About United World Schools

United World Schools (UWS) is a charity dedicated to transforming the lives of some of the world's poorest children through education. It works in remote regions of Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal to give every child access to free education, by partnering with local communities and supporters around the world to ‘teach the unreached’.

UWS has a high-impact, low-cost model for building schools and providing education in remote and marginalised communities. To date, it has worked with more than 220 communities across Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal to give children free, safe and effective schooling. Since 2009, it has reached over 36,000 children with education, and is set to reach tens of thousands more over the next few years.

UWS' purpose is to get such children into primary level education to teach them to read, write and count, and impart basic skills to allow them to participate in their local economies. It achieves this goal through the building of simple and fit-for-purpose schools in these remote communities. It also commits to managing the running of these schools to ensure ongoing access by these children to education. Collaboration is at the heart of everything that UWS does. It works with communities, governments and partners to deliver free education that is effective and sustainable.

This is an exceptional opportunity to help shape and lead the continued development and direction of a fast-growing, business-like charity. The organisation is looking to expand its reach internationally to serve children in remote communities who do not have the opportunity to attend primary school and therefore do not learn the basics of literacy and numeracy. To watch an introductory video to UWS, click here.

Role specification

The Board of Trustees governs UWS by approving its strategy, goals and objectives. It provides oversight, supports UWS' mission, and uses its networks and industry expertise to help UWS achieve its vision.

UWS is seeking a Trustee to help the organisation unlock further and significant institutional funding from major statutory and multilateral funders in and beyond the UK, as well as enable UWS to raise its profile with key global development actors. UWS has started to gain support from UK and international statutory funding bodies and it sees this as a significant growth area for the organisation.

The Board is therefore particularly interested in candidates with senior level international development expertise. The successful candidate will have demonstrated the ability to influence major actors in the development sector and / or have worked at a senior level in those settings.

While UWS is headquartered in London, it has teams delivering programmes in Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal. Trustees are required to visit its projects and see first-hand what it means to provide education in remote and marginalised communities. They are also expected to make personal donations within their means and / or to leverage their networks to assist with fund-raising as per the UWS trustee charter.

Person specification

UWS is seeking a Trustee with a strong commitment to its vision, mission, values and strategy, and who has experience in international development and, ideally but not essentially, institutional funding.

This individual will be passionate about addressing global issues, with a demonstrated deep commitment to social impact and sustainable development. They will have professional experience in international development, working with international NGOs or working in partnership with national organisations in Asia and Africa. It is also hoped that they will have experience working with policy think tanks and / or key development actors and grant-making bodies including DFID.

The successful candidates will have knowledge of monitoring and evaluating programme work as well as impact measurement. They will be able to use their experience in the international development sector, including experience of leveraging significant resources from key donor agencies, to support UWS' important mission. Experience of the education sector and inclusion, in particular related to an international development context, would be welcome.

Required for this role

  • International development experience Previous experience at leadership level within the international development sector. Candidates will have an understanding of policy and funding in the sector, as well as impact evaluation and measurement.
  • Trustee ready Sitting on a trustee board requires the ability to take a more advisory approach than in executive roles. If you have not previously held any trustee or non-executive positions, you should demonstrate a track record of influencing the direction of your organisation at board level. If you already have significant trustee or non-executive experience, please detail this.

Desired for this role

  • Institutional fundraising Experience supporting a not-for-profit organisation in seeking institutional funding, e.g. from government, trusts, foundations etc.

Board composition

Peter Taylor, Chair
Stephen Warshaw, Vice-Chair
Matthew Lester, Treasurer
Stuart Fletcher
Fergus Brownlee
Ronald Graham
Vicky Unwin
John Siebert
John Lovering
Professor Nirmala Rao
Peter De Wit
Jean-Paul Rigaudeau


UWS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is seeking to develop diversity within the organisation. It therefore strongly encourages applications from individuals with a diverse range of social, cultural and religious backgrounds and ethnicities. Candidates based outside of the UK, including but not limited to its countries of operation, are welcome to apply.

All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process. In line with the Equality Act 2010, however, the organisation may employ positive action where diverse candidates can demonstrate their ability to perform the role equally well.

Terms of appointment

This role is unremunerated and the initial term of appointment is three years, which can be renewed for a further three years by mutual agreement. At present, Trustees cover their own expenses, although this can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

UWS is committed to the safeguarding of children and ensuring that it recruits safely is central to this commitment. All applicants will be required to undertake a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check as a condition of Trusteeship.


This process is being run in-house by the organisation, who will view the applications without edits. We therefore advise applicants to avoid using ‘see CV’ or ‘please call me to discuss further’ in your application as it may restrict your chances of progressing to the next round.

Connected Parties

This organisation has requested that candidates do not contact them directly. Instead, if you know someone at the organisation please mention it in your Reason for Application. Members discovered not respecting this may risk having their membership terminated.

Questions & Feedback

In the event you have any questions or feedback about the way the role or your application has been handled, please contact [email protected]

Role timetable

Deadline for applications: 29th September

Candidates can expect to be contacted by: 13th October

Candidates can expect the process to be completed by: 10th November

Apply via NuRole: https://www.nurole.com/roles/nipd

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact [email protected]