Commissioning Lead - Independent Education, Chelmsford, Essex

Closing date:

Essex County CouncilChelmsford, Essex
Date posted:
Contract type: Full Time
Salary: from £50,000 to £61,000 per annum
Contract term: Permanent

Full Time - 37 hours per week

The Role

Essex County Council’s Children and Families function is recognised as a service with a culture of collaboration, integrity and compassion which promotes the development and wellbeing of children, young people and their families, protects them from neglect and abuse and works with partners to deliver a range of early help, family support and effective interventions which build resilience, remove barriers and enable children and young people to look forward to a brighter future.

The commissioning lead ensures children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) placed in independent and non-maintained special schools receive appropriate education as identified in their education ,health and care plan whilst working in partnership with the statutory assessment service, health and children’s social care. It is a key post in partnership working.

We are looking for a senior education professional with the ability to build strong, influential relationships with education partners at a senior level. The post holder will advise on appropriate placements and develop excellent partnership relationships with schools. The successful applicant will have current knowledge of SEND and other related legislation and guidance.

Key Accountabilities

  • Commission school placements for children with SEND in independent and non-maintained special schools (INMSS) and children’s homes with education

  • Influence the market to develop high quality independent education provision for SEND that is not currently available in or close to Essex, drawing on a strategic analysis of unmet need and demand information

  • Ensure that quality assurance processes and frameworks are in place and providers are able to continuously demonstrate improvement and value for money

  • Use specialist skill, knowledge and experience to ensure the effectiveness of the commissioning and monitoring of placements and to support independent schools that may have been rated requires improvement or inadequate following an Ofsted inspection

  • Ensure that all requests for INMSS education services are undertaken in a timely manner taking account of the Ofsted rating, distance from Essex, value for money and detailed knowledge of the market, meeting the specific need of the child

  • Building strong, respected and influential relationships with education providers and maintaining the highest reputation of Essex County Council

  • Ensure accurate monitoring of fees for school placements in accordance with the individual placement agreements and schools’ compliance within the national schools and colleges contract

  • To take the lead in the children’s cross regional arrangements group (CCRAG) regarding the monitoring of provision and contracts within those schools

  • Development of specific projects to ensure the commissioning of the highest quality provision whilst achieving best value for money

  • Specific individual and shared targets and objectives are defined annually within the performance management framework

Skills, Experience and Experience

  • Educated to degree level, with relevant educational qualification. Qualified teacher status desirable

  • Post graduate advanced qualification in special educational needs and disability (SEND)

  • Evidence of continuing professional development, aligned to any relevant professional competency/capability frameworks or knowledge and skills statements

  • Sound understanding and knowledge of the Ofsted inspection frameworks, interpretation of results and improvement programmes

  • Strategic leadership, excellent communication, negotiation and influencing skills, including conflict resolution and a high degree of commercial awareness

  • Experience as a specialist teacher or management role in relation to SEND, ideally with experience in reviewing/evaluating/inspecting school provision for SEND, including ability to devise evaluation strategies

  • Up to date knowledge of SEND and other related legislation and guidance, including knowledge of recent national developments in SEND

For more information on this role, please call Stephanie Bishop on 0333 013 0388 for further discussion.

The role requires you to be mobile throughout a wide operational area including travelling around the county of Essex and beyond. Driving licence and car or ability to meet the mobility requirements of the role through other means is essential.

Qualification certificates must be brought to interview.

As part of employment with Essex County Council should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please visit:

Essex County Council is proud to offer an excellent benefits package to all its employees. For more information please use the following link:

Please note ECC regularly reviews its reward and benefits

Closing Date: 23:59 on 18th April 2018

Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.

We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is key to our success.

If you have any queries regarding this role, or require anything further, please contact the Essex Recruitment Team on 033 005 83330*.

*Calls to this number are charged in the same way as calls to numbers starting 01 or 02, please check with your service provider

Job location

More about Essex County Council
Address: Schools, Children and Families Directorate, County Hall, Market Road, PO Box 47, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6WN, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 1245 436247