Consultancy brief for Waddesdon Schools programme

10 August 2023

Consultancy brief:

Harnessing the richness of cultural heritage and the lessons from the natural environment to develop a blueprint to enhance academic learning, character development and career progression for young people.

Project background

We are seeking consultancy support to scope a programme of education, social action and leadership for 16-19 year olds based on a partnership between the Rothschild Foundation (Waddesdon Manor, Windmill Hill Archives), Waddesdon Estates LLP and Waddesdon Church of England School (‘the partners’). The programme aims to use the partners’ strengths in educational excellence, heritage management, support to the natural environment and sustainability practice to create focussed learning opportunities as part of the curriculum, as well as connecting to students’ progression into the workplace or further education.

The development of the programme coincides with the capital investment that the Rothschild Foundation has made to help realise plans for a new Sixth Form Centre at Waddesdon CofE School. This building is planned to open in early 2025, planning permission dependent. The Sixth Form Centre’s design encourages collaboration, reflection and innovation whether through external expertise, or structured learning opportunities in flexible breakout areas. By seeing this learning come to life through practical projects with Waddesdon Manor and on the Estate, students will be empowered to affect positive change as they progress into their adult lives. Discussions have taken place between the partners and ideas have been shared on the activities that could be developed. These include extending the curriculum offer to include T levels delivered in partnership with Waddesdon Estates LLP, integrating arts and heritage practice into education, volunteering opportunities that promote social action and leadership activities enabling students to contribute to key challenges of the day, such as the climate crisis. Whilst partners already work together to deliver some activities, the programme aims to bring these together in a structured development opportunity for students which deepens the relationship between the partners.
It is hoped, in time, that the programme could become a model for engagement with other secondary schools in the local area and beyond. In the first instance, there is a particular focus on post-16 students, with an aim to support students in the transition from school to adult life. However, we also envisage that the programme could benefit younger students as it develops.

Project scope

The consultant will research and review the most appropriate opportunities for collaboration between the partners, consulting closely with Waddesdon Manor’s Head of Learning, Head of Sustainability, Waddesdon Estates LLP and teaching staff at Waddesdon CofE School, particularly Head of Sixth Form and Head Teacher. The Consultant will produce a blueprint for a programme of activity that could be rolled out fully in academic year 2025 and recommended pilot activities in spring and summer terms 2024 that could be evaluated to inform the rollout. We envisage that this will identify the need for additional staff resource to deliver the programme, working in tandem with the partners. We want the programme to be informed by the views of young people and the Consultant would be expected to work with partners, particularly Waddesdon CofE School to facilitate consultation with students.

Budget has been approved for additional capacity to deliver the programme and the Consultant will be expected to support the partners in identifying appropriate capacity needs and produce an outline budget for additional resource that may be required. Whilst Waddesdon Manor’s Learning Team has significant experience in delivering education activity for children and young people, this will be the first time that we have explored a multi-partnership approach. We are eager to learn from examples of innovative practice and would look to the Consultant to help us identify and learn from others.


Regular meetings with staff at the Rothschild Foundation, Waddesdon Estates LLP and Waddesdon CofE School. The success of the programme relies on effective collaboration, and we expect the consultant to work collaboratively. This will include spending time on site with partners as well as remote working. A written blueprint for the programme, presented in a format that can be shared with partners including Rothschild Foundation Trustees. This should include a coherent vision for the programme, how the activities proposed support this vision, and the capacity, budgetary and management framework required. Some support in developing an evaluation framework will also be beneficial. Presentation of the blueprint to partners and Executive Board of the Rothschild Foundation.


The deadline to respond to the brief is 5pm on 31st August 2023.

Interviews to assess the suitability for this work will take place in person at the Rothschild Foundation headquarters in Waddesdon, Aylesbury on Wednesday 13th September 2023.

The written blueprint and presentation should be delivered to partners by Friday 15th December 2023.


Please reply by email detailing your name and organisation (if applicable). You should outline how your experience and skills would enable you to successfully deliver the project and why you are interested in the opportunity. Please provide a copy of your C.V. Details of two referees should also be provided.

Responses should be sent to [email protected] by 5pm on 31st August.

If you would like to discuss the opportunity please contact [email protected]


The budget for this work is £15,000, inclusive of VAT and expenses.

Further information

About the Rothschild Foundation

Waddesdon Manor is a historic house open to the public near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Created by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild from 1874 and set in a Grade 1 listed garden, it is home to the Rothschild Collection and was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957. Today it is managed by a Rothschild charitable trust, The Rothschild Foundation, and welcomes in the region of 350,000 visitors annually. It is home to the Rothschild Collection, a world-class collection of fine and decorative arts assembled by 3 generations of the family, and runs a varied public events, schools and exhibitions programme, including a popular Christmas Season, and Education and Learning programme and a family and institutional Archive. Annually the Learning Team welcome 20,000 young people from local schools with many supported to visit through the Rothschild Foundation’s Schools Access Fund which grant funds travel costs for school visits. This autumn the Rothschild Foundation will launch the Waddesdon Pathway, a training programme aimed at school leavers and those seeking a career change, opening up opportunities for employment within the heritage sector through paid internships across Waddesdon Manor departments. As well as the conservation of Waddesdon Manor and its collection, the Rothschild Foundation also continues the long tradition of enhancing and nurturing the aesthetic and conservational value of the Waddesdon Estate which comprises approximately 6,000 acres. The estate business, Waddesdon Estates LLP, is embracing the challenge to reinvigorate a farming system that builds and maintains a balanced ecosystem, pursuing the principles of regenerative agriculture. The Estate’s partnership project with the River Thame Conservation Trust to restore a floodplain and wetland area is an example of its regenerative land management endeavours. Arts and heritage, environment and education are themes further explored in the Rothschild Foundation’s grants programmes which support both national institutions and and local Buckinghamshire communities.

About Waddesdon CofE School

Waddesdon Church of England School is an all-ability 11-18 secondary school with around 1,000 students on roll, including 300 students in the Sixth Form. Our daily routines and educational practice are rooted in the twin values of Dignity and Respect. Just as it “takes a village to raise a child”, so does it take a whole school community, in partnership with families, to educate a young person for life. We believe in positive relationships and promote the value of being a purposeful and productive member of the community in our work with our young people. We were inspected by Ofsted in December, 2021 and re-designated Outstanding in every category. The report highlights the shared emphasis that we place on personal development and academic success. The opening line encapsulates our educational vision: “Waddesdon Church of England school changes pupils’ lives for the better.” As a Church of England school within the Diocese of Oxford, our values are grounded in the Christian faith, although we welcome equally young people and staff of all faiths and none. An inspection by the Society for the Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools in March 2018 also judged the school to be Outstanding as a Church of England school