Director of Learning and Engagement


Circa £45,000 per annum

Application Deadline

Job description

The Director of Learning and Engagement will drive our successful Learning and Participation and choral programmes across the Midlands.  This includes a very full schedule of creative work in and out of schools, an extensive series of concerts for young people, including Relaxed concerts, dementia friendly chamber concerts, five choruses including the world-renowned CBSO Chorus (celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024) and a 200 strong community choir, an outstanding Youth Orchestra, a training orchestra, a side by side programme for young people and adult amateur instrumentalists, a programme of activity in care settings, and the new Shireland CBSO School (opening in September 2023).  The Director will also lead on embedding the CBSO’s extensive Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plans across the organisation.

Key Responsibilities:

  • To provide leadership to the Learning & Engagement Department, ensuring the effective delivery of all projects, performances, and partnership activities, and that all activities are effectively evaluated
  • To provide strategic leadership, and develop an innovative and relevant programme of activity for the Learning & Participation Department across Birmingham and the West Midlands, developed in collaboration with staff, CBSO musicians and external partners and advisors, and to maintain existing flagship projects including the CBSO Youth Orchestra and Youth Ambassador programme
  • To seek and develop new partnerships and collaborations with a range of external partners from education, local communities and the health and wellbeing sector, in addition to maintaining existing relationships – including Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, University of Birmingham and local Music Education Hubs.
  • To collaborate with CBSO musicians and presenters, and to respond to audience feedback, to plan and deliver an annual series of concerts for Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Special Schools and for people living with dementia, in addition to the annual community choir summer showcase concert
  • To ensure an appropriate programme of training and CPD is developed and delivered to support CBSO musicians and freelancers involved in the delivery of activities for the Learning & Participation department
  • To act as the key contact between the CBSO and Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust to develop and implement plans for the CBSO Shireland School opening in Sandwell in September 2023

For a full list of responsibilities for this role, please download our application pack.

How to apply

To apply to become our Director of Learning and Engagement, please send a CV and a letter of application of no more than two pages of A4 to Hollie Dunster on

We ask that you complete the equal opportunities information online when you submit your application. The information collected will be treated as confidential, used for statistical purposes only, and will not be treated as part of your application.

Finally, please ensure that you have included your contact number and email address, as well as any dates when you will not be available or might have difficulty with the indicative timetable.

If you wish to have an informal discussion about the opportunity, please contact Stephen Maddock on

Essential skills

  • Suitable experience in a leadership role covering education (ideally music education), participation and/or work with volunteers , young people, diverse communities and the health and wellbeing sector.
  • A passion for sharing arts and culture with young people, and sharing artistic opportunities as widely as possible within society
  • A commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and an understanding of how EDI strategies can be embedded across an organisation to improve its relevance to society
  • Excellent financial skills and awareness, with experience of managing significant budgets
  • Willingness to attend frequent evening / weekend events in Birmingham, and to travel nationally and internationally when required
  • Excellent written and grammatical skills, combined with careful attention to detail
  • A creative individual, with good ideas and a proven ability to put them into practice
  • A highly articulate communicator with strong inter-personal skills, who is capable of building the confidence of colleagues and partners at all levels internally and externally
  • An outgoing, inspiring manager, who is able to motivate colleagues and manage their performance

Desirable skills

  • A passion for orchestral music, and a working knowledge of orchestras, choirs and music education
  • Experience of working with volunteers and amateur artists as well as professionals
  • Experience of working collaboratively with a wide range of colleagues outside formal reporting structures
  • Experience of working within a regulated environment and ensuring regulatory compliance


Hollie Dunster



0121 616 6515