Director, Schools - Kenya
Bridge Kenya is a life-changing community school program. It is one of four community school programmes run as part of NewGlobe’s education portfolio.
Bridge Kenya opened its first school in Nairobi’s Mukuru Kwa Njenga, in 2009. Now, it supports community schools across 43 of the 47 counties. Bridge Kenya partners with communities, parents and teachers to deliver life-changing education and provide a gateway to success for underserved families.
Since 2015, Bridge Kenya’s national (KCPE) exam results have continued to prove academic excellence, significantly outperforming national averages. Community school graduates have gone to top secondary schools and universities; both within Kenya and the US.
Schools is the heart of our work. The team is mandated to inspire teachers to teach with passion, pupils to learn with purpose, parents to believe in a better future for their children, and communities to become the change they want to see in the world. To achieve this vision, the team ensures schools are smoothly run - the school team is motivated and inspired, delivering life-changing lessons, creating an experience that makes parents stay with us, and also cultivating interest and excitement in our work in communities where we serve. Schools is responsible for ensuring all of the work created by our expert teams, including Instructional Design, Leadership & Development, Technology, Communications, Creative and Insight, are used in each school, and each school is managed to achieve its goal of ensuring every child enjoys a learning environment that develops her core skills, knowledge and confidence. The performance of the entire organization is led by the Schools Group, which is responsible for the day-to-day management of each school. Schools work to strengthen school enrollment and student retention, ensuring every school is regarded as the strongest school in its neighborhood and delivers on improved learning outcomes for children, and earns the trust of the parents. We engage with school leaders and teachers every day, ensuring ongoing professional development, performance management, and intensive coaching. We are always seeking effective ways of ensuring every school is supported with data-driven practices. We measure our success through both the financial sustainability of the school and the learning outcomes of the children in the classroom. We are performance-driven.
About the Role
The Director, Schools is responsible for the performance management of every school in the territory. This includes school management, academic programming, school programming, staff professional development, regulatory compliance, commercial sustainability, and parent and community engagement in every school we support. You have the incredible responsibility for the integrated delivery of all our programming in each school, for each teacher, for each child.
Consequently, your focus on using data to drive performance, and constant coaching to change behavior, and rigorous implementation of core school programs is critical. The team you supervise is in schools each day, providing ongoing mentorship, specific performance feedback, and on-going group and personal training. You manage one of the largest teams in the company, led by the field team of School Supervisors that give daily support to each school.
In this role, you also engage with all stakeholders of the schools under your care, including government officials, parents, and community groups as may be required, just as your school supervisors do in the community of each school.
Instructional leadership is a core part of your remit, ensuring that school leaders and teachers are delivering on our promise to ensure each child has the opportunity to learn, which only happens when each teacher uses the right materials at the right time each day, listening and responding to students’ learning, and is supported by the school leader in this practice daily.
Your role is the nexus of all that we do, ensuring the implementation and results of our overall programing. Using big data that provides a visibility into every day teaching practices and school management, you work with your direct supervisory staff to improve performance of each school with the goal of student performance and character development in mind, as well as each school’s financial sustainability – and provide feedback on core programming to our design teams.
This team is laser focused on outcomes, inherently collaborative in nature, loves fostering leadership in others, is unwaveringly committed to ensuring a quality education for our pupils, and is excited about creating incredible learning interventions that drive positive behavior and mindset change in adults. You will flourish on this team if you are: a team player, hyper-focused on results, flexible in a dynamic environment, and have fun while working hard.
This role reports to the Country Managing Director and VP Schools.
What You Will Do
● Be responsible for and the success of schools in your territory. Success is defined by (i) achieving excellence in all School Management metrics, (ii) meeting or exceeding ambitious learning outcome targets, (iii) building a culture of community and parent engagement.
● Ensure each Supervisor delivers on their oversight of schools and individual KPIs. Their schools should deliver the promise of learning and holistic development for children, have a strong and high-performing cohort of teachers, operate within its budget and sustain enrollment necessary for financial sustainability;
● Be responsible for the management of direct reporting lines with Regional Managers (to whom School Supervisors report), L&D Manager, and Academic Manager
● Use data from multiple sources to ensure that academic programming - offerings, lesson quality, teacher support, learning innovation, etc. - throughout the year is robust, adheres to regulatory guidelines, is contextualized to the territory, and leads to outsized learning outcomes for all pupils.
● Use data from multiple sources to ensure Regional Managers, Supervisors are effectively managing their schools, and creating safe learning environments.
● Be in schools 20% time, observing teaching, observing management, and engaging with stakeholders, including government officials, parents, and community groups.
● When observing or holding meetings, use rubrics or other documents to support structured observation and reporting.
● Support specific school events, including collaborating on programming for such events as school opening celebrations, parent teacher conferences and school closing celebrations, as well as community showcases and participation in co-curricular competitions.
● Ensure school strength and support enrollment efforts are achieved.
● Ensure local regulatory processes are followed, including environmental & social standards, as well as national regulations.
● Ensure school staff and students are prepared to sit in government-proctored exams, as they may occur on a termly/semester basis, and with particular attention to national examinations.
● Ensure that leadership & development sessions are delivered to schools during the course of the school year, and during induction training for new staff. Supervisors should use the materials and programming developed by the Leadership & Development team.
● Work with the Leadership & Development team to provide, facilitate on-going professional development for Supervisors
● Support schools through transition of staff, including school leaders and teachers; work with local government and other local organizations as needed.
● Ensure school leaders are actively building a pipeline of school staff candidates, leveraging parents, local government leadership and other local organizations.
● Ensure schools are working directly with country or regional government leadership, teacher training centers or regional organizations to support sourcing candidates for school staff.
● Supervise school budget and optimization, prevent fraud and ensure financial discipline.
● Supervisor budget and optimization, prevent fraud and ensure financial discipline among the Schools group
● Other duties as assigned
What You Should Have
● Proven experience managing field-based teams
● Belief in data-driven decision making
● School management experience a plus
● Relentless focus on achievement for yourself and others
● Bias towards action
● Flexible and loves to work in a dynamic environment
● Collaborative leader with strong relationship building skills
● Strong interpersonal skills
● Strong communication skills
● B.Sc or M.A. in Education is preferred
● A detailed doer – You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a start-up or other rapid-growth company.
● A creative problem-solver – Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in often fragile, sometimes volatile low-resource communities and with complex government systems. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand.
● A relentless advocate – The children we serve and teachers we empower never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent’s hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their benefit, experience, and value.
● A malleable learner – You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you’ve missed things or failed today.
● A data-driven decision-maker – When making decisions, you don’t rely on your intuition alone. You collect data, you analyze it and make decisions with clear justifications.
● A curious investigator – You ask why a lot. You don’t just take what you see and accept it. You wonder why it is that way, and are aware that the world we see is created by human choices and actions – and it could be different. You wonder, and see the world as wonderful even when you want to change a part of it that is unjust.