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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Career Guest Post; Working as a School Education Manager

Name: Hannah Cox

Blog: Crafternoon Cabaret Club

Industry: Arts Education

Job Title: Education Manager (Schools)

Brief description of job role and industry: 

I work in a large arts centre where I run the Schools programme.  I work across all artforms and my remit is to create opportunities for schools (in London and across the UK) to engage in our artistic programme: this could include events, workshops and performances in literature/spoken word, dance and performance, music, visual arts or our talks and debates programme.  Working in a cross artform venue is amazing fun - it's incredibly varied and lively and I feel like I'm learning about new artists and ideas all the time.  It's also very fast paced and hard work - you have to really love what you're doing to work in the arts.

An average day consists of... 

I don't really have an average day because the programme I work on is so varied but I spend lots of my time meeting teachers, visiting schools, meeting artists, researching ideas and organisations, writing project proposals and budgets, managing events and running workshops with school groups.  

Qualifications/experience required: 

I have a degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies and a Masters in Applied Drama.  I also worked freelance before my current job as a creative facilitator where I ran workshops with all sorts of community and school groups, as well as directing youth theatre groups.  It's really important to be passionate about your artform/artforms and be really organised as most artistic jobs within arts centres require you to know a bit about everything - I often have to programme, produce, recruit and deliver my events so experience in any of those areas is really helpful.

Career progression: 

It depends on the shape of the organisations but entry level jobs tend to focus more on delivery of events (booking rooms, materials, and supporting administratively) and as you move up you'll start to take on more responsibility with shaping the programme artistically and strategically.  The skills you develop can often be applied in another arts venue or to become freelance. Eventually I'd love to run my own venue or company.

Best tip to crack the industry: 

Have patience and passion.  It's a very competitive area to work in and it takes time to build up experience and a reputation.  Be enthusiastic and try to meet lots of people working in similar or complimentary areas - some of my most interesting freelance work came out of having coffees with people.

Best thing about my job

The energy and variety of the role and the amount of brilliant people I get to meet and work with.  

Worst thing about my job

It's pretty exhausting - I often feel like I'm working at my limit and I'm normally juggling about ten projects at any one time.


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