This Vacancy has closed.
Strategic Commissioner - Education & SEND
  • Employer: Brighter Futures for Children
  • Reference: BFC0100
  • Published: Wed 27/05/2020, 12:45 PM
  • Closing on: Sun 14/06/2020, 23:55 PM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: 37 hours per week
  • Salary: £41,675 - £47,540
  • DBS Check: Enhanced
  • Location: Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, Berkshire

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More Information

Strategic Commissioner - Education & SEND

Brighter Futures For Children (BFFC)

Full-time, Permanent post


About BFFC

Brighter Futures for Children is improving outcomes for Reading's children, young people and families.

We are an independent, not-for-profit-company, wholly owned by Reading Borough Council. Our responsibility is to deliver quality children's services, early help, education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) services in the borough. 

  • We protect and enhance the lives of the children of Reading.
  • We help families find long-term solutions to ensure children lead happy, healthy, and successful lives.
  • We embrace new and proven ways of working, including; Trauma Informed practice, Restorative approaches, Strong partnership working, Quick and appropriate decision-making.


The Team/Role

The Strategic Commissioner for Education and SEND will ensure there is high quality, responsive and efficient services are in place ensuring the highest standard of provision is available to children, young people and their families within allocated and reducing resources. Increase sufficiency of placements; undertake procurements which achieve savings and service quality objectives; lead service reviews; contract management of providers and markets.

Role Responsibilities:

  • To be the strategic lead for Education and SEND commissioning within the company, taking responsibility for this remit internally and with external partners.
  • To lead the development and implementation of long-term strategic plans including sufficiency.
  • To work with colleagues in health (where appropriate) to support development of jointly commission services and processes, through development of joint funding, targets and monitoring
  • To maintain effective working relationships with operational managers in education, providing advice and expertise on commissioning and contracts.
  • To build positive relationships with relevant colleagues across Berkshire and other neighbouring authorities in order to identify opportunities to collaborate, share best practice and learn lessons.
  • To collaborate on ensuring effective co-production with service user (and carer) takes place and the voice of children, young people and their families routinely informs the team’s work.
  • To develop business cases; service reviews; option papers and regular reports for senior leaders and Board members as required
  • To deputise for the Head of Commissioning, Contracts and Procurement when required.
  • To contribute to company or external initiatives in relation to commissioning and contracts.
  • To be up to date with the latest demographic data and statistics on the relevant client groups, with an informed view on the future implications of this.
  • To be up to date with the latest developments in the care and support market in Reading and Berkshire, including benchmarking of costs, quality and performance.
  • To lead on the education and SEND commissioning team’s contribution to the JSNA and any similar local analyses and data collection in Reading or beyond.
  • Responsible for researching models of best practice to shape innovative models of care, evolving specification and service design, analysis of demand and throughput, resource analysis in terms of staff and assets, to improve efficiency
  • Lead and undertake work to analyse needs, gaps in provision, market trends and make recommendations to implement strategic change to improve the availability, range, quality and value for money of services


Essential Qualifications:

  • GCSE/GSE grade C in Maths and English
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent academic ability in relevant field.
  • Evidence of continuing professional and personal development.


Essential knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Proven experience of working within and delivering excellent outcomes within a children services, social care, education or health setting, ideally within a Commissioning function
  • Commercial skills - experience of working in a fast-paced environment with a cost focused service
  • Problem solving and analytical skills to interpret statistical and written information and to produce planning documents and determine a range of informed and imaginative solutions.
  • Leadership and management skills to lead a team and motivate staff and stakeholders.
  • Highly developed communication skills to present information clearly, both written and verbal to varied audiences
  • Organisational skills to prioritise and plan workload for self and the team.
  • Has a specialist knowledge and understanding of the full commissioning cycle including needs assessment and market appraisal
  • Specialist knowledge of the current trends and issues affecting the commissioning and delivery of education and SEND  based services for children, young people and their families
  • Experience of managing a placement team function
  • Has a specialist knowledge and understanding of the full commissioning cycle including needs assessment and market appraisal


Contact details for an informal discussion:

Email Karina Ajayi on


What we offer our employee:

  • We offer a supportive framework to develop your career
  • You’ll work in a friendly and collaborative environment where we are committed to delivering positive outcomes.
  • We have a strong training and developmental pathway
  • All team managers are permanent staff and our Consultant Practitioners will coach, mentor and support you.

Our package

  • Competitive salary
  • Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Discounted childcare
  • On-site outstanding nursery

We offer a range of extras

  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Season ticket loans
  • Local discounts
  • Health and wellbeing programme
  • Staff Club and social events.