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Director of External Relations

Fettes College , City of Edinburgh

Vacancy details

Please apply before 25/10/2021 at 1:00 pm

Carrington Road, Edinburgh, EH4 1QX

Wendy Davidson
Human Resources Manager

0131 332 2281

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Vacancy Description / Summary

The Director of External Relations directly leads and delivers the internal and external marketing functions of Fettes College and Fettes College Preparatory School, provides line-management and oversight of the School’s marketing and admissions teams and takes the lead on public relations and advising on media engagement.

The post holder will be a key public face of the School. The role reports directly to the Head of Fettes College but works closely with the Head of Fettes College Preparatory School (together “the Heads”) and is also a member of the Senior Management Team and the Business Management Team which is led by the Bursar.

Specifically, the remit will cover four major areas:

• Responsibility for planning, constructing and implementing the College's marketing strategy, the focus of which will be the recruitment of students to the College and to the Preparatory School, and to act as Marketing Consultant for Westwoods and Fettes Enterprises;
• Line management and oversight of the Marketing and Admissions teams, the latter through the Head of UK Admissions and the Head of International Admissions;
• Engaging and communicating regularly and imaginatively with current parents;
• Responsibility for the development and management of the PR strategy for the College.

The remit will thus include the following specific responsibilities (this list is not necessarily exhaustive or complete):


• Develop, manage and oversee the School’s strategic marketing and admissions plan in line with the overarching school strategy;
• Develop and implement the School’s communications and PR strategy by raising awareness and differentiation across internal and external markets – local, regional, national and feeder schools;
• In close collaboration with the Heads, maintain and further develop an effective pupil recruitment strategy including the identification of potential new markets and relationships;
• Develop clear personal and team action plans related to the marketing strategy;
• Oversee the development of the admissions strategies and ensure coherence in approach and messaging between marketing and admissions, and between the two Heads of Admission;
• Implement effective systems for monitoring and evaluating success.

Leadership and Management

• Management and resourcing of the marketing and admissions activities including the setting and management of objectives, targets and day-to-day staff activities;
• The development, refinement and monitoring of all marketing and admissions related policies, systems and procedures in liaison with the wider team;
• Management of marketing and admissions related budgets;
• Monitoring and reporting of all high level metrics, revising strategies and tactical plans where appropriate;
• Networking and relationship building with all key stakeholders: feeder schools, senior schools, staff at all levels, the media, current and prospective parents;
• Keeping abreast of all matters related to independent school marketing; and
any other tasks that the Heads may reasonably assign.

Marketing and Communications

• Provide leadership, line management and co-ordination of the Marketing team;
• Ownership of the School’s brand and responsibility for overseeing all external communications from the College, ensuring harmony and uniformity of tone, appearance and style. This, in effect, implies being the 'Custodian of the Fettes Brand';
• As the School’s Press Officer, responsible for liaison with the media in close conjunction with the Heads and Bursar;
• Oversight of all school promotional and advertising materials, both print and digital, in close liaison with the Heads;
• Ownership of the School’s website, with responsibility for its continual evolution, update and ongoing accuracy;
• Undertaking regular market and competitor research and analysis to inform future plans;
• Development and oversight of the School’s overall admissions related events strategy including open days, feeder school events, open evenings, taster events etc. – attending these whenever necessary;
• Leading, or advising upon, marketing communications to current parents, enhancing cross school understanding and promoting a ‘one school’ identity;
• Responsible for the creation and copywriting of all sales and marketing communications, prospectuses, brochures, newsletters and advertisements;
• Recording notable community and other public benefit events hosted or attended by school staff or pupils for inclusion within the relevant section of the school’s annual report;
• Close liaison with the team at Westwoods and Fettes Enterprises, acting as a Marketing and PR Consultant, and collaborating over strategies that involve the use of the College's name, reputation, or facilities.


• Provide high level leadership, line-management and coordination of the Admissions team. It is not expected that the post-holder will need to involve themselves extensively in day-to-day admissions matters but has a clear mandate for doing so if necessary;
• Ensure that staffing, systems and processes are in place to deliver a highly effective admissions function;
• Encourage visits to feeder schools, educational exhibitions and other UK and international recruitment events, as agreed with the Head, as well as involvement in developing suitable links and relationships in the local community as a whole;
• Monitor the admissions functions to ensure optimum recruiting into the School, at all entry points, of pupils of an appropriate number and ability, as agreed with the Heads;
• Maintain and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of admissions procedures, taking into account the dynamic nature of the School’s key markets and the changing strategies of its competitors.


To fulfil this important role, Fettes requires a creative, charismatic and organised starter-finisher with a track record of success in strategic online and offline marketing communications and team leadership, possibly in a similar organisation. Experience in educational marketing or a creative marketing agency may be an advantage but enthusiasm, creativity, tact and a hands-on approach to problem solving and getting things done are fundamental to this role. You will be someone who lives and breathes the Fettes brand and will be able to communicate and promote the ethos of the School.

• A strategic thinker, able to create an integrated strategy, lead and guide change, and build and enhance teams;
• The ability to transfer knowledge and experience into a new setting and consider and implement creative solutions;
• A highly capable team leader with strong line-management skills.

Communication and interpersonal skills:
• Outstanding people skills – a positive team-player with the professionalism, determination and personal motivation to inspire others, to achieve exceptional results and to get things done;
• Demonstrable ability to build rapport and communicate persuasively with people of different backgrounds;
• Impressive personal presence and presentation combined with the humility and enthusiasm to pitch-in as a team-player;
• The ability to communicate so that messages are clear, convincing and inspiring, in particular utilising excellent spelling and grammar to produce high quality written communications.

Marketing and admissions knowledge:
• In depth knowledge of marketing, ideally gained through experience of best practice in marketing or communications functions;
• An appreciation of customer relationship management, ideally gained through a school or university admissions function;
• The ability to think creatively and have vision with the talent to devise and deliver successful consumer marketing and communication strategies relevant to the education sector.

• Empathy with independent education and the desire to relate to and extol the ethos of the School;
• Proven brand stewardship experience;
• A commitment to promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children;
• A willingness to travel nationally and internationally, occasionally for extended periods, to attend school shows, exhibitions and other relevant education marketing events;
• Willing to attend a wide range of School events, to play an active part in the life of the Fettes community and to work out of hours as and when school functions occur.

IT and online proficiency:
• Competence in standard Microsoft office software (email, word-processing, presentation and spreadsheet packages);
• An understanding of, and an ability to interpret, databases and their use in customer relationship management;
• An understanding of how websites, apps, social media platforms and online resources are used as part of effective marketing and communications strategies.

• The ability to demonstrate understanding of, and acceptance and commitment to, the principles underlying equal opportunities.


You will be entitled to 30 days’ holiday during the School Year (September to August) plus 8 bank holidays.

You will be opted in to the Fettes Trust Non-Teaching Staff Pension Scheme after 3 months service. At that time, the Fettes Trust will contribute 10% of your gross salary to the scheme. This scheme is a money purchase one and full details of it and your options will be made available to you prior to your opt-in date.

Subject to the availability of places at the time of first entry, you will be eligible for staff discount on school fees.

Lunchtime meals may be taken in the Dining Hall free of charge during term time and when catering is provided and at other times, when catering is provided and you are on duty. Parking is free of charge within the campus grounds. Gym membership at Westwoods Health Club, an exceptional Employee Assistance Programme and a Death in Service benefit are also available.


To apply please complete an Application Form and submit along with your CV and a covering letter outlining your suitability for the role via email by Monday, 25th October 2021 to with an initial Zoom interview being held week commencing Monday, 1st November. Second 2nd interviews will take the form of a day spent on Campus and planned for week commencing 8th November.

The Application Form can be accessed via the following link:

An offer of employment will be subject to two satisfactory references being obtained from your referees and a clean report being obtained on you from the Disclosure Scotland PVG Scheme in view of the contact you will have with children during your normal duties.

We are keen to welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds into our staff body. If you would like a friendly conversation with an employee who identifies as an ethnic minority, please feel free to contact Sara Medel Jiménez ( who will be happy to share her experience of Fettes College.

About the School

Fettes is uniquely situated in 100 acres of private grounds close to the heart of Edinburgh and enjoys the reputation as one of the UK’s pre-eminent boarding schools for boys and girls aged 7-18.
Full Boarding Ethos:
We are a full-boarding school with 70% of pupils in The College boarding and 30% day. Each boarding house (2 in the Prep School and 9 in The College) is a caring community of students and staff designed to be a real home-from-home.
‘Sector-Leading’ Pastoral Care:
We know that only happy, well-supported children truly flourish. Life at Fettes is founded on strong family values: individuality is appreciated, cultures are embraced and unique talents are celebrated.
Maximising Academic Potential:
With exceptional specialist teachers and small class sizes, we aim to inspire a lifelong love of learning. Our students consistently achieving impressive academic results at GCSE, A Level and the IB.
Sport For Life:
Participation in sport contributes significantly to the all-round development of each student. We have the facilities, expertise and enthusiasm to help every student achieve their sporting goals.
Creativity & The Arts:
Self-expression helps our students to explore and understand the world around them, gain confidence and think creatively. We provide the opportunity and inspiration to be brave, bold and creative.
Broadening Horizons:
We believe in the education of the whole person: we encourage pupils to take up a number of activities, join a wide range of clubs, attend stimulating talks and go on life-affirming trips.
Global Outlook:
We are proudly Scottish, celebrating all that Scotland has to offer, whilst also developing a confident, global outlook. With experiences that are rich and varied, our students’ aspirations can be worldwide with university choices both international and closer to home.