Senior Academic Manager, EES

Date: 25-Jul-2022

Location: Beijing, East Asia, CN Beijing, East Asia, CN London, UKM, GB Guangzhou, East Asia, CN Shanghai, East Asia, CN Beijing, East Asia, CN Chongqing, East Asia, CN Chongqing, East Asia, CN Guangzhou, East Asia, CN Nanjing, East Asia, CN Nanjing, East Asia, CN Shanghai, East Asia, CN

Company: British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.


The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We make a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. 

 We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language and education. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. 


Role purpose


We are looking for a Senior Academic Manager English Programmes to provide technical sector expertise to British Council and client funded English Programme’s projects, to support business development, quality assurance, compliant delivery of programmes and contracts to improve standards of the teaching, learning and assessment of English, with a focus on China. To share knowledge, expertise, and best practice from the region in English as a Subject and English medium and multilingual basic education with the global English Programmes team.

This role focuses on delivering the outcomes of our work on English Programmes in East Asia. The aim of English Programmes is to support the improvement of English language teaching and learning in formal and non-formal education systems.  English Programmes has the following impact areas and global programmes:

English Connects – our global online engagement with teachers and teacher educators 

English in Education – English as a subject in the curriculum and English as a medium of education in formal education systems 

English and Empowerment – formal and non-formal education with two strands: Language for Resilience and English for Girls’ Education.

It delivers these programmes in country through policy advice, research and insight, and the delivery of grant, co-funded and full cost recovery contracts and programmes in 50+ countries in collaboration with UK and international partners, ministries of education, education and donor agencies.

This role will work with colleagues across the region and in the UK, sometimes leading, to help deliver benefits in country from regional and globally led initiatives.


Role context


This role sits within the Cultural Engagement (CE) Strategic Business Unit (SBU). CE brings together our portfolio of work in arts, education, English, and research. Our portfolio is delivered through a set of globally led programmes that locate our work and impact within our strategic framework. These programmes deliver our key performance indicators and impact ambitions. 

East Asia, with a population of around two billion people, is one of the most diverse and dynamic parts of the world and is characterized by continuing economic growth.  There is a strong demand for recognised education and English language skills, and an interest in many countries in exploring how creative, open, and transparent societies can lead to greater prosperity.

We deliver these programmes in country through policy advice, research and insight, and the delivery of grant, co-funded and full cost recovery contracts and programmes in 8 priority geographies in the region in collaboration with UK and international partners, ministries of education, education and donor agencies. These geographies are the high-growth developing economies of China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and Myanmar, and the major developed economies of Japan and Taiwan.  This role will specifically support China.

As the world’s second largest economy with a population of 1.4 billion people, China is a critical actor across all of the UK’s priority sectors and a priority country in both the British Council’s Strategy 25 and the UK government’s Integrated Review. It is one of the UK’s most mature and complex bilateral relationships. People-to-people links form the bedrock of the wider bilateral relationship, underpinning trade, diplomacy, and all other engagement. By building understanding and strengthening the UK’s China ‘literacy’ we enable people to understand not just the opportunities but, importantly, the risks of working together.


Education partnerships, co-operation and the sharing of innovation and research brings together the best of UK and China expertise and promotes collaboration in addressing global challenges such as climate change. Our work in the arts supports UK institutions in reaching audiences in China and connects artists and institutions in China with peers in the UK, promoting UK values and open, diverse, and tolerant societies. There are 300 million learners of English in China seeking quality English teaching, online learning, and qualifications. English, arguably our most powerful soft power asset, predisposes individuals and institutions to working with the UK. Our work in China also includes the British Council’s largest commercial examinations business.


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Main accountabilities


Consultancy, analysis and problem-solving

  • Support the technical writing for evidence-based bids / proposals ensuring mainstreaming of EDI and a minimum of gender sensitive programming.
  • Work with regional and country colleagues to ensure compliance during the proposal process.
  • Develop English projects in line with global and regional English Programmes strategies and in line with the English Programmes impact areas and core programmes (see ‘Regional context’ section above).

Relationship and stakeholder management

  • Develop and maintain an active English sector network to augment and raise awareness of the British Council’s / UK’s expertise and engagement in English.
  • Undertake a proactive role in identifying, developing links with and maintaining a network of strategic partners in-country and in the UK for project collaboration.
  • Build relationships with partners, stakeholders and clients in the English portfolio

Portfolio and product improvement

  • Quality assure project inputs – e.g. resources, publications, etc. – and support teams / consultants to develop and finalise.
  • Deliver timely project outputs to a high standard, ensure best practice in monitoring and evaluation.

Sector expertise: Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL)

  • Support robust MEL approaches across the English Programmes portfolio.
  • Undertake monitoring reviews of contracts and programmes in the portfolio to check for delivery against expectations, indicating to senior management in advance where delivery issues are arising. In partnership with delivery teams, develop strategic responses to any perceived or actual failings identified.

Sector expertise: thought leadership

  • Oversee research and scoping exercises as required. Contribute to the development of a bank of English Programmes data for the region, including trends in the field of English in education systems and data on competitor and partner landscapes. Participate in the insight analysis process associated with this and make recommendations from this which informs and supports discussion on country strategy.
  • Use ELT sector expertise to represent the British Council’s perspective and demonstrate the UK’s thought leadership in relevant external forums

Business Development and Delivery

  • Supports the development and management of relationships with strategic clients and partners.
  • Applies due diligence requirements to potential partners.
  • Coordinates research in country/regional context such as analysis of client and partner trends and opportunities


  • To actively contribute to an inclusive and anti-racist organisational culture, being aware of your own biases, and taking action to mitigate against these. Ensuring people feel valued and are treated equitably, with support for people’s well-being and mental health.
  • Understand the British Council’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion and how it applies to your role, and make time for learning and development relating to EDI and anti racism.





  • English teaching qualification
  • Postgraduate qualification in related field and/or Diploma ELT (TEFL-Q)


  • Qualification with specialism in use of educational technology for English language teaching / education


Language Requirements

  • The British Council systems and global processes operate in English. Written and verbal proficiency in English is required to CEF Level C2 English
  • Knowledge of at least one language relevant to the countries is an advantage


Role specific knowledge and experience


  • Experience designing and delivering professional development programmes in national education systems at pre-school, primary, secondary or tertiary level (including with substantial use of educational technology)
  • Experience leading monitoring, evaluation and learning processes (including design) for English projects
  • Experience managing teacher education content development projects and/or advising on produce and service development for use in projects
  • Experience of engaging with diverse stakeholders including multilateral agencies, donors, government officials, academics the global / UK English language teaching sector


Further Information


  • Pay Band – Grade 7
  • Contract Type –Fixed Term Contact

                            2 Years for Local Hires

                             3 Years for International Hires  

  • Location – Flexible in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing offices in China 
  • Due to local government quotas on 3rd country-nationals only Chinese Nationals and UK Nationals can apply for this role
  • Closing Date – 08th Aug 2022 (23:59 UK Time)




A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.


Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement


The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment.  We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability.  All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.


The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.


If you have any problems with your application please email


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