Job Info
Salary: £60,000-75,000
Job Type: Full-time
Contract Type: Permanent
Closing Date:05 July 2022 11:59 pm
Location: Central London
Job Contact: Fernando de Linos
Applications to:

Director of Early Years Development

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) is a leading public policy research institute. For six 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 social policy researcher to lead our work on early years. 


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

  • Deliver impactful research on policies and programmes related to young children and their families, with a focus on those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and shape the directorate work around key topics, such as access to quality early education and the impact of childhood inequalities on life chances.  
  • 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, social policy researchers 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 are looking for a director to lead our Early Years Development 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 involves considering the challenges and opportunities for supporting children’s development so that they can reach the beginning of formal schooling ready to thrive and learn. 

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 attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is already present at age 5. In addition, progress in closing the gap has stalled in recent years and this trend is likely to worsen because of the pandemic. It is crucial that policies and programmes help close this gap and that intervention starts early.  

We need a better, evidence-based, understanding of what works in the early years to help close this gap and set children on the best life trajectory and how government policy and local practices should change 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 Early Years Census and National Pupil Database, data on childcare provision and entitlements from the Department for Education and Ofsted, longitudinal data such as the Millennium Cohort Study and the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), as well as data collected through other means including Freedom of Information requests and direct data collection. 

The Director for Early Years Development 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 Early Years Development will help to shape the direction and future of EPI. You 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 £60,000-75,000. 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 early years research and policy. 
  • 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 form. The application also asks for specific examples under three 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.