Chair, Scotland Advisory Committee
Country / Territory
Board of Trustees
Job Category
Pay Band
Vacancy Description
Location: Edinburgh Pay band: Unremunerated but reasonable UK travel and expenses reimbursed

About us

The British Council was founded to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and wider world by making a positive contribution to the countries we work with, and in doing so making a lasting difference to the UK’s security, prosperity and influence. 


We believe that international connections and opportunities can and do make a huge difference for people, communities, institutions and the country as a whole.


We are seeking a Chair for our Scotland Advisory Committee who is deeply knowledgeable about Scotland, and committed to maintaining and growing its international connections and contribution.

The Scotland Advisory Committee plays a key role in shaping and championing our work in Scotland so that it adds real value across the areas of education, culture, society and to the country’s success more broadly. Our current Committee members bring valuable expertise and insight from these sectors.

We would particularly welcome interest from candidates for the role of Chair who bring a cross-sector perspective, who have senior-level board or governance experience and who have worked at a UK and/or international level.


The British Council draws on strategic advice from three country advisory committees - for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - which report to the Board of Trustees.


The opportunity

The Scotland Advisory Committee advises the Country Director Scotland and acts as an advocated for our work in Scotland. The role of the Chair is to advise the Country Director in a non-executive capacity to maximise the impact that British Council can make in and for the relevant UK country. As Chair, you will lead the Scotland Advisory Committee to fulfil its purpose and objectives as set out in the terms of reference.


The Chair of the committee is appointed for a three year term, renewable for a further three years. For two years, each Chair of a country advisory committee takes his or her turn in representing all three country advisory committees on the British Council’s Board of Trustees.


Terms and Conditions

Positions on the Scotland Advisory Committee are not remunerated but reasonable UK travel and expenses will be reimbursed at standard British Council rates. Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.


Key focus areas of the post include

·       Leading the committee to fulfil its purpose and objectives outlined in the terms of reference

·       Chairing committee meetings, normally three a year (and possibly an away day)

·       Acting as advocate for the British Council’s work in Scotland and in the UK as a whole

·       Hosting and speaking from time to time at events organised by British Council Scotland

·       Attending other relevant British Council meetings and functions

·       Reviewing the papers for six Board of Trustees meetings a year and providing comments to the Chair of one of the three country advisory committees currently serving on the British Council’s Board of Trustees

·       Attending the annual meeting of the Chairs of the three country advisory committees with the Chair of the British Council


When on the Board of Trustees:

·       Preparing for, and full participation, in six Board of Trustees meetings a year in London and an away day

·       Acting in a representative role by consulting the Chairs of the other two country advisory committees in advance of Board of Trustees meetings (by video conference or otherwise)

·       Presenting a short note summarising key opportunities, risks and issues arising from each committee at Board of Trustees meetings. This note is included in the Chair of the British Council’s written report to the Board of Trustees

·       Making a brief report during Board of Trustees meetings and feeding back to the Chairs of the other two country advisory committees


What we require of the successful candidate

·       Experience of a senior role within a major private, public or voluntary sector organisation in a management and/or Board capacity

·       Significant recent experience in one or more of the three strategic business units (core business areas) of British Council activity - Arts, Education and Society, and English and Exams

·       Varied range of contacts in Scotland

·       Strong international background and/or interests

·       Belief in, understanding and knowledge of, what Scotland can contribute on the world stage

·       Capacity to act as a ‘critical friend’ to Country Director Scotland

·       Excellent interpersonal skills

·       Highly effective communication skills (oral and written)


If you would like to understand more about this post then please see the documents below:


Role Profile - Chair, Scotland Advisory Committee.doc
Terms of Reference - Scotland Advisory Committee.pdf


Further details

If you are interested in the post and feel that you are suitable for the role, then we would really like to hear from you. Please apply by sending a copy of your CV and a covering letter to Jackie Killeen, Acting Director UK Region and Director Scotland by email to by 11th March 2019.

Our equality commitment

Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to try and avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.