Finance Committee Member_STIR
28 days ago
Schools and Teachers Innovating for Results
THE OPPORTUNITY - FINANCE COMMITEE MEMBER
ABOUT STIR EDUCATION
OUR REASON FOR BEING
Education systems today must prepare every child, everywhere, to thrive in a world of ‘unknown unknowns”.
Children and young people today face a world of ‘unknown unknowns’. To succeed, they need to develop a love of learning. And education systems need to support them by building the foundations of lifelong learning. This has been recognised in the development plans of many emerging countries.
The moral imperative here is clear. The economic imperative is even clearer: for example, 90% of Ethiopian children will find jobs in the informal sector. ‘Unknown unknowns’ will be constant pressures in their future lives. They will need to learn and adapt as they move between sectors, jobs and settlements.
But education systems are failing to address this need. Governments are spending hundreds of dollars per child per year on education – but not preparing them for a future citizenship and workforce. The ‘seeds’ of their technical interventions are unable to grow and flourish. This matches the experience of leading employers. For example, the Confederation of Indian Industry found that more than 50% of Indian school leavers were unemployable.
OUR REACH TO DATE
Since our creation in 2012, we have worked with 200,000 teachers and 4.7 million children in over 35,000 schools in India and Uganda, across both primary and secondary education. We are launching new programmes in Indonesia in two months’ time, and are in scoping discussions with the government of Ethiopia. We also aim to begin government partnerships in Brazil and Egypt within the next two years.
We support education systems to reignite intrinsic motivation in every teacher and official, to role-model the foundations of lifelong learning for every child. To thrive in a world of ‘unknown unknowns’, children need to be able to continually seek, process, act and reflect on new information. They need to love to learn.
At STiR Education, we’ve identified the core foundations that enable lifelong learning. These foundations are supported by a deep body of global evidence. And our approach is designed to build these foundations sustainably and at scale within education systems.
Other organisations are doing great work on direct training programmes and curriculum reform. From reading programmes to adaptive learning software, these ‘seeds’ will be essential in improving education systems.
But there are almost no interventions that focus on the ‘soil’ – the intrinsic motivation of teachers and officials in systems. At STiR, we recognise that this soil is just as important. Without fertile soil, seeds cannot grow and flourish. So we support education systems to reignite intrinsic motivation in every teacher and official. It’s our unique contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4.
OUR VISION WILL BE REACHED WHEN:
Every child is engaged, feels safe, loves learning, trusts and values their teacher, is curious and thinks critically.
Every teacher loves teaching and intentionally improves their classroom practice.
Every local and ministry official sees the foundations of lifelong learning as a core goal, prioritises the support of teachers, and uses data and insights to continually improve.
Our approach works through role-modelling and relationships at all levels of education systems. It is based around three core principles:
➔ Peer networks.
➔ Action and feedback.
These core activities underpin everything that we do for teachers, school leaders and officials.
And they form the heart of our termly learning improvement cycles (LICs). Each LIC focuses on a different theme (e.g. the science of learning). First, district officials are introduced to the content for the next term in a three-day training meeting. Then they lead training sessions for school leaders to build their confidence and capability to lead teacher network meetings.
At each level, we introduce monthly coaching and support to enable high-quality feedback. And regular alignment meetings at district and state levels provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to analyse data, share learning and develop plans together to strengthen delivery.
This isn’t a cascade model. We’re working to build a culture of lifelong learning across systems, not just delivering content. So the relationships at every level are necessarily two-way, based on openness, honesty and a commitment to a common goal.
Over time, we expect to see officials and school leaders developing the foundations of lifelong learning. They will spend more time in schools supporting and understanding teachers. And recognise their crucial role in driving improvements. We have developed an innovative set of measurement tools – in partnership with groups like the World Bank – to measure this progress on a monthly basis through a data app, and through an annual external longitudinal research study led by a leading JPAL affiliate professor.
OUR TEAM AND PARTNERS
STiR has deliberately built a cross-cultural team with backgrounds in the private, public and social sectors. We’re a lean and nimble organisation with around 70 professionals working across seven offices in London, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kampala, Jakarta and New York. And our Board members include Jo Owen (co-founder of Teach First and leadership writer), John Knight (former Finance Director of Pearson’s International Business), David Rothschild (a senior leader at several leading US foundations, including the Skoll Foundation) and Rachel Hinton (Team Leader of the Research and Evidence Division at DFID).
Our donors include the Mastercard Foundation, DFID, UBS Optimus, Vitol Foundation, Dubai Cares and the Ikea Foundation, in addition to leading family foundations such as the Sainsbury, Peery and Segal Foundations, and Indian corporates such as IDFC Asset Management.
We bring a mix of skills to our partner governments, including design, learning, M&E, quality assurance and implementation support. Our team works with senior officials around planning, influencing, facilitating, coaching and leveraging data.
We’re aiming to remain lean and agile even as we scale significantly. It’s important that we continue to embrace change and take risks – but build in rapid feedback loops to ensure that we stay on the right track. By 2025, we aim to reach over 60 million children (10x our current scale), but we estimate that our budget will increase by only 2.5x.
This will be enabled by our shift to central learning partnerships. But it will also be aided by being smarter about how we operate. For example, we’ve centralised some key functions in India so that we can serve new countries cost-effectively.
HUMILITY: We don’t have all the answers upfront.
OPENNESS: We will listen, learn and improve, and lead through obstacles.
OWNERSHIP: We empower each other with high expectations and support.
PURPOSE: We’re united by a shared vision we’ll build and achieve together
We encourage and support team members to take ownership over the work that they do, and challenge each other to continuously learn and improve. And in the same way, our team role-models these values with our government partners. We encourage and support officials to take on ownership to ensure sustainability. We seek to build a culture of constant learning and use our innovative monitoring and evaluation data to inform further improvement.
These core values guide us as we build an internal culture and work environment that develops the foundations of lifelong learning in education systems around the world. We aim to walk our talk by recruiting and developing a team of lifelong learners. And as a result, STiR is an exciting and unique place to work. Our team is trusted and empowered with significant responsibility and accountability to deliver projects where they will learn and grow.
THE OPPORTUNITY – STIR FINANCE COMMITTEE MEMBER
To further strengthen STiR’s governance team, we are seeking a new co-opted Finance Committee member. Volunteering as part of STiR’s Finance Committee. This is an important role that will help provide support and challenge to STiR’s executive team as they manage the organisation’s operations, finances and legal risks across the globe. The role is ideally suited to someone with a strong operations or finance background that has strong experience in UK Charity and international including (India, Uganda, Indonesia or Ethiopia or Egypt). Strong alignment with our values and charitable aims and the ability to communicate sensitively and clearly are essential.
1. Values aligned
2. Interest in STIR’s work (does not have to be education background) and can commit time
3. International experience and/or UK expertise (understanding of STiR geographies will be an added advantage)
4. Strong financial acumen and experience of growing or larger organisations than STIR
5. Strong background and experience of growing or larger organisations
6. Experience with UK compliance and financial controls.
7. Project management skills (particularly around new country expansion)
If you are interested and feel that you might be a good fit for the role, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please note this is not a salaried role and is a volunteer role, the commitment would be for a period of 3 years and you would be expected to attend at least four two-hour meetings a year (remotely or in London). Females are encouraged to apply.
Please share your CV and a short cover letter explaining why you would like to be part of STiR’s Finance Committee.