me toolbar?

You can open the Recite Me language and accessibility toolbar by clicking on the ‘Accessibility’ button.

This ‘Accessibility’ button now appears in the top right corner on every page of our website.

After you click on the ‘Accessibility’ button the Recite Me toolbar opens and displays a range of different options for customising how the website looks and how you can access the content.

N.B. The Edge Foundation have also sent us these additional comments:

  • Our office is ground floor and level with good DDA access
  • We would be very happy to assist with papers/documents in terms of large font, appropriate colour printing but do not have any text/speech software.
  • We are a very small organisation and have not collected any diversity statistics but would state anecdotally that given the size of Edge, we have a very diverse workforce.


    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 Job Description and Person Specification and complete this Equality Monitoring Survey.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum 2 sides of A4) 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 “Trustee – Edge Foundation” into the subject field.

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

    Dr Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

    Dr Jenn Allen | jenn@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364034

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Disabled applicants 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 job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


    Closing date: Monday 22nd November 2021

    Shortlisting outcome:  by 5 pm Wednesday 8th December 2021

    Interviews (in person): Monday 13th December 2021

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring  

    Peridot and The Edge Foundation 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 would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this  equality monitoring survey.

    The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018.

    The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

    Data Processing, Protection and Privacy Policy 

    By completing the form to view, or if you have access to this page from an email invitation, Peridot Partners will have processed your personal information. For more information about Peridot Partners’ data processing activities and your rights, please read our  Privacy Policy.

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