Looking for a new career in education? Been working in teaching for a while and after a change? Then an educational consultant could be the role for you.

What is an educational consultant?

Educational consultants are independent consultants who assist schools, educational bodies and organisations or even parents and students through problems they may have encountered related to education. This job could involve:

  • helping a parent whose child has been excluded from the local state school find alternative provision
  • helping a school improve its ranking in the national league tables

Over the last decade, the field of educational consulting has grown considerably in the UK, and many senior educationalists are now finding this a worthwhile use of their skills and experience. Educational consultants are generally hired through an agency on a freelance basis.

Responsibilities of an educational consultant.

The day to day responsibilities of an educational consultant are manifold and vary considerably depending upon what the consultant specialises in. They include:

  • consulting with parents and students unsure which school is right for their needs
  • providing guardianships for international students
  • finding and developing strategies for a school to develop and improve
  • working with a school making the crossover from local authority control to academy status 

Educational consultants work closely with school governors and school boards at the individual schools. An educational consultant can be hired by a local authority or by an independent school or academy; they may also be hired by parents themselves, who need help in placing a child new to the country or area or who has learning disabilities.

Other education consultants are affiliated with the Department for Education (DfE), Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) - Northern Ireland only - the Skills Funding Agency or with Ofsted. In many cases, they are brought in to review a school that has been failing inspections and to find ways to make improvements.

Why do schools employ educational consultants?

Today's free educational choice means that all schools, both state-run and private, are fighting for pupils and struggling to stay on top of league tables and pass Ofsted inspections. For many head teachers and school governors, the pressure to maintain this educational status is at the expense of valuable lesson time and consideration for pupils; hence hiring educational consultants, who are experts in working with a school to improve its educational standard and league table rankings.

Some schools are faced with multiple challenges, which could be as diverse as an old, out-of-date school building or a high number of students with English as a second language. Other schools may have a high number of students with learning or behavioural disabilities. Most educational consultants specialise in a particular field and can be hired on an as-required basis to assist with specific issues.

The professional organisation for educational consultants in the UK is the Society for Education Consultants (SEC).