Chief Operating Officer

Ref: 5930

Guildhall School of Music & Drama


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Role Managed by:

Emma Cowan

Research Associate

t: 020 7340 6289


Primary Practice Group: Arts, Culture and Sports

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 17/10/2022

Formal Interview Date: TBC - January 2022

Guildhall School is a vibrant international community of musicians, actors, and production artists in the heart of the City of London. Ranked as the UK’s top conservatoire in Guardian University Guide music league table, the School is a global leader of creative and professional practice, delivering world-class professional training in partnership with distinguished artists, companies, and ensembles. Since its founding in 1880, Guildhall School has been an outstanding example of the City of London Corporation’s commitment to education and the arts.

Following the appointment of our new Principal, Professor Jonathan Vaughan, we now seek to appoint a Chief Operating Officer (COO). A new role for the School, this position will help us achieve our vision, honing our competitive edge through strategic deployment of resources, efficiency of operations, and quality of service provision. As an integral member of the Executive Leadership Team the COO will support in strategic and financial planning, and collaborate with colleagues to oversee a transformation to optimise our infrastructure and service, and enhance our ways of working. With responsibility for business planning and oversight of the buildings and assets of the organisation, this role will have an excellent opportunity for impact, providing outstanding leadership and driving the development of the digital, physical and cultural working environment within the School.

You will be an inspiring and energetic individual with a track record of successful strategic leadership, financial planning, operational management and service transformation across a multifaceted organisation. You will demonstrate the capacity to translate your professional experience effectively into our environment, establishing a balance between commercial, artistic and educational needs. You will work with colleagues to deliver cohesive and agile operations, prioritising across multiple projects, agendas, partnerships and timeframes. You will bring strong influencing skills, and experience of leading multi-disciplinary teams, and will be a positive catalyst for change. We seek a highly motivated professional who shares a deep commitment to our values, including those relating to equality, diversity and inclusion, together with determination to meet and exceed our environmental sustainability goals.

Application is by submission of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter of application, addressing the job description and person specification and including suitable daytime and evening telephone contact details.

The closing date for applications is midday (BST) on Monday 17th October 2022.

For informal inquiries please contact Emma Cowan on


Perrett Laver believes that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. A broad range of perspectives, backgrounds and opinions amongst our global community of colleagues is crucial in maintaining our culture of openness, intellectual curiosity, and creativity. We take an active role in supporting under-represented communities and groups in becoming better and more fairly represented in the leadership of all organisations. We also know that diverse and inclusive teams have a positive impact on our ability to identify, engage and secure candidates from these groups.

Our commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, identity, and experience drives us every day – for clients, for candidate identification and in the recruitment, development and retention of colleagues. 

To ensure inclusion on the basis of age, disability, ethnic or national origin, family circumstance, gender, gender identity, marital status, nationality, political or religious beliefs, race, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, we would like to specifically invite applications from under-represented groups.


For a conversation in confidence or access to these documents in alternative formats, please contact Emma Cowen.

If you have comments that would support us to improve access to documentation, or our application processes more generally, please do not hesitate to contact us via


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