Programs Director

  • General
  • P.R. China - Shanghai

China Programme Director

Our client is a social enterprise dedicated to providing high-quality special education, developmental, behavioral, and mental health services in Shanghai and Greater China.


In addition, our client offers services, including therapeutic interventions, assessments, and social and academic support services. These include speech therapy, occupational therapy, ed-psych evaluations, and more.




The key purpose of the role of Programs Director is to positively impact the lives of Programs children and their families, through ensuring that they are provided with the highest possible standards of teaching, therapy and care, that meet their individual needs. The Programs Director achieves excellence in the quality and delivery of individualized programming primarily through a) administrative, operational and people leadership of the Programs department, b) strategic improvements in curriculum and methodologies and c) working in true partnership with current, prospective and transitioning families. High standards are sustained through the fostering and maintenance of a collaborative culture within which staff, children and families feel engaged, empowered and supported in their roles.



The Programs Director has considerable influence over all staff within company’s Programs department, and has the power to develop and shape staffing, curriculum, teaching approaches, embedded therapies, trainings, procedures, processes and policies. The Programs Director also has considerable influence over Programs families, who require the Director’s consultative support as needed. A key representative of company internally and in the community, the Programs Director has significant influence over company’s reputation and community relations, and the growth of the Programs department in particular.

The Programs Director is a member of our client’s Senior Management Team and is expected to participate in organization-wide decision-making, projects and tasks.


  1. Provide administrative and operational leadership for the Programs department, including:
    1. Continuously developing and overseeing the execution of departmental systems, procedures, processes and policies.
    2. Managing all departmental HR responsibilities including recruitment and onboarding; employee performance reviews; employee coaching/improvement plans and disciplinaries; leave requests, periods of absence and staff coverage plans.
    3. Managing the department budget and financial activities, taking responsibility for revenue growth and appropriately controlled expenditure and investment.
    4. Supporting the Finance department with planning and complex communications regarding fees and payment as needed


  1. Provide people leadership to all employees in the Programs department, including:
    1. Communicating regularly with clarity, professionalism and passion about all key Programs initiatives, projects, activities and challenges.
    2. Engaging staff in collaborative discussions and shared working on all key Programs initiatives, projects, activities and challenges.
    3. Weekly one-on-one supervision and coaching of Program Leaders and Program Specialists (which includes advice and guidance on coaching and management of their direct reports).
    4. Observing and monitoring classrooms, therapy activities, and family communications in order to provide accurate, timely feedback.


  1. Review and improve educational curriculum, teaching methodologies, embedded therapies and materials used within the Programs department, based on research evidence and best fit for each specific client demographic.
  2. Providing and/or arranging training, modeling and coaching to staff to ensure effective implementation.


  1. Manage and lead on the IEP process, including:
    1. Quality reviewing and providing feedback on all IEP reports in advance of their finalization.
    2. Attending and co-chairing IEP meetings with the relevant Program Leader for each Program child (IEP meetings take place twice a year per child).
    3. Monitoring and ensuring the successful implementation of the IEP in each child’s Program.


  1. Work in true partnership with current, prospective and transitioning families, including:
    1. Overseeing the admissions and enrollment process and providing direct, compelling consultations and tours to prospective families.
    2. Effective planning and preparation for newly enrolled children and their families.
    3. Investing in the development and maintenance of warm and trusting relationships with all current Program families.
    4. Providing speeches and trainings to families on family days, at assemblies and other such events.
    5. Providing individual family support and consultation as needed, including when there are complaints or safety issues.
    6. Monthly in-person engagement with Parent Representatives, in order to continuously solicit and receive their views and perspectives.
    7. Formally supporting families throughout the transition process, including providing appropriate information to schools or institutions applied to.


  1. Support community outreach and marketing, including:
    1. Attending visits and meetings with key organizations/people in the community as needed.
    2. Representing company at external community events and Company-led events, including public speaking as required.
    3. Supporting the Marketing team with Programs content, materials, advertising and outreach developments and improvements.


  1. Senior management activities, including:
    1. Attending and participating in Monday Team Meetings. This includes participating in organization-wide decision- making, project planning and task execution.
    2. Positively representing the views and goals of the organization internally and externally.




Role Function

Time Allocated %

Administrative and operational leadership


People leadership


Improvements in curriculum, methodologies and approaches


Management and leadership of the IEP process


Partnership work with current, prospective and transitioning families


Community outreach and marketing


Senior management activities



Our client is not only looking for a contributor to the company but someone who can and will drive an impact on their businesses. Your success in this role is the key to the future growth and development of our client and will be measured by your ability to:

  1. Passion and a huge desire to positively impact the lives of people
  2. Education: Master’s level degree or higher in a relevant discipline such as special education, teaching, developmental therapy or psychology (minimum requirement).
  3. Licenses or certification: Must be maintained in relevant discipline, in country of qualification (minimum requirement).
  4. Amount of related previous work experience: 5-10 years relevant work experience including leadership/management experience (minimum requirement).
  5. Level of spoken language: Written and oral fluency in English (minimum requirement); written and oral fluency in Mandarin (highly desirable).
  6. Technical skills: Strong interpersonal skills; leadership and supervision skills; training skills; public speaking skills (minimum requirement).
  7. Specific knowledge: Special education and therapy (minimum requirement); Chinese special education sector (highly desirable).


  1. Significant theoretical and practical expertise in special education and therapy approaches across a broad age and need range.
  2. Leadership experience and traits including - strong active listening and communication skills; critical thinking skills; coaching abilities; non- defensiveness; conflict resolution skills; empowering of others; strong sense of accountability; resourcefulness.
  3. Highly skilled in written and verbal professional communication, with keen attention to detail.
  4. Excellent organizational, task-management and time-management skills.
  5. Ability to independently manage own calendar, work to deadlines and ensure that others meet deadlines also.
  6. Flexible approach and willingness to adapt according to the needs of the department and/or organization.
  7. Ability to articulately describe, explain and consult on a full range of special education and therapy services.
  8. Influential, passionate and professional representative of the company, internally and externally.


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