Director of Programs, Sierra Leone

Rising Academies

Rising Academies

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2023

The context:

Across the developing world, more children than ever are in school – but they are not learning. A recent study estimated that less than 1% of school children in Sub-Saharan Africa attend a school where the teaching meets basic standards of quality. At Rising Academies, we’re changing that, and we want your help. Our mission is to create the best schools and the most powerful teaching and learning tools for the people that need it most. We’re one of the fastest-growing quality-focused education companies in Africa, and a Certified B Corp®.

About us and our work in Sierra Leone:

We own and operate our own great value private schools, partner with governments to improve the quality of public school systems, and use our content and technology to help other education providers. Founded in Sierra Leone in 2014, we provided emergency education to children kept out of school by the Ebola Epidemic before opening our first school in April 2015. Today, we serve more than 250,000 students across more than 900 schools in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and now Rwanda.

In Sierra Leone, following the 3-year Education Innovation Challenge (EIC), Rising was selected as one of five education providers for the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education’s (MBSSE) new three-year Education Outcomes Fund program, an innovative outcomes-funded program focused on improving foundational literacy and numeracy. In collaboration with EducAid, Rising is also entering the third phase of a partnership in Freetown City schools, supporting over 500 schools across Freetown. We have supported remote learning efforts during COVID with radio education and recently partnered with Youth Impact to deliver a maths-focused remote learning program. In addition, Rising has teamed up with Imagine Worldwide to test and scale tech-enabled learning in a range of school settings to support foundational learning.

Through great curriculum, intensive teacher coaching and actionable data, we help teachers and school leaders bring quality to every classroom. And we get results: independent studies show Rising students make more than twice the progress of their peers in comparable schools.

About the role:

We are seeking a dynamic, mission-driven, highly organised Director of Programs to deliver outstanding results in our growing portfolio of partnership programs in Sierra Leone as well as to support the origination and development of new partnership opportunities.

The Director of Programs, Sierra Leone will:

  • Building high-performing program delivery teams and creating a first-class employee experience for a workforce of over 70 staff serving over 600 schools.
  • Delivering industry-leading academic results for all students and using data to drive continuous school improvement.
  • Embedding a culture of safety and transparency, and ensuring compliance with safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring the successful execution of key growth opportunities through new and existing partnerships and innovations.
  • Establishing outstanding relationships with the organisation's stakeholder network, especially our government partners, collaborators and local communities.
  • Overseeing multiple operating budgets and accounting for short-term variability, long-term goals, and organisational sustainability.

Location and reporting:

The Director of Programs, Sierra Leone reports directly to Rising’s Senior Leadership Team. The role will be based from Rising’s head office in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Application deadline:

The closing date for applications is November 3rd, 2023. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted due to the volume of applications.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • 10+ years of education, program management experience in the sector.
  • Strong experience in executing on existing partnership programs.
  • People with C-Suite experience are encouraged to apply.

About You:

  • An inspiring leader. You have a proven track record of success in a senior leadership role in a school network, social enterprise or non-profit.
  • A great team builder. You have successfully built large, complex, multi-functional teams. You’ve hired, fired and developed people to achieve the culture and level of performance you want to see.
  • A brilliant project manager. You have successfully designed and delivered large scale, complex, multi-year projects and programs on time and on budget.
  • A data-informed decision maker. You have consistently grown revenue and impact by using data to understand what’s working and what’s not.
  • A stickler and standard-setter for the details that matter. You have faced and dealt with organisational risk and maintained your organisation’s license to operate by ensuring the highest standards of compliance with key processes.
  • A talented networker. You have expanded your organisation's stakeholder network, originated new opportunities, and built outstanding relationships with the people that matter. Experience working closely with the government is a major plus.
  • A responsible budget owner. You’ve had budget responsibility for an organisation or large business unit, and can be counted on to set, manage and report on budgets effectively.

Prior professional experience in education is not a prerequisite, but a passion for it is.

Compensation and Benefits:

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package. We regularly benchmark our compensation against comparable businesses, social ventures and non-profits.

Rising’s goal is to be transparent about salaries at all levels of the organisation and have a standard, global pay scale for all positions that is non-negotiable.

The benefits we offer are built to have a strong added value on our staff’s well-being and we are excited to discuss this further with you in the process.

Rising is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to providing a work environment that is inclusive and free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions are based on individual qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, national origin, family or parental status, veteran or disability status.

Rising is committed to creating a culture within the organisation, and its schools, that recognises the importance of safeguarding children and prioritising their rights and needs. We strive to uphold international safeguarding standards, and keep the safety and well-being of our students at the heart of what we do. All Rising employees are expected to abide by the Child Protection Policy, and to have the same level of commitment to protect children from harm. Safeguarding questions are part of every interview process and all Rising employees undergo reference checks before joining the organisation.