Forest School Leader


Are you enthusiastic about nature and the great outdoors?

Do you enjoy being outside at any time of the year, and like to share that enjoyment with others?

Are you qualified to level 3 in Forest School Leadership?

Are you able to recognise and grab onto a childs’ idea, and go with it to develop learning opportunities on the fly? ….or on a fly, or a worm, or a spider or a leaf or a stick?

If so, then we would like to hear from you.

We are looking for a qualified level 3 forest school leader for part-time work (2+ days), possibly leading to full-time. This is an exciting time and an opportunity for the right person to shape their role and represent themselves and Nest in the Woods in a professional and caring way.

The successful applicant may work at a combination of our sites in Adlington and Grappenhall and within schools delivering programmes of forest school or outdoor education. He or she may also be involved in delivering holiday clubs, parties and may organise and run some weekend group sessions.

You will be a dynamic and caring person who is fully committed to the ethos of forest school and passionate about providing children with a quality and memorable experience. You will connect children with nature and be creative in your approach with a balance of adult led optional activities and engaging with and scaffolding child led learning, using their interests to provide them with a positive learning experience.

You will shadow us for the first few weeks, learning about our ethos and the way we do things through on the job training before running your own programmes of sessions.

We currently work with a wide range of ages and schools, from EYFS to secondary BESD. The right candidate will have their own transport and be able to transport equipment to and from sites.

This post is subject to an enhanced DBS check.

Pay – according to qualifications and experience.

Start : ASAP

Closing date for applications: Open but please apply as soon as possible. This post will close when we find the right candidate.

Job Description – Forest School Leader

Main Responsibilities

  • To be responsible for, plan and oversee the day to day delivery, organisation and smooth running of Forest School programmes.
  • To evaluate programmes and to continually strive for improvement.
  • To promote Nest in the Woods and the ethos of Forest School and outdoor learning.
  • To be responsible at all times for high standards of care and education of all group members in accordance with the Forest School Association principles and criteria for good practice.
  • To ensure effective communication with teachers, support staff, head teachers, governors, parents, landowners, volunteers, partner organisations and of course, children.
  • To manage support staff and volunteers effectively, ensuring they embrace the ethos of forest school.
  • To ensure the health and safety of all participants, including writing and checking risk assessments for the sites, tools and activities used.
  • To regularly check and maintain tools and other equipment.
  • To keep records as appropriate of emergency contact details for participants, permission forms and achievement of pupils.
  • To adhere to all relevant policies and procedures of individual schools and settings, and to contribute to and adhere to the policies of Nest in the Woods.
  • To engage in continuous professional development.
  • To carry out all other such duties as may from time to time be determined by the line manager.

Physical Demands

The work requires moderate levels of physical effort. It involves lifting and handling of equipment and other resources and to be involved in practical activities and physical care of learners and the physical woodland environment. The role is almost exclusively out of doors and will require working on uneven surfaces and in unpredictable weather conditions.

Person Specification – Forest School Leader


  • To be experienced with working with children in education or play work.
  • To enjoy motivating and inspiring children across the range of age, ability and confidence.
  • To be clear, confident, fair, with good behaviour management skills appropriate to the age of child.


  • Level 3 Forest School qualification or bushcraft equivalent essential.
  • Level 3 or above childcare / teaching qualification essential.
  • First Aid certificate.
  • An understanding of Health & Safety requirements and welfare issues of working with young children.
  • Knowledge, understanding and practical experience of Forest School provision for young children and youth.
    Knowledge and practical understanding of child development and pedagogy.
  • Knowledge and understanding and practical experience of sustainable woodland management and education within the outdoor environment.
  • Knowledge and understanding of schools, their ethos and how they work.


  • Able to work independently and to manage own time efficiently.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team.
  • Ability to manage support staff and volunteers.
  • Commitment to equal opportunities for all learners.


  • Love of the outdoors and nature.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Flexible.
  • Excellent role model for learners, staff and volunteers.