New positions open at Learning First

Learning First is seeking skilled Managers and Associates to add to our education policy team. Multiple full-time positions are available starting immediately.

April 12, 2018

Education Policy Managers and Associates – Multiple positions open


Location: Based in Collingwood, Melbourne (semi-frequent domestic and international travel may be required)

Job type: Full-time

Salary: Multiple positions open, salary commensurate with experience:

  • Manager: $115,000 – $140,000
  • Senior Associate: $85,000 – $114,000
  • Associate: $65,000 – $84,000
  • Junior Associate: $47,000 – $64,000

Residency requirements: We are accepting applications from both Australian and international applicants with potential sponsorship opportunities for exceptional candidates.

Use your skills to improve international education policy

Learning First is seeking skilled Managers and Associates to add to our education policy team. Multiple full-time positions are available starting immediately.

About Learning First

Founded by Dr Ben Jensen and based in Melbourne, Australia, Learning First works closely with education leaders to tie policy reform at the highest level of government to deep change in the classroom. We combine highest-quality research with practical approaches that have made a difference in school systems around the world. Our clients include all six Australian states, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the OECD, the Washington-based National Center on Education and the Economy, the Florida Department of Education, the British Columbia Ministry of Education and the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

What You’ll Do

Learning First is hiring for a number of ongoing and upcoming projects. All our staff work on multiple projects throughout the year, which allows for a variety of experiences and skill development. Below are three types of projects you may work on:

Consulting to school system leaders on how to improve student outcomes: You may work on a project to advise an education department on how to best develop teachers or school leaders. These projects involve working closely with the client team to understand and develop strategic objectives, review and summarise research relevant to the policy topic, and deliver reports or tools to support the policy and implementation.

  1. Thought-leadership through policy reports: You may be involved in thinking through tough education policy issues and publishing public reports to influence policy makers, school leaders and teachers. These reports may cover a number of issues such as system and school effectiveness, and teacher development.
  2. Designing teacher and school leader professional development programs: You may design curriculum for and potentially conduct or facilitate programs to support teacher and school leader knowledge and skill development. These projects may include considering the development needs of educators domestically (in Australia) and abroad.

Here are some examples of the responsibilities of our different roles:


  • Manage projects from beginning to end, ensuring quality work and staying on-budget and on-time
  • Oversee a small team of Associates on each project helping them develop new skills
  • Be a thought-leader for the organisation on highly complex education policy issues
  • Directly interact with clients, building relationships and maintaining trust in the organisation’s work.


  • Write reports, literature reviews, and opinion pieces
  • Support the development and delivery of presentations and workshops
  • Develop policy ideas for clients across different education policy topics
  • Conduct desktop and field research (using qualitative and quantitative data)

Candidate competencies

We are looking for the following skills and experience from all candidates:

  • The ability to critically assess challenges and identify effective solutions
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Comfort with working with data
  • Keen eye for detail (editorial and conceptual)
  • Excellent time management and self-directed working habits
  • Curiosity about school education and commitment to educational best practice
  • Openness to travel: frequent national and international travel is required on many of our projects.

Special (though not essential) skills we are looking for:

  • Experience as a teacher in primary or secondary schools
  • Previous experience developing and facilitating educator learning/training

Requirements for specific roles include:


  • 7+ years’ experience
  • Strong staff management experience with the skills to develop others
  • Demonstrated success in managing large projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Confidence to work independently with little guidance

Senior Associates

  • 4-6 years’ experience
  • Experience in managing tasks or projects
  • Skilled at communicating with multiple stakeholders, internal and external.


  • 1-3 years’ experience
  • Excellent research and analytical skills
  • Ability to work independently through unfamiliar tasks

Junior Associates (entry level position)

  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Strong academic record
  • Familiarity with academic research

To apply

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. However, the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to be considered since we will stop the interview process when we have the right number of qualified candidates.

To apply, send a CV and cover letter to In your cover letter, please include the following:

  1. Why are you interested in working for Learning First?
  2. What interests you about working in education policy?
  3. What role are you applying for (Junior Associate, Associate, Senior Associate, Manager)?
  4. What about your background (skills or experience) qualifies you for this role?