We're Hiring: Education Policy Lead

We are looking for an exceptional candidate to join the Mindfulness Initiative one or two days a week on a one-year contract. The successful candidate will have a high degree of autonomy and will join a 'virtual' team, in that they could work from anywhere as long as they're happy to take day trips into London on a fairly regular basis.

Deadline: November 4th 2018

 

About the Mindfulness Initiative:

The Mindfulness Initiative is a policy institute that grew out of a mindfulness teaching programming
for politicians in the British Parliament. It inquires into the theory and practice of mindfulness
training, investigates how this applies across different areas of public life and engages policymakers,
service commissioners and the general public regarding the implications. One of its functions is to
clerk the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness (MAPPG). In 2015, it helped
parliamentarians to publish the world’s first political review of mindfulness-based interventions,
following a 12-month policy inquiry. It is seen as a global leader in the application of mindfulness
training in politics and public policy and is supporting similar initiatives to develop in the political
systems of over 40 countries around the world.

The Mindfulness Initiative operates as a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) with a small core
team that coordinates and supports the work of a widening group of policy and project leads who
are experts in their fields or disciplines. It counts some of the most eminent thinkers, researchers,
and practitioners in the field of mindfulness training amongst its advisors.

 

Job Description:

The part-time Education Policy Lead will initially conduct the necessary consultation, research,
discussion, and analysis to develop a new strategic plan for Mindfulness Initiative’s policy work in the
field of education. This will have a focus on supporting the sustainable development of evidence-based
mindfulness training in UK primary and secondary schools. However, it will also touch upon
early years development, contemplative education in higher education, and a longer-term perspective on the role within
education of developing capacities of mind and heart like mindfulness. The Education Policy Lead
will draw upon the input of a wide range of experts in the field, and produce a plan to the
satisfaction of a small group of key advisors, the Mindfulness Initiative’s Director and its Trustees.

Once approved, the Education Policy Lead will start acting on the agreed plan, putting necessary
relationships and processes in place and contributing to fundraising activity to sustain and develop
the programme into future years.

In addition to the above, on-going responsibilities will include:

• Monitoring and analysing activities, trends, and narratives within education policy;
• Keeping up to speed with the academic research on mindfulness in education;
• Investigating the state of implementation of mindfulness in schools and universities,
developing networks of practitioners in the field and gathering examples of successes and
challenges;
• Synthesising policy, research and implementation developments and working with other
experts to create ad-hoc advice and guidance for parliamentarians, policymakers,
practitioners and the public.

 

Salary and terms:

This is a one-year contract, which may be renewed. The compensation and weekly
time commitment will depend on the experience of the successful candidate. With fixed funding for
the position, we are looking either for a highly experienced candidate one day per week or a less
experienced candidate two days per week. There is an opportunity to contribute to fundraising
activity which, if successful, would develop this role towards a more full-time position.

 

Essential Criteria:

Education: Batchelor’s level degree

Experience:
• Professional background in at least one of the following domains:
    o Teaching in schools
    o Public policy making
    o Mindfulness training for young people
    o Education pedagogy or research
    o Child and adolescent wellbeing and mental health
    o School or higher education management relating to teaching outcomes or wellbeing
    o Public sector or civil society role focussed on education

• Completion of a structured mindfulness-training course, such as an eight-week MBSR/MBCT derived
programme or equivalent;

• At least three years of personal mindfulness practice and a commitment to deepening this
practice through on-going training or retreat attendance;

• Experience in planning large events, publications, research or other projects that require
extended programmes of work to be managed effectively.

Skills:
• Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, in particular when dealing with senior
leaders and decision-makers;

• Excellent collaborative and digital skills, and the ability to manage and gather input from a
wide network of advisors, contributors, and stakeholders, both nationally and internationally;

• Demonstrated analytical capability, and the ability to digest, assess and synthesise new
information and issues from multiple sources;

• Strategic thinking, capable of deconstructing received-wisdom and designing new
approaches using first principles;

• The ability to structure and prioritise work effectively without supervision, and deliver
briefing and analysis to tight deadlines;

• Fluency in reading scientific research publications;

• Ability to use insights gained from personal mindfulness to inform understanding of
research, implementation science, and policy analysis.

 

Desired Criteria:

Education:

• Master’s degree or doctoral study in the area of mindfulness, compassion, contemplative
science, mental health, positive psychology, education or other relevant field;

• Teaching qualification;

• Mindfulness-teacher training, especially to deliver programmes in schools.

Experience:

• Proven track record of high-impact work that stretches across a number of the domains
mentioned in ‘Essential Criteria: Experience’ above. Particularly desired would be a
combination of experience in education, wellbeing and policy development or government
engagement;

• Experience in formulating and implementing government engagement strategies, drafting
evidence-led research papers, and briefing key policy makers;

• Experience making applications for grant funding, developing supporter-relationships or
conducting other forms of fundraising;

• A long-standing daily mindfulness practice, and deep insight and proven enthusiasm about
the transformative potential of practice for society;

• At least one silent mindfulness-based retreat of seven days or more. This can include forms
of meditation retreat where the cultivation of mindfulness forms a major part.

Skills:

• Ability to critically assess academic research, especially in discerning the quality of evidence;

• Working knowledge of UK public policy-making processes;

• Effective leadership skills that can motivate large groups of experts and volunteers to
collaborate and contribute to research, events and other projects;

• Networking and advocacy skills - ability to utilise or develop extensive contacts in
Westminster, Whitehall and national education institutions;

• Managerial acumen to draw directly on core team resources;

• Strong public presentation skills, confidence to speak to journalists and provide TV & radio
interviews;

• Superior writing and editing skills.

 

To apply for this role, please send a CV and a covering letter (max 500 words) as a pdf to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As mindfulness in education is a relatively new field, and we have the unusual requirement of personal mindfulness practice, we are not expecting any applicants to meet all desired criteria. Please be clear where you do have appropriate professional experience and where you would need to develop knowledge and skills through the role. Some criteria are more relevant to how this role could develop in future years. We will make mentoring, and potentially training, available where necessary. Your covering letter should include a rough outline of your mindfulness training and practice history.

We will anonymise applications so the hiring board will not be able to see your personal information such as name and address when reviewing your submission, including your CV.