Status: Closed

Role: Director English (including English language assessment), Wider Europe

Client: British Council

Region: Wider Europe

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Duration of job: Three Year Fixed Term Contract with option to renew for a further year by mutual agreement

Remuneration: Competitive salary and benefits plus overseas allowance package

Purpose of job

Strategic leadership and direction for all English and English Language Assessment work across Wider Europe including ambitious expansion of our impact and income, particularly in markets where status regularisation will give us access to huge/previously untapped markets (Russia, population 143 million, Turkey population 73 million) and new markets which offer big opportunity to generate income and impact, such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.  There are also opportunities to build opportunities on the EU Accession aspirations of Western Balkan countries.

Within the British Council's new framework for English and English Assessment, development of an integrated English offer across all 15 markets in the region that is ambitious, exciting, that grows and develops the cultural realtions impact, brand and visibility of our work in English, that changes lives and creates opportunities whilst also creating opportunities for UK business and delivering against challenging targets.  This offer will surprise and delight our audiences, develop and reinforce our world authority and leader position in English Language provision, will add value to offers developed by Directors Education and Arts, add value to the cross Whitehall international education strategy, will be relevant to winning contract opportunities, will inspire and strengthen country teams and will answer the question 'why' we do things we do.

This post is being created to define what English looks like in Wider Europe 2020 and to work closely with the teams and the markets to ensure delivery is in place to meet that ambition.


Context and environment


Wider Europe is an exciting and diverse region encompassing 15 countries which stretch from the Western Balkans to Central Asia.  Our top priority countries within it are Turkey, Russian and Israel.  It also includes many of the countries of the former Soviet Union and the Western Balkans.  Most countries in the region are emerging from periods of isolation and re-engaging with the rest of the world which is creating huge opportunities for both the British Council and the UK sector.  There are also potential opportunities in surrounding countries where we don't have a physical presence to build reach and deliver appropriate solutions to remote markets.

Populations across the region are young and demand for English is extremely high.  Across the region it is critical that we are able to develop new delivery models for teaching English that deliver increased impact and income, build long-term, strategic and income generating partnerships with Ministries of Education and maximise opportunities presented by our English Language Assessment offer.  We expect the region to be entirely self sufficent by 2020.

Currently we have a successful and growing teaching business in the Ukraine, and a new teaching centre in Georgia which opened in 2012.  We are hoping to open a partner teaching centre in Azerbaijan in autumn 2013, and there are plans and opportunities for different teaching models in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Israel, the Western Balkans and possibly Russia.

Our examinations buisness is currently driven by IELTS, and our IELTS business in Turkey is one of the biggest in Europe.  We were the first region to pilot the British Council exam Aptis, in Kazakhstan, and there is much opportunity for this product across the region.

Across the region we have some 75 colleagues working on English (including assessment).

Accountabilities, responsibilities and main duties

  • Development of vision and strategy for English (including assessment) across Wider Europe that is based on a sound understanding of audiences and the market and that challenges all 15 countries within the region to think more ambitiously about their impact.
  • Contributing to global strategy for English (including assessment) as part of the global English leadership team.
  • Ownership of, and responsibility for, ambitious targets for income and impact and responsibility for ensuring teams understand the rationale for both.
  • Responsibility for the planning of English targets and ambition (including assessment) for the region.
  • Developing imaginative and inspiring approaches to how we evaluate our impact in English (including assessment).
  • Taking decisions on the appropriate product mix for the region and markets that increases the value of our work, in terms of both income and impact, and building the case for expansion.
  • Line management of the regional English team, which currently comprises four members but is expected to move towards a structure that mirrors the UK including a regional lead for face to face learning, a regional examinations business development manager, a regional lead for self-access learning and a lead for English for Education Systems, plus possibly a marketing lead.
  • The postholder will work closely with the Director Examinations Europe and with product and operations managers for both EU and Wider Europe regions to deliver overall targets for.
  • Building the regional English (inculding assessment) team.
  • Matrix line management of country English programme managers.
  • Ensuring our English offer is closely aligned with our Education and other examinations offers.
  • Part of Wider Europe programmes team and accountable to Wider Europe regional executive.

Key relationships

  • Ministries of Education and major education and training institutions in the Wider Europe region.
  • Corporates and international organisation and business CEOs and CSR managers.
  • EU Delegations in the region and relevant decision makers in Brussels.
  • English and English language assessment colleagues in the UK and in other regions.
  • Regional Director, Regional Executive and other regional Strategic Business Unit leads.
  • Country Directors and English programme managers in the region.
  • Director Examinations Europe and cross-Europe examinations team.
  • Partners in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills/UK Trade and Investment.

Other important features or requirements of the job

  • Frequent travel in the region and beyond.
  • Regular attendance at evening/weekend events.
  • Passport/visa and/or nationality requirement: none, but Turkish residence laws can be quite restrictive for non-EU passport holders.
  • The postholder must be able to travel to countries within the region, and to the UK.

Person specification

Behaviours (the Behaviours Dictionary can be viewed on the British Council website)


  • Creating shared purpose
  • Shaping the future
  • Connecting with others
  • Making it happen
  • Working together
  • Being accountable

Skills and knowledge


Knowledge of English and English Language Assessment

  • Significant understanding and appreciation of current issues
  • Financial Planning and Management (Level 3)
  • Business Management and Development (Level 3)
  • Marketing and Customer Service (Level 3)


Knowledge of the region

  • Understanding and appreciation of current issues within the region



International collaboration experience

  • Significant experience of working on international projects

Leadership experience

  • Proven experience in a leadership role in English and English Language assessment

Partnership and project development experience

  • Experience of identifying, building and managing partnerships, raising income and designing and implementing projects together with partners.
  • Experience of successful delivery of projects to agreed financial and non-financial targets.
  • Experience of analysing and interpreting complex financial data in order to make recommendations and develop business plans and projects.


The Assessment Process

The assessment process provides both parties with the opportunities to assess the cultural and team fit, individual and organisation aspirations, and details of key objectives and priorities for the role.  Elaine Rippon is the retained consultant for this assignment.

To apply for this position please email your CV with current remuneration details to Alison Harkness at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Elaine Rippon on 01477 534491 to discuss further.  Closing date: 7th October 2013