Head of Operations


More than twenty years after democracy, high performing schools in South African townships are the exception. Their aim is to change this landscape and support no-fee public schools in their journey to become excellent and provide the highest quality education to the most underserved communities. At Acorn Education, they aim to transform the lives of their learners and they do whatever it takes to make this dream a reality.

Acorn Education seeks to appoint a Head of Operations to be based in Cape Town.

The purpose of this position is to be responsible for managing all hands-on operational aspects of Acorn Education. The role will assist the Executive and Board of Directors in executing the organisations strategy, serve as an integral member in the organisation’s management team and contribute to the development of the organisation’s strategic goals.

The precise areas of responsibility for this post will be agreed based around your skills and the needs of the school, but it is anticipated that you will be able to:
Provide day-to-day leadership and management to the operations team in a manner that is consistent with Acorn Education’s mission and core values
Act as project manager for all new projects large and small, from launching a new computer lab to opening a new school! Ensure that all projects are delivered within scope, time and budget
Excellence in organisational management; ability to coach staff to manage and develop high-performance teams and develop and implement programme strategies
Compile reports on a termly basis for the Board of Directors and the funders and Western Cape Education Department (WCED)
Develop, implement and embed sound operational plans and procedures
Regularly review operation procedures seeking to improve efficacy and efficiency
Lead a team within a fast paced and every changing environment across multiple locations
Hold staff accountable to the delivery of their individual key performance areas and goals
Provide input into budgets allocations to the Chief Financial Officer
Support the recruitment process at schools in close consultation with School Principals, the School Governing Bodies and Acorn Education’s Human Resource Manager
Represent the organisation on School Governing Bodies and Recruitment Committees at our partner schools
Monitor and maintain IT infrastructure across the organisation and our schools and collaborate with stakeholders as required
Oversee the management of scholar enrichment programmes
Represents the organisation with schools, donors, WCED officials and other stakeholders
Identify and contract quality service providers who can provide support to the organisation or schools in specialised areas where resource gaps exist
Network and attend events to create opportunities for Acorn Education
Work closely with the Executive Team to understand funding requirements and develop plans and execute them to raise the required funds
Contribute to the development of proposals, reports, media and PR materials to improve the organisation’s visibility and attract new funders

Relevant tertiary qualification
SA driver’s license (code 8) and own vehicle essential
Must be a South African national or possess a permanent resident permit
Minimum of 7 years’ experience in an operations management role
Experience in a start-up environment would be beneficial
Have solid, demonstrated, experience in leading operations within a firm/ division
Commitment to redressing inequality through education, and a believe that a high quality education can transform lives
Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
Strong mentoring, coaching experience to a team with diverse levels of expertise
Ability to act as an entrepreneurial team player with ability to juggle multiple priorities
Ability to operate as an effective strategic thinker
An excellent command of English language, both written and spoken and impeccable communication and presentation skills
Excellent interpersonal skills
Attention to detail and accuracy
Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
Well-groomed, highly organised, self-motivated and displays highly ethical and professional behaviour at all times
Strong computer and Microsoft Office skills
No criminal record- candidates will be required to undergo a criminal background check

Acorn Education Values

Agile: Our agility allows us to adapt and respond to what is most important at a specific time to achieve our mission.
Can do: Every member of our team is equipped with a “can do’ attitude – enabling us to reach our own high expectation and those of our schools, teachers and learners.
Optimistic: We believe that a grateful mindset leads to an optimistic and favourable view of life.
Resilient: Our journey will not be an easy one. We are committed to persevere despite challenges that may arise.

Do you have a passion for Education Transformation? Do you want to use your operational management skills to make a meaningful difference? Are you a strong project manager, process-driven and resilient? Then they would love to hear from you!

To apply please submit an updated CV with references and a cover letter to: [email protected]

Please include the position you are applying for in the subject title of the email application.

For more about Acorn Education, refer to http://acorneducation.org.za/