Salary: £24,000 - £27,000 per annum dependent on qualifications & experience

Position: Full Time (37.5 hours per week)

Positions available: 1

Closing date: 31st October 2019

Forest School Leader

£24,000 – £27,000 dependent on qualifications & experience

Channels & Choices is an award winning, dynamic company specialising in children’s residential care, Fostering and Education based in South East Kent. OFSTED judge our services as ‘Outstanding’.

Channels and Choices specialise in working with children who have experienced trauma, most will have attachment difficulties.  We create a secure base for all the children in our care and we focus on achieving seamless transitions so that children can be part of a loving and nurturing family.

We continue to expand and develop our Fostering, Residential and Education Services and due to the growth of our service, including the purchase of a new site, set within seven acres of land which includes a lake and woodland, an exciting opportunity has arisen to establish a new provision of a Forest School in partnership working with the Director of Education and Head Teacher.

We are looking for a skilled, experienced and enthusiastic Forest School Practitioner to develop and deliver this exciting new programme. The Practitioner will be self-motivated and a good communicator, able to confidently liaise with our school and engage groups of children ranging in age from 7 to 16.  We are now looking for the right person to join our friendly team.

The post is permanent, full time (37.5 hours) and is based within our Education team in South East Kent.  We offer a competitive Salary Range of £24,000 – £27,000 per annum. Further benefits include 36 days paid annual leave per year and a loyalty scheme which rewards you with extra annual leave following 2 years of service.

We have a strong commitment to staff development and there will be considerable opportunities for internal and external training and for sharing good practice within the community.

JOB DESCRIPTION – Forest School Leader

Areas of Responsibility and Key Tasks 

  • To plan, develop and establish a Forest School , with guidance and support from the Director of Education and support from assistants as appropriate
  • To plan, prepare and deliver a range of Forest School sessions, with support from the Director of Education and support from assistants as appropriate.
  • To liaise with participants prior to sessions to ensure plans are appropriate and all needs and expectations are met.
  • Ensure Health & Safety requirements are met, including Risk Assessments which are continually checked and updated
  • To supervise and support participants with varying needs while delivering sessions.
  • To create and maintain an engaging, fun and supportive environment, demonstrating flexibility in planning and running sessions in response to varying/changing needs of children.
  • To ensure that all sessions are well prepared and risk assessed.
  • To be aware of and comply with all Channels and Choices Policies and Procedures.
  • To participate in training and other learning activities/meetings as required.
  • To administer basic first aid as the need arises.
  • To observe confidentiality at all times.
  • To undertake all duties reasonably requested by the Directors

Whilst every effort has been made to explain the main duties and responsibilities of the post, each individual task undertaken may not be identified.

Person Specification (Essential)  


  • Forest School Level 3 qualification including up to date Outdoor First Aid qualification


  • Experience of working with relevant client groups who present with high levels of complexity and difficulty.
  • Recent and significant experience in leading Forest School/outdoor education sessions with children of a range of ages.
  • Proven ability to plan and deliver environmental education based activities to a wide age range of children.

Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent verbal , communication and interpersonal skills in order to communicate effectively with carers, children, families and colleagues
  • Ability to work effectively on own initiative as well as within a team
  • Ability to build relationships and promote change
  • Computer literate for report writing and recording
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and the ability to work with different groups of staff, teachers, carers.
  • A flexible and proactive work ethic and a positive attitude
  • Skilled and knowledgeable in a range of age-appropriate outdoor activities including games and crafts, and able to share skills in line with good practice, policies and procedures


  • Good understanding of child development
  • Full working knowledge of current statutory and regulatory guidelines related to outdoor learning and education.
  • Understanding of Child Protection & Safeguarding

Personal Qualities

  • Enjoy working with children (primary and secondary age) from a range of backgrounds and commitment to supporting their physical, social and emotional development through forest school activities
  • Commitment to continued professional and personal development
  • Professional credibility & Commitment to equal opportunities and valuing diversity
  • Demonstrate a commitment to supervision and reflective practice
  • Punctual and organised (can organise own work load and that of support staff/volunteers)


  • Full UK driving licence and own transport

Person Specification (Desireable) 


  • Experience of working in a school
  • Additional relevant qualifications


  • Previous line management experience

Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to facilitate or develop training courses


  • Working knowledge of Attachment Theory based practice
  • Knowledge of the mental health needs of children and adolescents

Channels and Choices are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the young people in our care.  Staff are all required to adhere to the organisation’s Safeguarding Policies and Procedures.  This post will be subject to a clear Enhanced DBS Disclosure, an employment background check, satisfactory references & verification of a right to work in the UK.  As part of our commitment to Safer Recruitment, CV’s cannot be considered without a completed application form. 

For further information please contact

Warren Deane – Director of Education or Paulette Holliday, HR Manager – Tel – 01304 361888

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