Job Opportunity

Job Description: Deputy Director

Contract: Permanent, full time
Hours of work: 9.30am – 5.30pm and/or some evenings. Occasional weekend work will be required and repaid with TOIL
Salary: 36K per annum
Employer: Open School East, Margate
Reports to: Director

About Open School East

Established in 2013 and located in Margate, Open School East (OSE) is a free, independent art school and community space that focuses on collective learning through the arts. We support cultural practitioners at an early stage of their career to develop and sustain their practice, and enable young people and adults alike to learn new and transferable skills, develop their confidence and shape their creative voice by becoming active learners and co- producers of OSE’s programmes.

Open School East is a registered charity and National Portfolio Organisation, supported by Arts Council England. Core and project funding come from a range of sources including trusts and foundations, and individual donors.

This is an exciting time to join Open School East in developing its next chapter. Please note there is ambition to grow the team, subject to successful fundraising.

Job outline

The Deputy Director post is a senior position, working closely with the Director to help realise and develop the vision and mission for the organisation which is vital in realising the artistic programme. It is an integral role which helps envision, map out and deliver the next exciting phase of our journey.

The Deputy Director supports the Director in managing the day-to-day running of the organisation, taking specific responsibility for the financial management and the operational and business management of the organisation and for creating an environment in which artistic excellence can flourish.

The Deputy Director is responsible for the organisation’s overall budget and overseeing all project budgets; producing management accounts; monitoring and managing raised funds; human resources and building operations of the organisation; leading on safeguarding, policies, and ensuring that the building/artists studios adhere to health and safety regulations. The Deputy Director will work jointly with the Director in fundraising and reporting to funders.

The Deputy Director will have significant strategic financial and business planning experience, preferably with experience of working within an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (ACE NPO) and with a proven track record of managing financial systems, operations and budgets.

This role will contribute substantially to the delivery of our activities and have a real impact on artists and young people’s lives. Once settled into the role there will be the opportunity for the Deputy Director to develop and lead on a project or piece of work that is inline with the organisation’s core mission and values. The Deputy Director will also deputise for the Director when required.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities

Business Planning and Financial Management

  • Lead organisational business planning activity, including ACE NPO processes;
  • Work jointly with the Director to deliver the business objectives of Open School East’s existing business plan and the targets within it, keeping trustees and stakeholders updated as necessary;
  • Work jointly with the Director to lead the annual review and business planning process;
  • A lead role on any potential future capital project development projects, working with the Board and Director in aspects of the planning, development and management;
  • Lead and prepare, manage and monitor Open School East’s overall annual budget and individual project budgets with staff, in dialogue with the Director;
  • Oversee Open School East’s financial systems, ensuring they are operating properly and that all records are maintained in a systematic, timely and accurate manner with support from the (external) Accountant;
  • Set financial policy and procedure, and monitoring compliance;
  • Liaise with Open School East’s Accountant in the production of monthly management accounts and annual accounts;
  • Process regular payments to contractors, monthly payroll, ensuring all tax, National Insurance and pension payments are made and statutory employer responsibilities are met;
  • Work jointly with the Board and Director to ensure necessary financial and information returns and reports are submitted to the Charities Commission and funding partners on a timely basis.


  • Provide, clearly and confidently the relevant information to support effective Governance and financial management through the appropriate and timely provision of information;
  • Engage Trustees’ guidance and strategic support on areas relevant to their particular skill sets, as well as enthusing the Board with the programme and ensuring their support across advocacy, fundraising, organisational and staff development;
  • Work jointly with the Director, to liaise regularly with Trustees to ensure that they are fully aware of the School’s activities;
  • Work closely with the Fundraising and the Finance and Risk Subcommittees;
  • Oversee the organisation’s risk management with a particular focus on health & safety, safeguarding, financial, human resources and reputational risks; with effective reporting to Trustees to enable them to effectively fulfil their governance duties;
  • Ensure good governance in all aspects of the organisation’s activity and introduce management best practice and continuous improvement to processes;
  • Support the Board of Trustees, including preparing and circulating papers and minutes and setting the agenda for subcommittee meetings;
  • Support the Board in the implementation of its governance improvement plan.

Fundraising and Relationships’ Management

  • Working jointly with the Director to develop and deliver Open School East’s fundraising strategy, and with support from the Fundraising Subcommittee, ensure that income targets are agreed and achieved in line with the OSE business plan;
  • Work jointly with the Director to manage and maintain funding agreements with core funders, including reporting on audience data and impact evaluation;
  • Work jointly with the Director to develop and implement a strategy for securing major grants from trusts and foundations, and to write and sign off applications;
  • Promote and maintain productive relations with strategic and operational partnerships, working alongside the Director and reporting to the Board of Trustees;
  • Work jointly with the Director to build strong creative relationships and partnerships, as well as exploiting the further life of work produced;
  • Work jointly with the Director to develop partner relationships and funding opportunities for the learning and artistic programmes.

Operations and Compliance

  • Manage OSE’s Human Resources function, ensuring compliance with best practice guidelines;
  • Manage personnel processes including employment contracts, appraisals, annual leave, TOIL and sickness;
  • Ensure that OSE’s policies and procedures are in place and that all staff and users are aware of their responsibilities;
  • Support the Director and programme leaders in devising risk assessments for programme activities;
  • Act as OSE’s Safeguarding Lead; Liaise with health and safety consultants to line-manage and support staff to ensure the building is managed in accordance with the lease, legal, health and safety and licensing regulations and that it is maintained to a high standard;
  • Ensure that the office infrastructure supports all aspects of activity, including IT equipment, storage, insurance and maintenance;
  • Oversee processes for effective recruitment, employment and staff development;
  • Oversee general upkeep and maintenance for building, including management of contractors for electrical & building work etc, ensuring studios are kept clean and tidy and in compliance with health and safety regulations set out in lease(s), ensuring electrical and lighting is in order and checked regularly;
  • Promote and ensure compliance with policies relating to equality of opportunity and diversity, and Data Protection regulations (GDPR);
  • Ensure key policies and processes are in place including good practice in the areas of equality, inclusivity and diversity, professional development and environmental sustainability;
  • Ensure all insurances are up-to-date (public liability, contents and employers);
  • Lead the management of cross-organisational risk management;
  • The role will require management responsibilities of contractors; freelancers; teachers; mentors; auditors; external accountant; and some members of the core team.

Communication and General Management

  • Work jointly with the Director to lead the implementation of OSE’s communications strategy and regular reviews thereof;
  • Act as OSE’s advocate and representative in partnership with the wider team and represent the organisation locally, regionally and nationally.

Person specification


  • Significant financial experience, including setting, monitoring and controlling budgets, producing management accounting reports and cash flow forecasts;
  • Experience of business planning and strategic management;
  • A proven track record of fundraising and/or managing raised funds;
  • Experience of coordination of Governance and HR;
  • Experience of managing and maintaining funding agreements with core funders, including reporting on audience data and impact evaluation experience;
  • Experience of developing and implementing policies and procedures;
  • Experience of managing staff, with a strong ability to build team-spirit in the workplace;
  • Excellent administrative and communications skills, both written and verbal;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to relate to, and confidently engage with to liaise with colleagues, funders, trustees, artists/practitioners, students, young people, partner organisations and other stakeholders;
  • A strong awareness of issues of equality, cultural diversity and safeguarding, with a commitment to Equal Opportunities;
  • Engagement with the organisation’s values;
  • Interest and passion for art and creativity and its wider contribution and value to society.


  • Knowledge and understanding of the cultural sector in the East Kent and South East area;
  • Knowledge and understanding of social issues in the East Kent area;
  • Experience of managing relationships with Arts Council England or other comparable statutory funders, including KPI and financial reporting.


To apply please send a CV, cover letter (2 pages max) outlining your relevant experience and motivation for this role, and a completed monitoring form by email to Should you have any question with regards to the role, please contact

Open School East is committed to diversity and inclusion and we are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace that seeks to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a variety of backgrounds, skills and perspectives. We encourage applications from all races, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, national origins, religions as well as parents/carers, people living with disabilities and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and any other groups that could bring diverse experience and perspectives to our organisation.

Download the full job description and monitoring form here.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 14 July 2021, 10am GMT
1st Interviews to be held: Friday 16 July 2021
2nd Interviews to be held: w/c 19 July 2021