The National Director of Safeguarding is responsible for strategic leadership of the Church of England’s national safeguarding team, prioritisation of effort, support for the Lead Bishop on outward-facing communication into society and the wider Church on how the Church of England is delivering and improving safeguarding. The National Director will also be accountable for the national team’s work whilst also working in close partnership with the lead bishops, senior clergy, dioceses and cathedrals, to support, enable, quality-assure and develop safeguarding in the wider Church to promote a safer Church.
Safeguarding needs to be embedded within the church so the director will be responsible for combining deep understanding of this particular safeguarding context and history, to enable the complex Church ecosystem to build confidence and capability to the next level. The post holder will be a member of the Archbishops’ Council’s senior management team, and will be expected to work collaboratively within the team to ensure safeguarding is an integral part of the work of the Council and thus the Church
The Church of England has recently created a three-person Independent Safeguarding Board, to provide independent scrutiny and oversight of the work of the national safeguarding team, and safeguarding work across the Church. In its current form the ISB will scrutinise and review the Church’s safeguarding work although it does not have executive authority. The role of the Board may change over time and working with its members and building strong relationships will be an important part of the Director’s role.
Hybrid working with attendance at Church House, Great Smith Street, London and other locations as required.
The Director will be line-managed by the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council. There will be a requirement to engage with the Independent Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel, the Independent Safeguarding Board and the postholder will also work closely with the Lead Bishop for Safeguarding.
Leadership of the National Safeguarding Team. Direct line management of two Deputy Directors, the Office Manager, the Lead Bishop’s Safeguarding Adviser and other staff as required.
The Lead Bishop for Safeguarding, Members of the Archbishops’ Council and the House of Bishops; the Chair and members of the National Safeguarding Panel, members of the Independent Safeguarding Board, the Deputy Director of Communications and HR Business Partner, the National Safeguarding Officer for The Methodist Church, key colleagues at Bishopthorpe and Lambeth Palaces; Bishops and senior staff in the dioceses, especially Diocesan Safeguarding Advisors and Diocesan Secretaries; external stakeholders including safeguarding survivor groups, government departments and other external experts in the safeguarding field.
MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Strategic leadership and management of the National Safeguarding Team. Ensuring that there is medium and long-term strategic direction and vision for safeguarding across the Church of England, taking overall responsibility for working in partnership to deliver national systems, policies and procedures, change management, engagement with survivors and supporting and enabling safeguarding provision across the wider Church of England. Effective management of a team of c20 people plus associates and consultants.
- Effective leadership of the complex and substantial Safeguarding Programme of the national Church, including management of the safeguarding budget ensuring effective prioritisation and resource allocation and the maintenance of strong quality audit and assurance systems across the National Church Institutions, dioceses and other Church bodies.
- Acting as the senior source of professional advice on safeguarding matters for the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, the Lead Bishop on Safeguarding, Diocesan Bishops and other national officers and senior clergy.
- Ensuring that the Church’s external communications and positioning on safeguarding matters is professional and effective, managing external stakeholders on safeguarding matters with the media, government departments, survivor groups, external safeguarding experts and others in conjunction with the Lead Bishop and the Communications Office.
- Maintain and develop further work with victims, survivors and survivor-interest groups including the Safe Spaces project and the work to develop a Church-wide system of redress, to ensure this receives appropriate priority within the Church’s safeguarding activity.
- Instil safeguarding culture across all of the NCIs and in partnership with others, support the development of this amongst the wider Church whilst championing a learning culture and, in particular, ensuring that outcomes and lessons from Safeguarding casework are learned and practice improved as a result.
- Network with senior safeguarding professionals from the full range of environments, ensuring that the Church draws on best practice from a range of contexts and that benchmarking is completed against similar organisations.
- Make recommendations to establish appropriate improvement powers with regard to safeguarding, to enable the NST, the Archbishops’ Council and/or the House of Bishops to have appropriate influence with regard to Bishops and/or dioceses that can be exercised when required.
We are taking a flexible approach to work, with many colleagues opting for a hybrid approach to their working week, with a mixture of home and office-based working. Further details will be discussed at interview.
We offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.
The Church of England is for everyone and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitably experienced people, we would particularly welcome applicants from UK Minority Ethnic Backgrounds