New Schools Network (NSN) is an independent charity improving the life chances of young people by supporting the creation and long-term success of new schools. NSN finds talented people and organisations, supports them to establish new free schools across the country and, through the Academy Ambassadors Programme, places high calibre business people as non-executive directors on boards of multi-academy trusts. The organisation is particularly focused on supporting new schools in areas of high economic and social disadvantage and low educational performance.

NSN’s External Relations team works across multiple disciplines covering press, policy, digital, branding and research. This is a new role to strengthen the team’s external communications, ensuring regular coverage in sector, regional and national outlets, as well as meaningful engagement with policy makers from all parties and the wider education sector.

As part of the External Relations team, the Communications and Policy Manager will bring a successful track record and experience to support the Head of Communications in realising an ambitious ER Strategy.

Key responsibilities

· Support the Head of Content and Communications in delivering the External Relations Strategy.

· Ensure regular, high-quality written content is produced on behalf of the organisation and other interested stakeholders.

· Lead story generation and content planning, the external relations calendar and organisation-wide grid, ensuring NSN is a leading voice in the education policy and wider sector.

· Oversee NSN’s digital communications, including website copy, newsletters, social media and blogs.

· Manage NSN’s media and parliamentary monitoring functions, ensuring swift responses are issued.

· Ensure the successful delivery and launch of policy reports and consultation responses.

· Liaise with the Research and Data Manager to ensure the External Relations and Senior Management teams are kept up-to-date with the latest education announcements and data releases.

· Support teams across the organisation in maintaining and developing their programme literature, online and in print.

· Line management of team members.

Skills and experience

· Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal, are crucial.

· Support for the free schools policy and a wide-ranging interest in education.

· A successful track record of commissioning, writing and editing copy for a range of audiences, including national press outlets.

· Experience of ‘story generation’ and content planning.

· An understanding of the Government, civil service and policy-making process.

· Experience of working with senior stakeholders, such as Trustees and Parliamentarians.

· Experience of managing social media channels, resulting in increased engagement and following.

· The ability to prioritise and manage competing deadlines under pressure.

· A positive, ‘can do’ attitude.

· Line management experience.

Desirable experience

· Experience of the third or education sectors.

· Experience using various tools to support in content generation (such as Vuelio, Canva, MailChimp, Typeform, Drupal etc.).

· Experience of Salesforce.

Further details


£27,000-£30,000 dependent on experience


25 days’ annual leave, with an additional day for each year of service; office closure between Christmas and New Year – additional leave not taken out of your annual leave allowance; two days of study/charitable leave per year to allow you to take on charity work, further study or school governor activities; season ticket travel loan scheme and cycle to work scheme; 10% pension contribution.


Full time, permanent

Closing date

Friday 21st February


London. You will be required to visit our Manchester office on occasion.

How to apply

To apply for this role, please e-mail with your CV and a covering letter, explaining why you are the right person for this job. Please also include details of your current salary and notice period.

We are keen to appoint as soon as possible so will be interviewing and may appoint for this position before the deadline. Candidates are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

NSN reserves the right to withdraw this job positing at any time.


NSN is committed to ensuring your privacy is protected. We will use your CV and cover letter to process your job application. If you would like us to keep your CV on file to be considered for other similar roles, please include this in your email. For more information on what data are held, our full privacy policy can be found here.

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