Chair of the Social Mobility Commission

Body: Social Mobility Commision
Appointing Department: Department for Education
Sectors: Education
Location: The Chair will not be required to work from a specific location. However, it will be necessary to attend meetings and events across the UK which may require overnight stays.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: This post is unremunerated. However, reasonable expenses will be reimbursed, including travel expenses and subsistence. As a post holder appointed for a limited duration, you will not be eligible for compensation upon the ending of your appointment.
Time Requirements: The Chair will be expected to prepare for Commission meetings and liaise with the Secretariat outside meetings. The Chair will be expected to spend approximately three days per month on Commission business: this will be agreed between the Chair, Deputy Chair and other members of the board.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closing Date Extended

    Please note that the closing date has been extended from 25.02.18 to 30.03.18.

  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    Sift now confirmed as 12th April

  • Final Interview Date

    Interviews will be conducted on 3rd May

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

This is an exciting opportunity to fundamentally shape the social mobility agenda. The Chair leads the Social Mobility Commission, shaping its direction and priorities, and ensuring that it fulfils its remit, as set out in legislation.

You will:

  • utilise the knowledge and experience of the other Commissioners, actively engaging them with the business of the Commission;
  • oversee major research reports and publications, including the Commission’s Annual Report, which is laid before parliament;
  • build effective working relationships with a range of stakeholders, including Ministers, senior government officials and experts in the field (including engaging Ministers in the Commission’s priorities and, potentially, being asked to advise Ministers on particular issues);
  • be an advocate for the social mobility agenda, holding to account and challenging key institutions; and
  • be the public spokesperson for the Commission, regularly speaking at events and to the media.

Person Specification

The successful candidate will be responsible for fulfilling the Commission’s functions, including by building and maintaining effective working relationships with Ministers, the Deputy Chair, other members of the Commission, and the Secretariat, to ensure the remit of the Commission is fulfilled fully, promptly, and properly. Candidates must be able to demonstrate the following experience and skills:

  1. A proven, credible track record of commitment to improving social mobility, and an in-depth and up-to-date understanding of the issues relating to this area.
  2. Experience of working effectively with business, in order to support the department’s goal of building a coalition for social mobility with business and beyond, and supporting our ambitions of high quality post-16 education choices for all young people and everyone achieving their potential in rewarding careers.
  3. A track record of: building excellent relationships with a range of audiences; strong leadership; negotiation; persuasion; communication; advocacy; diplomacy skills; and of challenging and influencing high-level decision makers in a range of public, private and voluntary organisations.
  4. The ability to think strategically about wider social mobility issues, working with a range of individuals, communities and organisations to set strategic direction for achieving social mobility within the wider policy context to achieve results, for example, in housing, education, or family support.
  5. Personal integrity, with commitment to maintaining high standards in public life and promoting sound corporate governance.

Additional Information

The appointment will be made by Ministers for a period of no longer than five years, subject to a satisfactory annual review. Reappointments beyond the five year term are subject to clearance by the Prime Minister.


The Chair’s appointment will be appraised in an annual review by a nominated Department for Education representative.

SMC Chair - Applicant Pack
Declaration of interests (Annex A)
Political activities (Annex B)
Guaranteed Interview Scheme (Annex C)
Diversity Monitoring Form (Annex D)
Return to Search