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English Folk Dance & Song Society

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is the national folk arts development organisation for England, with a remit to champion the folk arts at the heart of England’s rich and diverse cultural landscape. 

The EFDSS Education department runs classes, courses, projects, and events at Cecil Sharp House (CSH) for young people, families, and adults, and delivers creative learning projects with schools, community groups and cultural organisations across London and other parts of England. It runs the National Youth Folk Ensemble, London Youth Folk Ensemble, its Inclusive Folk programme for disabled young people, and a range of other youth activities. EFDSS also delivers professional development opportunities and courses for educators from folk, education, and wider cultural sector, and runs the national Folk Education Network. Its award-winning Resource Bank provides many free teaching and learning resources for using folk music, dance and other artforms in education.

The overall aims for the EFDSS Education programme are: 

  • To raise the profile of folk arts in education and learning
  • To improve the practice of folk arts education
  • To increase participation and diversity within folk arts

Summary of Job Purpose:

This post, for an experienced and skilled music education manager, is a key role within the EFDSS Education team. The job involves managing, devising, initiating, and delivering projects, classes and courses using folk song, music, dance and other art forms with diverse groups of adults, families, children and young people in formal education, informal learning and community settings. It also involves contributing to professional development and training opportunities for artists, teachers, arts educators and other professionals and creating learning resources.  

The programme managed by the Education Manager takes place within a broad range of education and community settings: at Cecil Sharp House; with cultural and community organisations in our home borough of Camden and the Greater London area, and, from time to time, in other parts of England.   Working with the Education Director and the National Youth Folk Ensemble Programme Manager, the Education Manager contributes to strategies and plans to develop EFDSS’ national education programme. 

Key responsibilities: 

Education Programme 

  • Develop and manage areas of the EFDSS Education programme, with responsibility for operating project budgets, under the guidance of the Education Director, in particular those listed below under the heading ‘Programme Areas’. 
  • Manage, develop, and initiate projects based on traditional English folk song, music, and dance, using and drawing creatively from traditional material - in schools, informal learning, youth, adult, family and community settings, working with other organisations, diverse communities, and forming positive partnerships. 
  • Manage, recruit, and supervise Education department artists / tutors, trainees, student placements, work experience students and volunteers. 
  • Devise and lead training / INSET / CPD sessions and programmes for teachers, artists, arts educators, and other professional staff – including schemes for artists wishing to work in folk arts education. 
  • Plan, administer and evaluate EFDSS education projects / programme. 
  • Produce written project outlines and session plans. 
  • Write documentary and evaluation reports (for EFDSS, partner organisations and funding bodies etc) and other forms of written communication such as newsletters. 
  • Develop and produce educational resources (paper and online) for the EFDSS Resource Bank, INSET / CPD sessions, and other purposes.  
  • Support practical delivery of certain projects (where appropriate) with other artists employed by EFDSS. 
  • Contribute to funding applications for Education projects. 


  • Develop relationships and partnerships with outside agencies and organisations whose work, aims and scope will advance the Society’s objectives. 
  • Be an Ambassador for the Society.
  • Carry out any other duties that may be reasonably requested. 
  • Attend regular staff meetings as required. 
  • Represent EFDSS’ Education programme at relevant external meetings, conferences and events. 

Programme Areas:

  • Adult learning programme at Cecil Sharp House (and online) - including Saturday Folk Music Workshops, Monday Folk Singers, English Country Dancing and Morris Dancing classes and Cecil Sharp House Choir – developing profile and performance.
  • London Youth Folk Ensemble – development, sessions, performances. 
  • Inclusive Folk – continuing to develop the new programme for disabled young people and young adults including regular Folk Unlimited sessions at Cecil Sharp House and projects in SEN/D schools and colleges. 
  • EFDSS Youth Forum and associated events (The Young Folk Club, Youth Ceilidhs, etc.) – in collaboration with the National Youth Folk Ensemble Programme Manager.
  • Family programme – Family Barn Dances, May in a Day!, other family events at  Cecil Sharp House and occasionally elsewhere. 
  • Youth folk summer holiday course at Cecil Sharp House.
  • Projects in formal education (primary, secondary, SEN/D schools and post-16 education) – including those commissioned by / in partnership with music education hubs, local authorities and cultural organisations. 
  • Work Experience at Cecil Sharp House for young people, including disabled students. 
  • Support Arts Award at all levels for young people enrolled in our education programme.
  • Liaison and support of Centre for Young Musicians (CYM) folk music ensemble and programme.
  • Deputy Safeguarding Officer for EFDSS.

Person specification


  • Strong knowledge, experience and skills in music education (instrumental and / or vocal) for learners of all ages in informal and formal learning settings.
  • Strong experience in managing learning projects and programmes, including operating project budgets, with the ability to embrace a multi-dimensional workload with a positive and pro-active attitude.
  • Experience in any form of folk or traditional music from any part of the world – ie music traditions that are learnt by ear and are community-based. 
  • Strong interest in traditional English folk song, music and dance and willingness to increase knowledge and skills in this field. 
  • Strong people managing skills and experience with the ability to establish positive relationships, provide support, and get the best out of our large team freelance artists and tutors.
  • Excellent ability to relate to, and communicate well with, children and adults of all ages and backgrounds. 
  • Experience of creating educational resource materials (paper-based and online), and devising and leading INSET / training / CPD sessions for professionals and trainees. 
  • Commitment to working in a way that is inclusive and creative and to EFDSS’ values and ethos. 
  • Sound and up-to-date awareness of safeguarding, diversity, equality and inclusion, disability awareness, health and safety, and safe arts practice. 
  • Good awareness of current issues in arts learning and participation – including educational issues in schools and the National Curriculum. 
  • Sound office and IT skills (eg. Word, Excel, audio-visual,.). 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in the English language, including a high standard of literacy with the ability to write reports, newsletters etc. 
  • Ability and willingness to work flexible hours including evenings, weekends, school term times and school holidays. 
  • Ability and willingness to travel. (Work will take place primarily in the Greater London area, but projects and events may occur from time-to-time outside London). 


  • Knowledge and skills in traditional English folk music, song, or dance. 
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent in music.  
  • Ability to read and write musical notation. 
  • Recognised qualification in arts facilitation / teaching. 
  • Experience in managing learning programmes in dance, drama or other art forms.
  • Experience of mentoring arts educators. 


  • Self-motivation. 
  • Attention to detail. 
  • Ability to juggle multi-priorities. 
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Flexibility and a positive attitude. 
  • Resilience – ability to cope well with change and challenge.


Closing date: 7 February 2022