Job Info
Salary: £60,000-£75,000
Job Type: Full-time
Contract Type: Permanent
Closing Date:13 September 2021 08:00 am
Location: Central London / Working remotely
Job Contact: Helen McGlade
Applications to:

Director for Social Mobility and Vulnerable Learners

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) is a leading public policy research institute. For over five years we’ve produced high quality, authoritative research that has proven both timely and influential to policy-makers, practitioners and the public.  


We are looking for an experienced quantitative analyst, economist or statistician to lead our work on social mobility and vulnerable learners. 


As a Director at EPI, you will have the opportunity to:  

  • Deliver impactful research on the performance and inclusion of vulnerable learners, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, looked after children, pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds. 
  • Build relationships with a range of stakeholders including grant-awarding foundations, government and politicians and a range of charities with interests in these areas. 
  • Manage and grow a team, developing their skills and expertise in research techniques, report writing and stakeholder engagement. 
  • Lead on a range of projects, including writing reports, blogs and presenting EPI research findings to high-level audiences such as the media and Parliamentary Select Committees. 
  • Be part of the Executive Team, overseeing the growth and sustainability of the organisation. 


About EPI 


The Education Policy Institute is an independent, impartial and evidence-based research institute that aims to promote high quality education outcomes for all children and young people, regardless of social background. We’re known for producing research that both informs and influences public debate and policy-making. 

We believe that public services should be designed using the best available evidence. Our research aims to improve outcomes throughout the education system, in the early years, in schools and colleges and through technical, vocational and academic pathways. Because we believe that young people’s wellbeing is crucial to their achievement and outcomes, we also conduct research into mental health and inclusion. 

We employ a team of dedicated statisticians, economists and communication experts who produce high quality research and ensure that it reaches a wide range of audiences, including the top level of government and the national media.  


The Position 


We’re looking for a Director to lead our Social Mobility and Vulnerable Learners team.  

The Education Policy Institute is driven by a strong moral purpose to ensure that our education system serves the most disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils. Throughout our work, we take an interest in how education systems can narrow the gap between the most disadvantaged pupils and their peers. A central focus of this research strand also involves a consideration of the challenges, interventions, and opportunities for supporting young people’s mental health, wellbeing, and inclusion. 

This is an exciting and important role as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to shine a light on educational inequalities in England. Our existing work shows that the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has stalled in recent years and this trend is likely to worsen as a result of the pandemic. 

We need a better, evidence-based understanding of why vulnerable children, including those with suffering from poor mental health, are falling behind and how government policy and local practices should change in order to improve their outcomes and life-chances. 

This role provides the opportunity to shape our research in this area, looking at a wide-variety of data including the National Pupil Database, longitudinal data such as the Millennium Cohort Study and the Longitudinal study of Educational Outcomes and data collected through other means including Freedom of Information requests. 

The Director for Social Mobility and Vulnerable Learners will oversee this crucial programme of work and will present our research in the media, to Parliamentary Committees and at conferences and seminars. The successful candidate will manage a small team with lots of potential to grow the team over time. 

As a Director in EPI, you will need to be confident in making decisions, working at pace and often responding to urgent and emerging issues such as government announcements or requests from the media to do interviews at short notice. 

We are a small organisation and, as part of the Senior Leadership Team, the Director for Social Mobility and Vulnerable Learners will help to shape the direction and future of EPI. He or she will also work closely with the other Research Directors to identify emerging priorities in education policy, offer support and work collaboratively across policy areas.  

The successful candidate will report to the CEO. Because our independence and political neutrality is crucial to us, there are some restrictions on party political activity for permanent members of staff. 


We pay Directors on a scale between £60-75,000. We also offer: 

  • 30 days annual leave (not including bank holidays or the period of closure between Christmas and New Year). 
  • 8% employer pension contributions. 
  • The opportunity to work flexibly, including part-time or on secondment. 
  • Access to Education Support’s Employee Assistance Programme for confidential support and guidance 
  • Cycle-to-work and season travel ticket schemes 




The successful candidate should have  

  • A numerate degree, and at least 5 years relevant experience or a relevant doctorate or advanced degree.  
  • Deep knowledge of the education system in England 
  • Experience in designing and managing research programmes to inform and influence national policy making.  
  • The insight to use evidence to propose effective policies.   
  • Strong quantitative analytical skills.  
  • Proficiency and expertise in using database and statistical software, e.g. SPSS / STATA / R / SQL / SAS etc.   
  • Excellent communication skills e.g. for presentations to and with sector experts and for media interviews.   
  • Experience in a management or leadership role.  
  • Experience in applying for and securing research grants 


    The Location 


    EPI is based in central London, on Buckingham Palace Road. Our offices are very well connected – situated just 5 minutes away from Victoria Station.  


    Why Should You Apply?  


    The opportunity to work in one of the most influential education research institutes 

    Competitive pay, with generous holidays and benefits 

    Flexible working hours 

    Opportunities for professional development and working within a highly motivated organisation. 


    How to Apply 


    To apply please send a covering letter and CV to and complete the following application formThe application also asks for specific examples under four of the competences that make up EPI’s core competences. For each answer you may find the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach to structuring your response helpful.