We are recruiting a Head of Programmes to join us for 12 months as a maternity cover.

We are recruiting a Head of Programmes to join us for 12 months as a maternity cover. This is a challenging, varied and highly rewarding role leading the Programmes team to provide outstanding support for our clients and grow our services.

Reports to: CEO

Department: Senior Leadership Team

Direct reports: Initial 5 direct reports and 10-12 further indirect reports.

Location: Old Street, London (with travel required to London sites zones 1-3 and occasional travel outside of London)

Salary: Circa £45,000 – £50,000, depending on experience.

Contract: 12 month fixed-term contract

Please apply via Charity Jobs

Closing Date: 17th May 2020

The Charity

Founded in 2015, Breaking Barriers is a fast-paced, start-up charity with a mission to help refugees in London gain the knowledge, confidence and experience to secure stable and fulfilling employment in their new home. 

We offer effective and flexible employment support in direct partnership with businesses that help refugees secure work, progress into better jobs, and successfully integrate into UK society. We have a unique approach, working with corporate partners to help refugees develop careers that match their skills, experience and aspirations. 

Since Breaking Barriers’ inception just four years ago, we have grown to support in excess of 500 refugees per year and have ambitious plans to expand this as part of our strategic plan. We concentrate on getting things done in a flexible environment where everyone is encouraged to take ownership and contribute. 

We are a team of over 20 employees supported by several hundred volunteers, who are all driven and committed to helping London’s refugee community.  We are looking for similarly driven and ambitious individuals keen to join an enterprising organisation where they can benefit from the opportunity to innovate and shape the direction of the charity. Colleagues who thrive are passionate, driven and have the confidence to work autonomously while remaining team players and sharing credit with all involved. 

We are looking for someone who lives and breathes our values: 

  • Mission-ledour clients come before everything else.
  • Welcomingwe want all people to feel happy, comfortable and secure with us.
  • Collaborativewe are supportive and considerate, curiously exploring other viewpoints to find solutions. 
  • Enterprising: we are discerningly bold, entrepreneurial and have the courage to give things a go. 

Overall purpose of the role

This role will lead and manage the Programmes team to collectively provide outstanding support for our clients and develop and grow our services. The Programmes team is responsible for delivering our Employment, Education and Volunteering programmes; we provide direct support to clients, develop and implement programme activities and recruit, train and support the brilliant volunteers who are central to our work. The Head of Programmes ensures that we are delivering according to our strategy and operational plans and setting the foundations for future growth.

This role will line manage programme coordinators/managers and take on people management responsibilities for the wider Programmes team to build a dedicated, productive and enterprising team culture. The Head of Programmes works closely with the Strategy and Impact team to ensure that delivery data is accurate and used to inform the direction of our programmes, and to produce regular reporting to monitor progress against targets. This role works closely with the Fundraising team to develop new fundraising proposals and ensure that existing commitments to donors are being met. Forming part of the Senior Leadership Team, this role forms a key part of wider decision-making and leadership of the charity.

Key Responsibilities

We are a fast-paced charity that prides itself on its flexibility and responsiveness so your responsibilities may change, develop and grow according to the needs and development of our programmes.

1. Management of Employment, Education and Volunteering programmes

    • Directing, coordinating and prioritising work across different teams and programmes;
    • Taking ownership of programme targets and delivery plans, monitoring performance and adapting where necessary to ensure goals are met;
    • Working closely with the Finance team to set and manage programme budgets;
    • Taking responsibility for continuous improvement of processes to promote efficient and effective ways of working.

2. People management

    • Line management of 5 direct reports, including responsibilities for professional development, coaching and performance management;
    • Taking on HR responsibilities for the wider Programmes team, including recruitment, induction, training and salary reviews.

3. General management as part of Senior Leadership Team (SLT)

    • Contributing to, reviewing and signing off budgets, strategies and proposals;
    • Acting as Safeguarding Lead to ensure safeguarding policies and procedures are followed within the charity and acting as a focal point for safeguarding issues;
    • Representing interests of the Programmes team within the charity by escalating and resolving issues;
    • Communicating decisions and demonstrating leadership within the Programmes team.

4. Reporting

    • Conducting monthly reporting and providing updates to SLT, wider team and quarterly to the Board;
    • Working with the Strategy and Impact team to carry out ad hoc reporting and analysis of programme data to inform fundraising or strategic work;
    • Working with the Strategy and Impact team to ensure continuous improvement of reporting methodologies and technology.

5. Monitoring and evaluation

    • Taking responsibility for ensuring M&E processes are followed across programmes;
    • Working with the Strategy and Impact team to improve, develop and implement new M&E processes.

6. Contributing to strategy

    • Overseeing development of programme-level strategies, and ensuring input from the Programmes team is fed into organisational-level strategy;
    • Taking oversight of the design and development of new programmes;
    • Working with the Head of Strategy and Impact to develop and agree programme targets in line with strategic growth.

7. Working with Fundraising team

    • Working with Philanthropy team on the development of new bids and proposals;
    • Working with Partnerships team on coordinating service delivery involving corporate partners;
    • Ensuring donor targets are met and reporting requirements fulfilled.

Person Specification


Knowledge and experience

  • Experience of line management and managing teams, including professional development, performance management, recruitment and induction.
  • Experience of developing and managing projects and/or programmes.
  • Demonstrable understanding of employment programmes and/or programmes supporting marginalised groups.


  • Self-organized with highly developed time management skills; able to manage multiple competing priorities, meet deadlines and adapt to a changing and fast-paced working environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; able to build strong relationships and interact with confidence and diplomacy both internally and externally.
  • Able to process complex information and relay this to a variety of audiences both verbally and in written communication.
  • Strong analytical and numeracy skills; comfortable with analysis and interpretation of data, and of using data to inform decision-making.
  • Strategic thinking; able to anticipate, plan ahead and see the bigger picture.
  • Strong negotiation and influencing skills.
  • Fluent spoken and written English; excellent oral and written communicator.
  • Confident in using computer systems and new software, including CRMs.


  • Mission-focused; a demonstrable interest and commitment to working with marginalised populations, particularly refugees.
  • Collaborative and curious; listens to other viewpoints to find solutions.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset; willing to be discerningly bold and give new ideas a go.
  • Has a continuous improvement mindset. Looks for new and better ways to do things.


  • Demonstrable understanding and/or experience of working with refugees and people from refugee backgrounds.
  • Experience of analysing data to produce reporting.
  • Experience of monitoring and evaluation of programmes.
  • Experience of developing and monitoring targets and/or budgets.
  • Familiarity with Zoho CRM.
  • Knowledge and understanding of safeguarding principles.
  • Knowledge and understanding of data protection.
  • Knowledge and understanding of best practice in working with volunteers.
  • Experience of working with corporate partners.
  • Experience of fundraising and/or working with donors.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Breaking Barriers particularly welcomes applicants with experience of migration and/or a refugee background.


Closing Date: 17th May 2020

First-round interviews w/c 25th May 2020

Please apply via Charity Jobs