Programme Manager, English Programmes

May 3, 2023

Job Description

We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide.

We work directly with individuals to help them gain the skills, confidence and connections to transform their lives and shape a better world in partnership with the UK. We support them to build networks and explore creative ideas, to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications.

Working with people in over 200 countries and territories, we are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people.



Job Title: Programme Manager, English Programmes (37638)


Role Purpose: 


Implementation of programmes with a low level of complexity funded by British Council or by another client or funding mechanism. Leads the successful delivery of a range of programmes or projects from start to finish including managing the contract or project plan, managing client or internal stakeholders, successfully achieving reporting and meeting compliance standards. Or works within a larger programme or multi country programme on a particular component.

This role focuses on delivering the outcomes of our work on English Programmes through a suite of global programmes and partnerships working with institutions and governments in the UK and overseas, summarised below:
English Connects: Supporting the professional development of individual teachers and teacher educators through the world’s largest online English teacher community.


English in Education: Supporting overseas governments, through partnerships with Ministries of Education and UK expertise, to improve standards of the teaching, learning and assessment of English and the teaching of other subjects through English.


Provides integral operational management, often in a small to medium sized team; supporting successful development, delivery, impact (incl. MEL) and financial sustainability of a mixed portfolio of English partnerships, programmes or contracts at regional or global level. Services corporate or regional outcomes, ensuring value add and mutual UK benefit as well as compliance with published programme management standards across all areas of financial and operational risk. Supports partner and stakeholder relations and can act as an account manager for a major client or stakeholder. The post holder supports business and partnership development working with the Country Director/team.


This role will work with colleagues across the region and in the UK, to help deliver benefits in country from regional and globally led initiatives.


Role Context:

This role sits within the Cultural Engagement (CE) Strategic Business Unit (SBU). 
CE brings together our portfolio of work in arts, education, English, and research. Our portfolio is delivered through a set of globally led programmes that locates our work and impact within our strategic framework. These programmes deliver our key performance indicators and impact ambitions.  

All programme management roles deliver activities and projects within this global programme and strategic framework. Our programmes are funded by the


British Council’s grant in aid, through partnerships and external clients.   

This role focuses on delivering the outcomes of our work on English Programmes in China. The aim of English Programmes is to support the improvement of English language teaching and learning in formal and non-formal education systems.  English Programmes has the following impact areas and global programmes: 

  • English Connects – our global online engagement with teachers and teacher educators  
  • English in Education – ELT in Education and English in a Multilingual World
  • English and Empowerment – formal and non-formal education with two strands: Language for Resilience and English for Girls’ Education.  


Our ambition to increase digital audiences as a share of total engagement requires a new focus on digital delivery.  We need to provide project teams with the support, knowledge, expertise and confidence that they need to reach larger digital audiences through their programmes. This role will focus on supporting our work under the English Connects programme and ELT in Education to maximise its impact in China. The role will work with the Head of English Programmes China.
In the interests of clarification, English Connects is: a technology-enabled, open-access programme available to individual teachers and teacher educators of English worldwide and delivered through our global TeachingEnglish platforms and regional, country and partner platforms. It provides professional development opportunities, resources, peer support and networking for a global community of English language teaching professionals and practitioners.
The English Connects core offer is primarily delivered through the TeachingEnglish ecosystem (Incl. website and social media), however delivery modes and offers may differ based on context and a need for localised approaches. 
There are essentially five elements to the global English Connects offer

  1. Timebound learning content – such as TeachingEnglish Training MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
  2. Online networking events – such as webinars and special events.
  3. Online resources – such as downloadable articles, lesson plans, and publications
  4. Collaborative exchange through community membership – such as the British Council Teacher Educator Community of Practice
  5. News – such as the newsletter for teachers

English in Education:  is our work in formal education systems, where we work across the education sector in primary, secondary and tertiary (technical and vocational education and training, and higher education) education.There are two main areas of work under English in Education: English Language Teaching in Education and English in a Multilingual World.
English Language Teaching in Education is our work in English in formal education systems where the home language is the language of teaching and learning and English is taught as a mandatory or elective subject. Our work in this area focuses on improving standards in the teaching, learning and assessment of English as a subject and is heavily linked to the research evidence base and best practice. We aim to strengthen existing teacher development systems and build sustainably on them through the development of teacher educators, effective use of technology and integration of inclusive practices.
Our aim is that all teachers have access to high-quality CPD opportunities that improve their own practice and their learners’ success. Teaching for Success is the British Council’s evidence-based approach to teacher education and CPD. It aims to put in place effective and sustainable CPD systems that will have a long-term impact on the development of teachers. Central to Teaching for Success are CPD frameworks for teachers, school leaders and teacher educators. Our approach to CPD represents our global knowledge and expertise in understanding teaching and teacher development, and enables dialogue about teaching with clients, partners and teachers.Curriculum and assessment are fundamental to the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, and their success is intertwined with the right pedagogy and CPD solutions. For example, through the English Language Curriculum Reform Project
To learn more please visit:



Main accountabilities but not limited to the following: 


Relationship & Stakeholder management

  • Has relationships with delivery partners and stakeholders within country and is able to procure services and contract delivery partners.
  • Holds suppliers to account for delivering against contract.
  • Build strong internal relationships and networks


Strategy and planning

  • Supports the Head of English Progreamms to plan and execute marketing plans for English Connects and ELT in Education for teachers and teacher educators engagement in China, ensuring they drive and support China strategic objectives for the British Council in a flexible, cost-effective way.
  • Plan and executes market plans for English Connects, agreeing the programmes, delivery mechanisms, budgets and resources.
  • Develops and executes innovative and high impact campaigns in different forms of communication, to support a variety of routes to market and maximise impact and share of voice.
  • Deploys the British Council  brand architecture in line with brand management standards.
  • Manages the day to day running of digital channels, and where appropriate, creates and commissions relevant, high-quality content in support of programme objectives
  • Ensures that clear and consistent marketing processes are deployed for cluster/country aligned to agreed global marketing processes.
  • Monitors and reports on agreed marketing KPIs for English programmes .

Commercial and Financial Management  

  • Ensure sound financial planning, working closely with finance teams to ensure British Council and client financial year plans are up to date. 
  • Ensure  accurate and timely monthly (re)forecasting is in place,  by running regular reports in the SAP system on actuals, monitoring outstanding purchase orders, reviewing commitments, analysing and commenting on reasons for variances to plan and recommending corrective actions.
  • Monitoring monthly finances, including correct expenditure, ensuring the P2P process is being followed and correcting any mis-postings or journals needed.
  • Lead on British Council, partner or client reporting (including, with Finance Manager, financial reporting) and ensure reports are delivered on time, to budget and to a high standard.
  • Compliance to BC financial policies and procedures.

Project Management 

  • Contributes to development of, owns and delivers on Project Management Plan
  • Identifies risks in a project or programme and puts together mitigation strategies with SRO
  • Responsible for internal and client, procurement, contracting, compliance and reporting  pm
  • Checks on and reports on compliance 
  • Manages procurement on a project/programme
  • Responsible for data management  including timely data entry, quality assurance of data, undertaking basic analysis of monitoring data, and developing progress reports to meet funding needs
  • Undertaking programme-specific data collection as needed. This includes working with colleagues to identify indicators and tools for data collection, quality assuring all data, and undertaking basic analysis.

Business Development 

  • Supports the identification and development of professional networks, relationships and partnerships to increase the British Council’s impact and reputation. 
  • Ensures high quality and accurate pipeline data for country/pillar. 
  • Conducts specific pipeline and partner/competitor analysis to contribute to business development planning and prioritisation. 
  • Provides support with development of new business proposals, ensuring that internal and external professional standards are met.


  • To actively contribute to an inclusive and anti-racist organisational culture, being aware of your own  biases, and taking action to mitigate against these. Ensuring people feel valued and are treated equitably, with support for people’s well-being and mental health.  
  • Understand the British Council’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion and how it applies to your role, and make time for learning and development relating to EDI and anti racism


Role specific knowledge and experience:

Language: The British Council systems and global processes operate in English. Written and verbal proficiency in English is required to CEF Level C1 English. 
Local language native speaker / CEFR C1 


Minimum/essential Requirements: 

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent relevant experience in English Language Teaching, Marketing or digital learning 
  • Experience of managing projects from start to finish and familiarity with project life-cycles.
  • Proven experience of managing project finances and managing documents.
  • Experience working in project or programme management.  
  • Experience of using technology in project delivery.
  • Confident user of information technology (Word; Excel; PowerPoint), Microsoft 365 functionality and working knowledge of British Council SAP system (or similar software)
  • Experience in delivery of marketing plans and activities
  • A keen eye for detail, great measurement, and post campaign analysis skills
  • Experience in delivering  marketing communications campaigns using both physical and digital tools
  • Experience of managing stakeholders is desirable
  • Good understanding and experience of supporting monitoring and evaluation is a plus
  • Understanding of procurement, financial and reporting requirements of projects.
  • Able to manage delivery of face to face events and/or digital events on basic platforms (Microsoft Teams) ensuring all corporate standards are met, including those for accessibility and safeguarding
  • EDI – Motivation and commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and anti-racism, demonstrated through an understanding of the British Council’s approach and of equality considerations relevant to the role, and examples of behaviours and decisions or actions that contribute to a more inclusive organisational culture or to a more inclusive programme, product or services 


Further Information:

  • Contract type: fixed term 14 months
  • Location: Beijing or Guangzhou 
  • Pay band: 6
  • Condition of Employment: Local Direct Hire


Applications are welcomed from candidates currently in this location with a natural right to work.  Applications are also welcomed from candidates currently based in other British Council country offices. However, please note candidates must have a natural right to work in the country, on a permanent basis, as immigration clearance and/or on-going visa support is not provided by the British Council for this role.  Relocation support is also not provided.   


Closing Date:  17 May 2023 – 23:59 China Time 


A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.


Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement


The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment.  We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability.  All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.


The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.


If you have any problems with your application please email


Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.

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