Shakespeare Schools Foundation seeks Festival Manager (Operations)

Closing Date: 31 December 2018

Shakespeare Schools Foundation

Location: London

Remuneration: £27k-35k per annum, depending on experience.


Shakespeare Schools Foundation logo

Salary: £27k-35k per annum, depending on experience.
Contract: Initial 12 month fixed term contract, full time, with a view to extend.
Reports to: Director of Operations.
Line Manages: Festival Coordinators, Festival Assistants.
Probation: 4 month probationary period.
Hours: 35 hours per week, flexitime. Occasionally additional hours may be necessary.
Leave: 25 days per year, plus bank holidays.
Notice period: 2 months.
Location: This role is based in our central London office. Some travel within the UK will be required.

About Shakespeare Schools Foundation

We transform lives through the unique power of Shakespeare.
Our work instils curiosity and empathy; aspiration and self-esteem; literacy and teamwork – giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage. Our annual Festival uses a rigorous and supportive process to train teachers and young people in an active and ambitious way of working with Shakespeare.

Months of preparation culminate in exhilarating performance evenings on professional theatre stages – hundreds of nights across the country, every autumn in the world’s largest youth drama festival.

Organisation and culture

Our dynamic, ambitious and energetic people work in four different teams.

• Festival and Creative: responsible for our annual Festival, this team looks after every region and nation of the UK, recruiting schools and taking them through the months of preparation before each performance night. At the heart of our creative offer, this team oversees the content of our workshops, resources and the Festival.
• Income Generation and Communications: this team ensures we reach more young people every year, raising donor income from a wide range of sources, including our ground breaking events. They sell our workshops, look after our brand, raise our profile and make sure the world knows about our transformative work.
• Support: the bedrock of the organisation; the Finance, IT, and HR functions that have kept us running since the year 2000.
• Delivery: the face of SSF, this team devises, develops and delivers our workshops and the Festival. They ensure all our young people and teachers have an ambitious and thrilling experience of Shakespeare.

Our office culture is warm, friendly and ambitious. We provide comprehensive training, including from our excellent artistic associates. We offer yoga and exercise classes and our Social Committee plan activities through the year. We also enjoy a lot of cake!

As a Festival Manager, you will be part of our Festival and Creative Team.

Job Purpose

SSF has two full time Festival Managers. Festival Managers are responsible for ensuring a thrilling and transformative experience for all schools participating in our annual Shakespeare Schools Festival. They manage the Festival Team, who are responsible for our relationships with over 1000 schools, 130 theatres and 100 freelance staff across the country.

The Festival Manager for Operations oversees the growth and sustainability of the Festival, particularly our commitment to working with the young people who need us most.

Main Duties

Festival set up
• Support and motivate the Festival team to sign schools up to the Festival
• Work with the Sales and Outreach Manager to drive the geographical strategy of the Festival, including managing key partnerships
• Manage registered school numbers through the year including helping schools to navigate the challenges of the project and ensuring they remain committed for the duration of the experience
• Work with the Systems Officer to manage the festival database, including ensuring good data stewardship from the team on school, theatre and staff data
• Set up and manage Festival systems including school lists, cast lists, appraisals, BSL interpreters and access forms

• Manage the Festival team to recruit and schedule approximately 130 regional theatres
• Manage relationships with key stakeholders, such as national theatre networks and partner theatres
• Manage the negotiations of theatre contracts including training, team support and financial monitoring
• Oversee administrative systems and processes for storing and using theatre data
• Manage communications to theatres and ensure excellent relationship management including preparing materials and resources, website information and legal compliance
• Work with other managers to ensure the correct logistics are in place for audience giving, merchandise sales and box office sales

• Oversee the recruitment of new freelance delivery staff and retention of our current team to ensure we have the best team delivering our Festival
• Manage the scheduling of freelance delivery staff
• Devise and deliver training for freelance delivery staff in collaboration with Creative Manager
• Support the Festival team to manage and support freelance staff including communications, monitoring and feedback loops
• Manage the work of the Foundation & Festival Assistants in administration of travel & accommodation bookings, expenses, contracts and DBS checks – ensuring compliance with legal & HR
• Manage relevant sections of Festival delivery budget
• Provide relevant, timely and accurate reports to Director of Operations and Head of Finance

• Recruit, manage and train Festival Coordinators including line management of up to four coordinators
• Develop and deliver training for the Festival Team including in contract negotiation and staff management
• Manage the professional development and motivation of Festival Coordinators through the year
• Recruit and manage Festival Assistants including our autumn office team

Person Specification

We are looking for an inspiring leader with significant experience in theatre. Ideally, you will have experience working nationally with theatres and/or creative practitioners. You will combine excellent communication and organisation skills with creativity and innovation. You must identify with SSF’s mission and values and be able to advocate for the organisation to theatres and creative practitioners. You will be flexible, organised and able to work under pressure.

Essential Experience:
• people management and leading a motivated and effective team, including training programmes
• overseeing a festival or large event on a national or regional scale
• an understanding of the UK theatre landscape, particularly regionally
• producing theatre, including an understanding of technical elements
• line management
• experience of managing customer/client experience
• data management
• operational management – planning and implementation

Desirable Experience:
• managing or delivering communications – print, web, other
• delivery of theatre or education workshops to students and teachers
• managing internal communications
• data analysis
• developing budgets
• risk management
• experience of or an interest in working with Shakespeare

To apply:

• Please complete the application form – we will not accept CVs.
• Send to, subject “Festival Manager Operations Application” by 5pm on 31st December.
• Interviews will take place in early January, with ideal start date of early February 2019.
• We actively encourage applicants from BAME communities and people with disabilities.
• If you would like any further information on the position or have any specific requirements, please call the SSF office on 0207 601 1800 and ask to speak to Mike.

If you would like a copy of this document in large print please email