Opportunities for permanent roles in a range of business sectors

IT Service Delivery Manager

The National Extension College (NEC) is an educational charity based in Cambridge, which is part of the Open School Trust. NEC has provided tutor supported home study courses directly to learners for over 50 years, and also publishes learning resources for colleges and training providers and delivers blended learning programmes for public and private sector organisations.   Our mission is simple: NEC seeks to widen learning opportunities for learners who want flexible delivery of excellent and innovative courses and our staff are inspired and motivated by this mission. 

We help our students to open doors to their futures, through life-changing learning. In particular we offer educational opportunities and second-chance learning to people for whom attending regular classes at school or college would not be possible.

Job Purpose

  • To manage and own the day-to-day operational aspects of the organisation's IT functions (including Infrastructure and applications), ensuring a high quality service is delivered to end users; to develop, maintain and improve effective service support and delivery relationships, processes and practices to meet the needs of the organisation and customers.

  • Ensure key objectives and measures are met, whilst allowing the organisation to transform and innovate.

  • Build relationships at all levels and be seen as the go-to person in relation to all service delivery matters.

  • Devise and deliver a strategic plan and programme to enhance and replace systems to meet the needs of the business and capitalise on new technologies, whilst focusing on the end user perspective of staff, students and tutors to deliver an excellent service.

  • Ensure suppliers meet service levels and are on track to deliver and manage the expectations of the business.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage the overall day-to-day operations of the IT department covering applications development, planning and budgeting, IT equipment and infrastructure and user support.

  • Own and manage the service delivery relationship

  • Identify and negotiate with key suppliers, manage relationships and establish and manage service levels and contracts

  • Manage internal development and supplier development using software development lifecycle processes

  • Establish and ensure effective business and technology governance

  • Plan and make proposals on the overall applications strategy and evolution of systems in line with the NEC business strategy, and eLearning, making best use of new technologies and techniques.

  • Translate business needs into applications transformation and detailed solutions design for delivery by outsourced partners.  

  • Lead and manage on projects end to end, setting priorities for staff and partners at a detailed level, ensuring best value from support and development budgets.

  • Manage internal staff, both direct reports and other staff as part of project delivery, coordinating the tasks of staff and external partners.

  • Provide IT advice on all change projects, maintain change control processes, mentor and support department managers.

  • Ensure that quality improvement processes, key performance measures and business reporting metrics are implemented to meet agreed audit standards. 

  • Establish, maintain and review business continuity and disaster recovery plans, processes and procedures for the organisation, ensuring appropriate resilience is in place for IT systems and infrastructure. 

  • Contribute to scoping and design, and develop new e-learning courses through to delivery and evaluation. Working with colleagues and technical experts to design and create engaging e-learning tools, providing creative flair and imagination to ensure that the e-learning tools are innovative and informative

  • Be on call as required to resolve IT issues, and check the status of systems at the start of each working day

  • Responsible for the planning, management and forecasting of the budgets and spend associated with the IT, and ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget.

  • Responsible for data protection and IT Security within the organisation

  • Responsible for the integrity, backup, update and operation of all the servers, IT equipment , and telephone systems operated within the organisation

  • Responsible for ensuring all IT processes and procedures are documented and updated in all aspects of IT service delivery, providing user guides as required

  • Provide reports to management and Trustees of the organisation

  • Conduct ongoing reviews of significant IT developments in the online education sector

  • To undertake any other duties as and when requested by management or Trustees

Knowledge & Skills

  • IT strategic planning and budgetary experience [essential]

  • Educational technology and e-learning experience [essential]

  • Process design and re-engineering experience. 

  • Understanding of software development lifecycle (particularly agile approaches SCRUM/Kanban). 

  • Ability to learn and adapt to new products and procedures as they appear

  • Ability to interpret control and process requirements

  • Experience in commissioning and managing software development projects.

  • Business analysis and solutions architecture.  Requirements definition. 

  • IT and business programme management experience.

  • Supplier negotiation and relationship management [essential]

  • Leadership skills.

  • Experience in software development or managing development teams

  • Knowledge of Teamwork project management software

  • Appreciation and understanding (including limitations) of applications technologies used by NEC:

  • Web, LAMP Stack, Cloud (AWS EC2), Google Applications, ChromeOS

  • Working with open source solutions.

  • Microsoft product experience

  • Demonstrable experience of working to and developing IT processes

  • Experience of basic data analysis and report writing

  • Management of external contractors and internal operation teams [essential]

  • Solid customer service focussed approach to resolving IT issues

  • Ability to critically evaluate systems and processes to find efficient ways of operating [essential]

  • Ability to progress multiple tasks through effective scheduling and time

Management [essential]

  • Ability to quickly build rapport and trusted relationships

  • Excellent problem solving, troubleshooting and trend analysis skills [essential]

  • Systems security, privacy and data protection.


  • Self-motivated & enthusiastic [essential]  

  • Internal and external customer focus [essential]  

  • Delivering results and effective planning [essential] 

  • Personable with excellent people skills

  • Innovation and adaptability [essential]  

  • Interpersonal awareness and self-management [essential]

  • Good decision making and timely decision escalating [essential]

  • Keep technically current with changes & improvements within the given field

  • Desire and ability to find the right solution to issues, rather than just any solution.


  • Graduate in Technology-related subject and significant experience in IT development

  • Professional certification ITIL/Service Management (desirable)

or IT service provision experience and knowledge [essential]

  • IT Infrastructure qualification or equivalent [essential]

  • At least 3 years’ experience of similar role, including network development and infrastructure [essential]

Performance measurement

  • Delivery of change programmes

  • Delivery of projects

  • Achieving budget and timescale objectives 

  • Develop staff project management skills

  • Set staff objectives and conduct appraisals according to organisation policy


  • 23 days annual holiday (plus 4 days Xmas shutdown)

  • Healthcare

  • Group life scheme

  • Employee discount on NEC courses

  • Training and development opportunities

Salary range: £35,000 to £45,000 p.a. (depending on experience)


To apply, please include a CV and cover letter setting out:

  • What appeals to you about the role?

  • The fundamental skills and experience you would be able to bring to the role?

  • Current salary?

  • Notice period (if relevant)?

  • If you live outside of Cambridge, would travel be an issue (where applicable)?

Closing date: 30 April 2021

Preliminary interviews: w/c 10 May 2021

Final interviews: w/c 17 May 2021