05 March 2024

Programme Manager - West Cumbria

Permanent, remote position - with frequent travel around West Cumbria

Part time - 29 hours per week, term-time only

£35.1k pro-rata

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Chapter One is a dynamic, growing charity with a vision of a world in which all children have the literacy skills needed to thrive. Our mission is to close the reading gap by providing children with one-to-one support at the time they need it most. We work in eleven areas/regions of the UK and will support 3,000 children in 2023-24.

Our unique Online Reading Volunteers Programme pairs struggling five to seven-year old (KS1) readers with reading support volunteers who are working professionals. The volunteer ask is very focused: readers commit 30 minutes a week to read with a child using a bespoke digital platform for an entire academic year. The results are transformative, boosting children's reading confidence and ability.

From a school perspective, online reading volunteers provide direct, meaningful literacy support for up to 10 pupils per class. The programme is particularly suitable for communities where it might be challenging to find parents and other volunteers who can commit to physically visiting schools to boost reading.

Chapter One is seeking a West Cumbria Programme Manager who is an excellent communicator and is able to both motivate and support schools and teachers to implement our Online Reading Volunteers Programme, and also to ensure that the programme’s impact and benefit to disadvantaged communities is maximised throughout the academic year.

The post is ideal for someone looking for part-time, flexible, term-time only work from a home base and who is able to travel frequently around West Cumbria. The postholder will be joining a team of established Programme Managers (also part-time) who work in different parts of the UK and will need to have some flexibility to work additional hours during busy autumn months, and conversely to work fewer hours during quieter periods of the year.

Key Responsibilities:

• Effectively explain Chapter One’s online reading volunteer programme and its benefits to school leaders and teachers

• Install, setup and maintain Chapter One equipment in participating classrooms

• Fully understand the operation of the Chapter One platform and database and communicate this to others

• Organise and conduct initial teacher training and follow-up

• Ensure a smooth initial launch of Chapter One’s programme in every classroom

• Liaise with colleagues performing technical and volunteer support roles

• Through regular visits to/contact with schools, provide on-going embedded professional learning and support to teachers throughout the year as needed

• Proactively monitor classroom adherence/fidelity to the Chapter One model, including systematic review of data reports and volunteer feedback, taking proactive action to resolve problems that arise

• Analyse and manipulate data (largely in Google sheets) to produce reports and identify trends

• Create monthly data summaries for all participating classrooms

• Lead annual review meetings for senior leadership at participating schools

• Support programme monitoring, evaluation and research as required

• Coordinate in person and virtual school ‘visits’ of volunteer teams to classrooms where necessary

• Liaison with corporate partners as required

• Weekly communication and status updates with Senior Programme Manager(s) and wider team

• As a new school year approaches, secure commitments from returning schools and find and target new schools to join Chapter One’s programme

Role Requirements:


  • Highly motivated individual with excellent interpersonal and organisational skills
  • Proven track record of working at a senior level in education, project management or a related field
  • Proven strength in both written and verbal communication
  • Highly IT literate, with excellent computer skills, able to troubleshoot software issues and adept with Google suite
  • Ability to manipulate and analyse to draw useful conclusions to improve programme delivery
  • Proven ability to work independently
  • Self-starter and quick learner
  • Ability to adapt and embrace a changing environment
  • University degree
  • Ability to drive and access to a car for work purposes


  • Two years of teaching/education experience with primary age children

Chapter One is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value and celebrate diversity in backgrounds and experience and are deliberate about the kind of teams we are building. Literacy is a universal concern, and we need people from all backgrounds to maximise our innovation, creativity and impact. We especially welcome applications from persons who have experienced disadvantage and/or from those who are of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities who are currently underrepresented in the organisation.

Chapter One is committed to safeguarding children and young people. All postholders are subject to a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure. Copies of our Safeguarding Policy and Safer Recruitment Policy are available on request.

Closing date: 18 June

It all starts with literacy.