Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

London (GB)
15 May 2018
End of advertisement period
12 Jun 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Competitive salary

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) is a higher education institution comprising a group of outstanding Schools providing world leading education and training in the disciplines of dance, drama, circus arts and technical theatre. There are over 1,200 undergraduate and 240 postgraduate students from over 50 countries.

The Conservatoire is rated consistently highly by its students in the National Student Survey; in 2016, it was judged to be world-leading in its art forms in an independent review commissioned by HEFCE; and in 2017, it was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Equality, diversity and offering opportunity to students from all backgrounds are fundamental to the Conservatoire’s ethos. Last year, 36% of UK/EU first time undergraduates came from households with income below £25,000.

Since the Conservatoire’s creation in 2001, a unique collaborative partnership has been established among the Schools. Collective leadership is provided by the Conservatoire Executive Committee, comprising the CEO as chair and the School Principals. The CEO is supported by senior staff from the Conservatoire’s Shared Services Team.  Schools retain their separate legal identity, organisational autonomy and distinct artistic character and ethos.

The role of CEO is relatively new and offers an opportunity to join the Conservatoire at an exciting stage in its development. Schools are located in the heart of three vibrant cultural centres in Bristol, Leeds and London. Building on this unique foundation, a compelling vision for the future of the Conservatoire as a national Conservatoire has recently been developed. This vision is supported by a new governance model that has at its core a deepening of the partnership and collaboration among the Schools. 

Working with the Principals of the Schools, the CEO is central to turning vision into strategy and strategy into successful outcomes. A crucial part of the role is to deliver transformational shared projects, including the forthcoming application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers. 

Such is the centrality of the CEO’s role to the future success of the Schools, that an exceptional individual is sought for this post. This will be someone with first class leadership skills; the presence and intellectual rigour to navigate a wide range of internal and external relationships; and a comprehensive understanding of UK higher education goals and policy.

Collegiality, communications and advocacy skills are also critical, as is a personal commitment to the value of the arts in society.   

For further information and details on how to apply, please visit

For an informal and confidential discussion, please speak with our advisors at Berwick Partners: Elizabeth James  on  0121 654 5918

Closing date for applications: 12th June 2018

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