Previous Opportunities

Chief Executive

Chief Executive

Salary: £85,000 to £100,000

Harmeny School Campus, Balerno, Edinburgh


Harmeny Education Trust offers therapeutic care and education, on a residential and day basis, to some of Scotland’s most remarkable children and young people, aged 5-18, who have complex additional support needs as a result of early years trauma. Their school, residential and day cottages are all based on one campus, on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Everyone at Harmeny shares a common vision: for children and young people to have the love, encouragement and nourishment they need, to thrive and reach their potential. Their purpose is to provide therapeutic care and education which helps children and young people overcome trauma and adversity, discover the joy of learning, and lead happy, fulfilling lives.

The role

Harmeny Education Trust are searching for their next Chief Executive who will have overall responsibility for the management and strategic leadership of the organisation. They are looking for an intellectual leader, passionate about Harmeny’s values, who will have the skills and experience to confidently oversee the organisation’s care, education and support services, as well as the 35-acre estate.

Reporting directly to the Chair of the Board, the successful candidate will work with the Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team to further develop the strategic direction of the organisation and will be responsible for quality assurance and reporting to the Board on key aspects of its work. As well as ensuring that Harmeny’s vision, purpose and values permeate all aspects of life at Harmeny, the Chief Executive will ensure that, as a Grant Aided Special School, Harmeny complies with relevant Scottish and UK legislation and guidance, and implements the policies of the Scottish Government including Getting It Right For Every Child, Curriculum for Excellence and The Promise.

The successful candidate will positively engage with local authority partners and other key organisations to identify the needs of children and young people with complex additional support needs and their families and how best to meet them.

They will work closely with the Trustees to ensure sound governance for the organisation and be a strong and relational leader to the Senior Management Team, comprising a Head of Finance, Head of HR, Head of Care and Head of Education.

A key responsibility of the role will to be to ensure the continuing development of Harmeny’s therapeutic practice framework – The Harmeny Way – ensuring that it is implemented across the organisation and beyond, encouraging research that will influence policy and practice nationally and internationally.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Extensive senior leadership experience and leadership skills within a residential child care or other multidisciplinary child care or education setting
  • An understanding of the education, care and therapeutic needs of children in a residential setting and commitment towards a holistic approach to meeting those needs
  • Strong strategic and business acumen
  • Considerable experience of successful staff management and leadership, with the ability to motivate, inspire and lead by example
  • Experience of change management
  • A detailed knowledge of, and experience in, implementing relevant national policies and legislation
  • Excellent people skills with the ability to engage with people at all levels
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with extensive experience of report writing
  • Emotional intelligence and the ability to empathise
  • Extensive knowledge of and experience in developing, implementing and monitoring strategic planning processes
  • Substantial experience of financial and budgetary management systems and ability to lead approaches to income generation
  • An ability and willingness to take forward service developments to ensure the future viability of the organisation.


This is a tremendous opportunity to take Harmeny Education Trust to the next stage of its history for someone who shares Harmeny’s passion for ensuring children and young people are at the heart of all that they do. It is a unique opportunity for someone who wants to use their experience to both ensure growth and sustainability of Harmeny and help the remarkable young people that Harmeny serves reach their full potential.

Further information on Harmeny and the role can be found at 

For a confidential discussion, please contact Debbie Shields or Lauryn Pringle at Aspen People on 0141 212 7555.

To apply please submit your CV and supporting letter below.


Closing date for applications: 14 August 2023

1st stage interviews – 29 August 2023

2nd stage interviews – 6 September 2023