Education Officer

Wildwood Trust

Herne Bay, Kent
£17,000 - £22,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent Marianne Benson

Sectors: environmental education, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Saturday, 21st April 2018  

Job Title: Education officer (Education dept.)

Function: Co-ordinating and overseeing Wildwood’s educational portfolio and the delivery of its activities

Responsible to: Education manager

Salary: £17,000 to 22,000 (+pension)

Wildwood Trust

Wildwood Trust is a registered charity that focuses on British Wildlife. The Trust became a charity in 2002, having existed since 1998, and is set within 40 acres of SSSI woodland with an animal collection based on native and previously native species. It has two charitable objectives, the promoting of UK conservation and, significantly aligned to this post, the education of publics.

Wildwood Trust has grown substantially over its 16 year existence. It’s education department has a nationally respected education team, which has been recognised through BIAZA awards and having received the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) award consecutively since 2012 to present.

Wildwood’s Education department has established extremely strong working activities within the following areas:

  • The development and delivery of thematic workshops and tours aligned across EYFS to Upper KS2 national curriculum for the primary school sector.
  • The development and delivery of public education talks and other activities (these span from classroom based craft sessions to forest school type activities to night tours, etc.).
  • The development and delivery of bespoke ‘A’ Level programmes.

Education officer

This post is for an inspirational person who can deliver thematic workshops to school groups in a dynamic and engaging manner. They will need to be highly motivated and imaginative, with a good knowledge and understanding of the compulsory education sector and how Wildwood can align with curricula within this sector. They also need to be good at coordinating and administration of school bookings, have a willingness to get involved with novel tasks, be presentation confident, possess a good knowledge of animal biology, UK ecology and conservation. A teaching background with an appreciation for natural and/or social research methods would be desirable for this post, or the willingness to acquire them.

Being an energetic and enthusiastic character, you will be able to deliver highly engaging workshops and talks to a variety of publics. The person also needs to be a highly organised person, who has the ability to multi-task and operate at a variety of levels both practical and academic. You need to be able to work independently, logistically and strategically, and as part of a team.


  • Management of school bookings and delivery of activities within these bookings
  • Development of a variety of activities, as part of the holiday programmes, delivered to a diverse public / group types
  • Maintaining of education administration
  • Delivery of daily public talks (thus, maintain a good relationship with our ‘keepers’ to manage this talks programme)
  • Management of a small team of volunteers and placement students
  • Good at maintaining both internal and external relationships whilst also building new ones
  • Excellent communication skills; verbal, presentation and written forms for both internal and external reporting

Principal Duties Maintenance of the Educational Portfolio

Your primary focus will be the overseeing of school bookings; from initial telephone enquiry to formalising the booking to delivering any activities.

The educational offer spans a diverse range of group types, from schools to extra curriculum activity groups to pension groups. You will be responsible for the delivery of activities and your ability to adapt the delivery mode to one appropriately align to the needs of these range of groups is essential.

With your knowledge of the national curriculum, you should be able to maintain existing connectivity to the curriculum, and even expand alignments where they can be found, with the overall aim of supporting Wildwood’s charitable objectives.

You will be responsible for the welfare and well-being of a very small collection of educational animals.

You will be responsible for maintaining group visitation data and evaluation of visits / activities and reporting on these visits / activities.

Maintaining administrative duties and both internal and external reporting

Take a lead on maintaining communications across internal departments at Wildwood Trust

Organise and undertake within recruitment processes and maintain HR requirements for staff within the education team

Maintain communications / updating the Education manager

Public activities

You will be required to develop and deliver activities to the general public during school holidays. These activities often align to the season (eg. Easter, Christmas, etc.) and / or a specific topic (Touch tables, public animal talks, etc.)

You will be responsible for building relationships with school contacts and the wider school sector agencies, and where relevant developing responses appropriate to the enquiry

Constantly reflect on activities to improve their delivery and where possible consider where / what new activities may be developed

Formal education

You will be required to manage and increase our relationships with schools, especially the primary school sector.

By having a good knowledge and experience of the national curriculum and how the compulsory schools sector operates, you will be able to identify and adapt our educational portfolio towards new or shifting requirements.

Having teaching experience, you will know how best to adapt delivery styles to facilitate engagement across the different age groups. Using your experience, you will know how to best utilise the variety of traditional / novel physical resources we have at Wildwood with established and emerging teaching practices.

Being adept at using Microsoft packages, you will know how to manage data sets, present summary data and write reports, such as on visitation rates, evaluation feedback etc..

The portfolio spans EYFS right through to undergraduate provision. A large area of provision is with ‘A’ Level groups; hence, you will be knowledgeable on shore/beach ecology and surveying methods of these environments. Similarly, ‘A’ Level groups often undertake data collection activities using traditional ecological survey methodologies, which you would need to lead groups with.

You should be capable to lead post-compulsory groups on conservation tours of Wildwood and knowledgeable / confident enough to engage and answer any queries / questions.

Informal education

As a charity, Wildwood’s ultimate success will depend on the value we can deliver to our visitors, clients, members and donors. ‘Making every visitor a friend’ will be a key role for the post holder. Engagement may involve either educational groups, public feeds or alternative public events. In time, there will be the need to give talks to a wider range of groups, from primary schools to university and professional ecology groups.

You use any opportunity to seek engagement with the public; be it extended discussions after an animal talk, to overhearing members of the public discussing points between themselves to using resources to initiate discussions, etc.. The ability to encourage engagement and further discussions is an crucial part of the post.

The ability to handle animals appropriately and safely is essential.

Being imaginative will help novel ways of engaging with the public; especially in building a holiday programme or leading a group of youngsters in forest school type or junior zoo keeper activities.

You will be expected to follow H&S procedures regarding safety and hygiene when utilising resources with public.

Financial administration

You will be required to maintain a booking system that facilitates our finance department in processing bookings. Supporting both your line manager and the finance team in the efficient use of systems utilised is important.

Health and Safety

You will be required to encourage implementation and support for Wildwood’s Health and Safety arrangements, ensuring they are effective, consistent and well documented as appropriate. You will be required to complete Risk Assessments and conduct periodical reviews, contribute to the maintenance of Health and Safety of staff / volunteers; ensure staff / volunteers follow Health and Safety guidance as best as possible.

Other requirements

When the need dictates, you will be required to lead / support on activities as and when instructed by your line manager.

Certain activities do take place outside of normal working hours, for example night and twilight tours, and you will be expected to undertake these.

Skills, Knowledge & Experience Essential

The applicant will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Experience of working with children, either within the primary school sector or similar setting
  • Knowledge of the national curriculum used in the compulsory schools sector
  • A first degree
  • Excellent communication / engagement skills across a range of publics
  • Confidence in giving public talks and demonstrations
  • Good knowledge and experience of ecological and conservation practices
  • Experience of animal handling
  • DBS certificate, or willingness to obtain it
  • Experience of working with Health and Safety protocols, including conducting risk assessments, managing event administration, and managing / developing timetables


The following criteria are preferential competencies required in the applicant:

  • Qualified teacher status
  • Research and / or evaluation survey experience, especially social research into education portfolio delivered within a non-formal setting
  • High level of conservation theory and practice experience
  • Experience in a range of ecological field survey skills
  • Post graduate qualification, or willingness to work towards one
  • Experience of a similar post within zoos / wildlife sector organisation

Other Considerations

  1. Understanding of and empathy with Wildwood’s activities would be helpful.
  2. No person shall be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, colour, age or disability. As an equal opportunities employer, applicants for staff vacancies shall be shortlisted for interview and appointed purely on the grounds of their suitability for the post as laid out in the advertised job description.
  3. Wildwood operates a no smoking policy in the park and in its offices.
  4. Good medical health for outdoor activities with animals; eg. up-to-date tetanus, rabies injection, etc.

Employment Package

The salary band for the post of Education officer will be £17,000 to £22,000 (+pension).

Typical working week is Monday to Friday, 37.5 hours per week while the working hours are from 9.00 am to 5:00 pm and a 30 minute lunch break and coffee break is taken daily. However, it must be stressed that days of working and times of working by the incumbent are highly flexible according to needs.

Due to the nature of the work you may be required to work bank holidays, weekends and / or evenings on occasions. Overtime is not paid, but TOIL time is taken off in lieu of these hours worked outside the normal working structure. The holiday allowance is 30 days per year. This includes statutory holidays.

Appointment is subject to confirmation after a three month probation period.

Wildwood complies with the auto-enrolment regulations and you will be enrolled in to this pension scheme upon successful completion of your probationary period.

Procedure for Applicants Applications

To apply for this position please send your CV together with a covering letter stating how you match the criteria. Applications should be sent marked ‘Private and Confidential’ to:

Marianne Benson, Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7LQ or emailed to ‘

Applications will not normally be acknowledged. If you would like yours to be acknowledged, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard.

The closing date for applications is 21st April 2018

Interview and Selection Procedure

The selection process, including interviews, will take place at Wildwood Trust. Currently interviews are planned for Wednesday 2nd May 2018. The selection process will include a presentation, initiative test and interview.

Please mention when responding to this ad.