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Head of Education Access and Sufficiency

Employer: Wokingham Borough Council
Salary: £69,438 - £76,458 per annum plus benefits
Location: Shute End/Home Working
Contract: Permanent
Working Pattern: Full Time
Hours: 37 hours per week.
DBS Check: Enhanced
Closing Date: 26/11/2023 at 23:00
Reference: 712747

We are looking for a Head of Education Access and Sufficiency to join our Education and SEND Services at Wokingham Borough Council.

Forming part of the Children’s Services, the team have been transforming to be an agile and highly effective delivery arm of the Council’s work to help children and young people to achieve their best in life. It has never been a better time for a creative and resourceful leader to join our progressive and supportive team of Wokingham Education and SEND.

This will be an important appointment of the Council. As the Head of Education Access and Sufficiency, you will be strategically responsible for the development, leadership, and management of the Borough Council’s response to meeting its statutory duties and other policy objectives regarding the pattern, provision, organisation and supply of school, early years and SEN school places, as well as developing and overseeing the efficiency strategy of home to school transport assistance.

You will play a significant role in developing strategic planning and solutions to our challenge of a shortage of local SEN school places as well as mainstream school places in certain year groups. This role will also require your solid operational grip of these areas while it is a strategic role.  

You will ensure accurate school place and admission forecasting and data are in place and oversee school admission delivery to achieve maximum realisation of parental choice of schools. This role includes effective budget management of home to school transport, to ensure transport and delivery are of high quality and within budget limit by applying your financial acumen, relationship building, project management and networking skills to achieve most cost-effective ways to deliver home to school transport assistance.


Wokingham is an attractive market town in Berkshire, with excellent road and rail links and is easily accessible from London and Reading.

We offer a fantastic range of benefits including flexible working opportunities, generous annual leave entitlement, a local government pension scheme, sport and leisure discounts, an onsite gym at Shute End and much more!

Key responsibilities 

  • Oversee the development of the area’s school place planning ensuring the effective forecasting model is applied for the estimating short and long-term school place needs.
  • Oversee home to school transport budget efficiency saving strategy and projects to ensure it operates within the agreed budget limit and the effective allocation of resources, managing customer responses to school transport decisions, in particular SEND related cases.
  • Oversee the development and improvement of data and intelligence in their collection, analysis and reporting in the areas of Early Years, School and SEND sufficiency.
  • Lead on the cross-cutting work to support council services with special education sufficiency advice and assistance when required.
  • Work with partners and stakeholders to ensure that school buildings are suitable for educational needs.
  • Lead to deliver a pro-active service which requires an expert level of knowledge of place sufficiency planning, admission policy, legislation and procedures and home to school transport.

Candidate requirements

  • Degree or equivalent qualification or equivalent proven knowledge, skills or abilities.
  • Evidence of continuous professional development.
  • School place planning and other forecasting modelling skills.
  • Experience of policy development, implementation, monitoring and reporting.
  • Expert knowledge of the school place sufficiency planning, placement and admissions legislation, and home to school transport.
  • Significant experience of leading teams and managing change to achieve improvements and efficiency.

Closing date: Sunday 26th November 2023, 11pm

Interview date: TBC

For an informal discussion, please contact Ming Zhang (Assistant Director Education and SEND) ming.zhang@wokingham.gov.uk

Please be aware that we will be reviewing the applications we receive on a daily basis, and we reserve the right to close the advert early if suitable candidates are identified

Wokingham Borough Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expects all staff, other workers, and volunteers to share this commitment. All successful candidates for this role will be subject to Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks along with other relevant employment checks.

Wokingham is an equal opportunities employer.

How to apply

Please apply online via the link provided.

Please note, we do not accept CVs submitted without a fully completed online application form.

Further information on this vacancy

This vacancy is now closed