Director of Operations

Job Level
Senior position
Job Category
  • Technology
Job Status
Areas of Responsibility
  • Systems / Operations

The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) is looking to appoint to a full time Director of Operations to join the COBIS Executive Team from October 2018. The post holder will support the work of the COBIS Board, CEO, Executive Team and COBIS members worldwide.

COBIS is a premier global membership association representing over 500 member organisations consisting of in the region of 300 high quality British International schools and over 200 commercial organisations. The association is recognised by the UK Department for International Trade as a ‘Trade Challenge Partner’. COBIS Members can be found in 80 countries worldwide. COBIS exists to represent and support its member schools - their leaders, governors, staff and students - and the delivery and export of quality British education by:

  • Representing member schools with the British and overseas Governments, educational bodies, and the corporate sector through a range of lobbying and networking activities

  • Delivering world class quality assurance and external validation against stretching and robust Standards as set out in the COBIS Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance system

  • Providing effective professional development for all members of the school workforce including senior leaders, governors, teachers and support staff

  • Delivering professional school improvement and consultancy services

  • Coordinating challenging, engaging and inspiring inter-school COBIS student competitions

  • Facilitating, coordinating and supporting professional networking opportunities

  • Promoting safeguarding, child protection and safer recruitment and employment practices and processing pre-employment Prohibition checks

  • Providing access to information about trends and developments in UK education

  • Nurturing talent and promoting career opportunities within the global COBIS network

In addition, COBIS raises the profile of commercial supporting members by introducing them to COBIS schools and promoting them as exporters of educational resources, products and services via the COBIS website and other channels.

The work of COBIS is led by the CEO and an elected Board which consists of serving COBIS Headteachers, Governors and School Inspectors. COBIS works with a wide range of educational stakeholders internationally and within the UK.

In addition to a diverse and growing range of lobbying activities, programme of professional development and networking opportunities, stimulating student competitions and events, COBIS members have access to a range of quality services.

The global reach of COBIS is significant. During the last academic year, COBIS hosted professional development and networking events in Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Portugal, Romania, Spain, The Netherlands, UAE, and the UK.

Working in the busy COBIS Head Office would suit an ambitious, energetic, highly organised and client- focused individual. In addition to high standards of verbal, written and numerical articulation, the successful candidate will have a good understanding of educational matters both in the UK and overseas, be able to demonstrate commercial acumen and will have managerial experience at a senior level.

To find out more about the global reach, role and function of COBIS visit 


The post holder of this role will be responsible for the day to day operations of COBIS business activities. This will involve leading specific areas connected to the delivery of the strategic COBIS development plan and ensuring that business processes are efficient and effective.


  1. To be responsible for the smooth day to day running of COBIS business operations

  2. To directly line manage, performance manage and support the COBIS Communications Manager, Membership Officer and Safer Recruitment Officer and to report on their performance to the CEO. In addition, to provide management and operational support to other members of the Executive team

  3. To work with COBIS Directors of Services to maintain an excellent, enjoyable and efficient working environment to acquire the best performance from the Executive Team

  4. To support the CEO and Financial Controller with financial forecasting, budget setting and the monitoring of COBIS’ performance relating to designated budgets and commercial targets

  5. To actively promote, communicate and support the COBIS commitment to safeguarding, child protection and the welfare of children, young people and adults worldwide

  6. To keep COBIS employees motivated and to be responsible for identifying, organising and evaluating appropriate professional development training

  7. To lead and manage the delivery of COBIS’ communications, marketing and engagement strategy to grow key service areas and to project manage identified strategic areas

  8. To lead and implement a compliant and fit-for-purpose data and information governance strategy for COBIS

  9. To be responsible for COBIS digital strategy and online security, plus the regular review of resources and equipment needs

  10. To ensure COBIS has an up to date and complete suite of relevant internal policies, to review these annually in line with legislation and best practice, and to ensure related procedures are clearly communicated to, and followed by, the Executive Team, the Board and other stakeholders

  11. To identify new business development opportunities and to identify and lead the diversification of existing business activities and strategic partnerships in collaboration with the CEO

  12. To manage the COBIS Consultancy Service

  13. To represent COBIS with a high level of professional credibility at internal and external conferences, meetings, webinars and events, in the UK and potentially overseas 

  14. To ensure that the COBIS business operates within the company's development plan and adheres to legislation and good practice 

  15. To investigate COBIS stakeholder and member satisfaction through effective consultation and evaluation efforts. To report on any issues and identify areas in which membership services and commercial activities can be improved 

  16. To support the CEO in the preparation of the Board Reports, to attend quarterly Board meetings and to deliver updates to the COBIS Board in designated areas 

  17. To evaluate, provide regular reports and recommendations relating to areas of responsibility and to support the work of the Executive Team to meet financial revenue targets as set by the CEO 

Relationship Management 

  1. To maintain a working environment in which diversity is respected and responded to, and equality of opportunity and well-being is promoted. To respond to all enquiries politely, quickly and efficiently whilst maintaining outstanding customer service standards

  2. To ensure a positive image to customers and other individuals and organisations and to promote the COBIS brand, activities and services by whatever means are appropriate and available

These are the key tasks as currently defined. They are not listed in priority order and the successful candidate will be expected to take on such variations as are reasonable for this level of responsibility. 



  1. To be educated to a minimum of Degree Level

  2. To have senior management experience in a UK or international school or organisation connected to children and young people and the education sector

  3. To be committed to safeguarding, child protection and promoting the welfareof children, young people and adults and to engage in associated continual professional development in this area

  4. To have a good understanding of the field of education, curriculum, assessment and school improvement systems relating to British International schools

  5. To be able to work effectively with stakeholders connected to schools, colleges, universities, government departments and organisations within the education sector

  6. To be highly literate with experience of writing articles/texts for a variety of publications including online and offline promotional materials 

  7. Have excellent verbal communication skills with the ability to deliver confident and inform 

  8. Be highly numerate and have excellent ICT skills with the ability to use, with confidence, office ICT software packages and communication tools 

  9. Strong senior management and organisational skills with proven experience of planning, designing and managing multiple and complex projects simultaneously 

  10. Proven commercial acumen and ability to meet agreed revenue and key performance indicator targets 

  11. Willingness to travel overseas to perform COBIS professional duties 

  12. Experience building positive relationships in a commercial environment and experience providing outstanding customer service 

  13. To have effective influencing skills with colleagues at all levels and the ability to inspire and motivate others to engage in professional development activities 

  14. Proven ability to prioritise and manage time effectively and be able to adapt and respond flexibly to the unexpected 

  15. Ability to work well within a small team and without close supervision 


  1. To be educated to a Post-Graduate Level

  2. To hold a professional teaching, training, mentoring/coaching qualification or qualification relating to management or professional development

  3. To have undertaken certified safeguarding and child protection training

  4. Experience working within the international schools’ sector

  5. Experience working for an organisation which actively promotes British Education overseas and/or an element of ‘Brand UK’ exports on a globalscale 


The precise details will be discussed and negotiated with the successful candidate. Depending on the skills and experience of individual candidates a degree of flexibility exists. However, as a guide: 

  • The contract is fixed term, to provide temporary leave cover

  • The contract is initially for 10 months

  • The post is due to commence from October 2018, with a planned handover period

  • The position is considered to be a full-time post for 37.5 hours per week

  • The office is open Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.00. Working hours/days within that period are to be negotiated and agreed in advance with the successful candidate

  • Flexibility regarding working schedule at peak times would be an advantage

  • The candidate will be required to attend the COBIS Annual Conference, Board and Committee meetings which take place over 4 days in London in May 2019

  • Overseas travel representing COBIS at conferences, events, training programmes and on school visits will be a component of the role. Travel expenses and insurance cover will be reimbursed accordingly

  • Salary is circa £55,000 to £60,000

  • Holiday entitlement of 25 days plus statutory bank holidays

  • Access to pension scheme. COBIS employee pension contribution is at 5% of salary

  • Access to medical insurance and travel to work, ride to work scheme and annual season ticket loan

  • Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK 


  • Candidates must be willing to undertake Disclosure and Baring Service checks (DBS)

  • A DBS check will be requested if an applicant is offered a contract of employment

  • All COBIS staff are required to undertake safeguarding and child protection training

  • At least two professional references, both written and verbal, will be sourced from current and former employers as appropriate. All referees will need to be current or former line managers 

COBIS Staff Structure and Place of Work: 

The Director of Operations will be based at the COBIS Head Office. This is located in Russell Square, Bloomsbury in Central London.

In addition to the Director of Operations, the COBIS staff structure consists of the CEO, EA to the CEO, 3 Directors: Director of Professional Development/Deputy CEO, Director of Accreditation, Financial Controller, 1 Assistant Director of Accreditation, 4 Officers: Accreditation, Student Engagement, Membership, Safer Recruitment Officer, 1 Communications Manager plus 3 Executives: Finance, Events and Communications Executives. The COBIS team works closely with the COBIS Chairman, elected members of the Board, consisting of serving COBIS Headteachers, Governors and School Inspectors and other colleagues within the global network who host conferences, training and student events throughout the year.

Equal Opportunities: COBIS is committed to equal opportunities and non-discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. COBIS aims to ensure equality in recruitment and employment.

Application Procedure: All candidates wishing to be considered for the post are required to submit the following documents: 

  1. A covering letter/supporting statement (maximum of 600 words), addressed to the COBIS CEO, explaining their interest in, and suitability for the post, referring to the job description and person specification

  2. CV

  3. Names and contact details of two professional referees – please note that COBIS only contacts referees after successful interview process and once a job offer has been made. 

Completed applications are to be submitted by email to:

Miss Andrea Berta, EA to the CEO -
If you have any questions about the position or the role and function of COBIS, please contact Mr Colin

Bell, COBIS CEO on +44 203 826 7190
Closing Date: Wednesday 5 September 2018 at 13.00 GMT

Interview Dates: Wednesday 12 September 2018. If a second round of interviews is required, these will take place w/c 17 September 2018

Interview Location: COBIS Head Office, 55-56 Russell Square, London WC1B 4HP