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Head of Widening Participation - Winchester Science Centre

04 Oct 2019 8:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Post Title: Head of Widening Participation

Line Manager: Director of STEM Strategy

Salary: £30,000 - £35,000 per annum depending on skills and experience

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Annual leave: 20 days per annum plus bank holidays

Closing Date: 31 October 2019 09:00

Interviews: 7 and/or 8 November 2019

Core hours will be 08:30-16:30 or 09:00-17:00 Monday to Friday however a strong degree of flexibility will be required to suit business needs, to include some early mornings, evenings, bank holidays and weekends.

The Organisation

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium (WSC) is an independent educational charity dedicated to sparking curiosity and building science capital for all. Boasting two floors of hands-on interactive exhibits, the UK’s largest standalone planetarium and a wide-ranging events programme, the Science Centre is an important regional hub for informal science learning and a popular visitor attraction for families, schools and the general public. WSC has recently been successful in raising funds to redevelop the visitor experience to include a new exhibition, live science demonstration area, invention studio, sensory space and reimagined welcome area. WSC is on a mission to make STEM accessible to all and the upcoming project is a major milestone in the strategic direction of the charity.

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is situated on the outskirts of Winchester within the South Downs National Park. The centre enjoys a stunning rural location with excellent road links from London and across the South of England. This enviable location, the charity’s clear mission and its team of highly motivated staff and volunteers, makes Winchester Science Centre a great place to work. Visitor numbers are set to exceed 190k this year and with huge potential for further growth, this is an exciting time to join the team.

The Role

The Head of Widening Participation exists to deliver the charities core aim of sparking curiosity for all, by engaging and building sustainable, long term relationships with new and underserved audiences. The Head of Widening Participation will work closely with internal teams to ensure WSC reaches its goal of becoming one of the most accessible science centres in the UK. They will also develop, plan, deliver and evaluate STEM outreach engagement.

WSC will soon begin a £1.2m transformation to create a more inclusive and accessible experience for our visitors. The Head of Widening Participation will play a major role in the project overseeing a crucial part of the first major capital refurbishment of our building, liaising with our audiences so that we truly understand how best to make an impact.

Winchester Science Centre wishes to reach audiences who are currently underserved, by hosting and collaborating in a variety of public events. The Head of Widening Participation will drive excellence within the organisation, bringing together an innovative and exciting events programme that will bring quality, awe and inspiration to local and national communities. These events are aimed to entice intrigue in science participation across different audiences and help deliver our mission. They will work in partnership with Head of Curiosity and Head of Planetarium to deliver the charitable aim to build science capital for all.

The events programme can be broken down into two strands; local Community Open Weekends/Festivals and high-profile science events. The Head of Widening Participation will lead the co-creation of exciting activities for young people, families, adults and those with special educational needs, to inspire the next generation of scientists and encourage communities to value scientific engagement. Our first major event in the calendar is the Noel Turner Science Festival on the Isle of Wight. A 2-day celebration of STEM for primary and secondary schools on the Island

The Head of Widening Participation will represent the organisation and build strong links with academic and industrial partners to develop a cohesive science outreach offer in the South of England and further drive sponsorship income by growing audience's participation.

The post-holder will line manage the Widening Participation Officer, and be a role model to the wider STEM team. We are looking for a candidate to hit the ground running, drive the mission of our Science Centre forward.

Winchester Science Centre is a unique and exciting place to work, with an exceptional team of creative and motivated individuals. Our energetic and enthused team have a genuine passion for their day to day duties, and are committed to the objectives of our charity and seeing it succeed. A hard-working, open culture is encouraged, where cross-departmental working is embedded in everything we do. We are looking for a positive, self-starting and energetic Head of Widening Participation to fit this culture and drive the team to the next level.

Job Description

·          To develop, deliver and evaluate a remarkable public outreach programme for families, schools, youth groups and adult organisations to engage with, by seeking new opportunities for the organisation and maintaining key relationships. This includes Community Open Weekends, Noel Turner Science Festival and high profile public engagement events.

·          To support internal teams to ensure the school and public offers are accessible to all, including those with disabilities, illnesses and special educational needs.

·          To line manage the Widening Participation Officer (plus possibility of other roles in the future).

·          To work with the internal teams, designers, accessibility advisory panel and stakeholders to ensure accessibility is a priority for a major refurbishment of the science centre, due to open in April.

·          Join the management team at Winchester Science Centre, to deliver on our Core Principles and shape the future of the organisation.

·          To represent the organisation at local and national STEM communication conferences and meetings, to network and seek out innovative opportunities for development, where relevant to the role.

·          To plan and manage the Widening Participation budget, with the support of the Director of STEM Strategy.

·          To take overall responsibility for reporting and meeting project deadlines for STEM outreach activities implemented by Director of STEM Strategy, external partners and trustees.

·          To analyse and evaluate STEM activity delivery data to ensure targets are met and evaluate the impact of public interactions.

·          To ensure high quality communications of all kinds are delivered to stakeholders.

·          To maintain a comprehensive knowledge of local and national STEM organisations and academia, and work alongside them to deliver programmes in the South of England.

·          To work with the Director of STEM Strategy to plan and review progress against targets and to agree actions.

·          To manage and expand the use of volunteers, interns and work experience colleagues.

·          To work with the fundraising team to seek and explore other revenue streams to fund our external offer.

·          To undertake other tasks as should reasonably arise within the remit of Head of Widening Participation.

·          The above should not be considered an exhaustive list and other project support will be required by Director of STEM Strategy.

Flexibility is essential as Winchester Science Centre relies on a small team of dedicated individuals working closely together to support and develop the charity, so occasional additional support duties will be required in other areas of its business. Applicants will undergo an enhanced DBS check and be required to hold a full UK driving licence and to have access to a car for business travel use for which expenses will be paid. 

Person Specification

E = Essential D = Desirable


·          D - BA or BSc (Hons) or equivalent qualification in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.

·          D - Relevant qualifications in community engagement in cultural organisations


·          D - Working in a STEM related field, STEM teaching or STEM delivery in the informal learning sector.

·          E - Forming and maintaining effective partnerships with external organisations.

·          D - Working alongside university and industry public engagement teams.

·          E - Project management.

·          E - Supervising staff including delegation, support and training.

·          D - Line management experience.

·          D - Budget management.

·          E - Evaluating process and analysis of data to devise strategy and produce relevant reports.

·          E - Event delivery, public speaking and training delivery.

·          D - Professional networking.

Practical skills and knowledge

·          E - Excellent logistical management.

·          E - Excellent knowledge of cutting edge research and developments in science.

·          D - Good knowledge of local and national STEM industry.

·          E - Previous experience of data collection and evaluation.

·          D - Good knowledge of UK school systems STEM curricula.

·          E - Competence in the use and application of Microsoft office software.

·          E - Good organisational skills and an ability to prioritise effectively.

·          E - Excellent leadership and team working skills.

·          E - High level communication skills, both verbal and written, to enable excellent communication with educators and STEM professionals at all levels.

Personal qualities and skills

·          E - A strong team player who can work effectively with colleagues across the organisation.

·          E - An ability to engage and motive young people

·          E - An organised and analytical approach to working in a target driven role.

·          D - An ability to adapt to changing priorities and to respond quickly to requests.

·          E - An ability to enthuse and inspire colleagues.

·          E - An interest in STEM education and enrichment.

·          E - Willingness to work flexible hours including some evenings and weekends.

·          D - An entrepreneurial spirit to drive new funding.

Other requirements:

·          The post-holder will be required to undergo an enhanced DBS check.

·          The post-holder will be required to hold a full UK driving licence and to have access to a car for business travel use for which expenses will be paid


A generous salary is on offer, along with staff CPD, a fulfilling role and working in a friendly and supportive environment. Benefits include:

·          Cash back health plan with the opportunity to add partner and/or dependents

·          Free parking and free tickets to planetarium shows and most special events

·          Annual Christmas party and staff socials

·          Ongoing staff training

·          20% discount in the shop and café

Application procedure

An application form is available on, please complete the form and return to Laura Ollis with a covering letter attached. Please clearly state your previous experience that links to the requirements of the role. Candidates whose experience does not match the Essential Criteria will not be considered.

The deadline for application is Thursday 31 October 2019 9am. Interviews will take place on 7 and/or 8 November 2019 and may include a series of tasks, presentations, tests and formal interview.

Disability Confident - Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is a Disability Confident employer and welcomes applications from a wide and diverse range of applicants. Should you wish to discuss access needs or reasonable adjustments, please contact Laura Ollis.

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