Strategy Lead

Strategy Lead


Reports to: Director of Strategy 

Location: Currently operating hybrid working in our West London Office

Contract: Permanent (would consider a fixed term contract/secondment for 6-12 months)

Pattern: Full time (standard hours 9am – 5.30pm), 0.8 FTE considered

Closing date: 28/06/2024 at 10am

Interviews: w/c 08/07/2024 and 15/07/2024

Full Time Salary: £70,000 to £80,000 (depending on experience)


About the role:

We are looking for a Strategy Lead to join Ark’s newly-formed Strategy team. This is a brilliant opportunity for someone with experience of strategy development and strategic planning who wants to work in an innovative and fast-paced organisation tackling educational inequality. Over the coming year the team will be working on a new long-term vision and strategy, and the Strategy Lead will play a critical role in this exciting and impactful work.


We are looking to make a permanent appointment, but would also consider a 6 to 12 month secondment, e.g. for someone working in strategy consulting or an equivalent role.


The purpose of the role will be to lead high-profile strategic projects that support the development and implementation of Ark’s strategy and plans, with a focus on education. Potential areas of work include school and network strategy, financial sustainability, and digital and data, as well as the design and implementation of operational planning and reporting.


Key Responsibilities: 

  • Lead strategic projects from initial scoping through to making recommendations and handover to delivery teams – identifying questions, driving clarity on scope, undertaking research and analysis, commissioning insight where needed, synthesising insights into actionable plans and communicating them
  • Design and run operational planning and change management processes to translate strategy into action and to establish appropriate goals and measures
  • Make effective use of internal and external data sources to generate new insight – both to support strategic projects and to open up new areas for exploration
  • Prepare impactful papers and presentations for a variety of stakeholder groups
  • Work collaboratively and flexibly with teams across the trust, building relationships and influencing others, including directing the work of other team members and external consultants  


Key Requirements:

  • Qualified to degree level or equivalent
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Strong track record of leading strategy development at pace in a range of organisations – gained e.g. through consulting experience – with the ability to understand the “big picture”, interpret complex information, and translate insight into action
  • Experience of and interest in the education sector, with a strong understanding of sector trends, opportunities and challenges
  • Experience of designing and running operational planning processes, and designing appropriate measures and KPIs to track progress
  • Numerate, financially literate, and comfortable with modelling and data analysis
  • Experience working with and influencing stakeholders and colleagues at a range of levels of seniority, including at Board level
  • Structured problem solver and strategic thinker able to frame complex problems
  • Confident and credible with senior stakeholders
  • Team player, able to work independently, lead, support, listen and collaborate


View the full job description and person specification here


About Ark

We’re an international charity, transforming lives through education. We exist to give every young person, regardless of their background, a great education and real choices in life. In the UK, we’re a network of 39 schools, educating around 30,000 pupils in areas where we can make the biggest difference and we’re recognised as one of the highest achieving academy groups in the country. We want to change the lives of children everywhere, not just in our own schools. So, we create and incubate Ventures designed not only to help pupils in Ark schools, but also to improve education systems.


You’ll be joining a group of like-minded, ambitious individuals who work collaboratively and are all committed to our core mission, that every child has the potential to succeed. Having just celebrated our 20th anniversary, we are shaping our goals for the next 20 and there has never been a more exciting time to join us.



  • 27 days annual leave plus bank holidays, rising with each year of service up to 30 days after 3-years’ service. This entitlement is pro rata for part time employees. This entitlement excludes bank holidays
  • Full office closure between Christmas and New Year
  • Hybrid working, with currently two days a week in our state-of-the-art office in West London working alongside colleagues
  • Regular social events, monthly free breakfast, and daily fruit
  • A flexible approach to working with understanding and consideration for work life balance and personal commitments
  • As an Ark employee, you will have the opportunity to be part of the TPT (The Pension Trust) scheme, our workplace pension scheme where we make an 11% contribution; you are not required to contribute towards this scheme unless you choose to
  • Access to high-quality professional learning throughout your career, offering both face-to-face sessions and a bespoke online learning platform
  • Access to Ark Rewards scheme offering savings from over 3,000 major retailers, interest-free loans available for season tickets or a bike, gym discounts offering up to 40% off your local gym and free eye tests


How to Apply:

Apply with a CV and cover letter on our online recruitment portal. Applications to be submitted by Friday 28th June 2024 at 10am but please note: we will be reviewing applications on an on-going basis and this advert may close earlier than advertised depending on the level of response.


This ATS application form should take no longer 20 minutes to complete. At any time, you can pause, save, and log back in. If you have any difficulty with meeting the deadline for application, please contact


Interviews will be arranged as suitable candidates are identified, so early application is strongly advised.


Ark is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in its academies. In order to meet this responsibility, its academies follow a rigorous selection process to discourage and screen out unsuitable applicants.  


Ark requires all employees to undertake an enhanced DBS check. You are required, before appointment, to disclose any unspent conviction, cautions, reprimands or warnings under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. Non-disclosure may lead to termination of employment. However, disclosure of a criminal background will not necessarily debar you from employment - this will depend upon the nature of the offence(s) and when they occurred. To read more about Ark’s safer recruitment process, please click this link. 


We aim to build a diverse and inclusive organisation where everyone – staff and students – can do their best work and achieve their full potential. We want to reflect and represent diverse perspectives across our organisation because we know that doing so will make us stronger and more effective. To know more about Ark’s diversity and inclusion commitments, please click on this link.

Strategy Lead
Location: Ark Schools Central