Skip to main content

Director of Children’s Books

BookTrust is the UK's largest children's reading charity. Our mission is to get every child reading – regularly and by choice.  We know that children who read are happier, healthier, more empathetic, and more creative. They also do better at school.  With the long term impact of the pandemic on children’s lives, and with an ever-widening gap for the most disadvantaged children, our work has never been more important. We have a new ambitious 5 year strategy with a deep commitment to doing even more to support children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds in reading.

We deliver our mission through evidence-based interventions that reach over 3 million children and families each year from 0-13 with a strong focus on the early years. We work with a network of skilled partners; with every local authority across England and Wales, health visitors, schools, libraries, social workers and early years workers; and with an excellent and increasingly diverse community of children’s authors and illustrators; and committed and expert support from publishers.

As our Director of Children’s Books you will play a key role at BookTrust in taking forward our ambitions. With your track record of building relationships at senior levels in the books sector you will continue to develop our existing strategic relationships with children’s publishers, authors, illustrators and the wider children’s books sector - ensuring their continuing support for our mission (including generous benefit in kind support). You will bring you and your team’s deep expertise in children’s books to our design, development and delivery to make our work with children ever more effective in getting children reading (including the role that inclusive portrayals of children and families, and access to a choice of books play in the delivery of our strategy).

You will be comfortable and experienced with working with the books sector at the most senior levels, and in representing BookTrust. And you will be excited to bring to life for our partners, including thousands of frontline practitioners working with children aged 0-13 across the country, the magic of children’s books and the role they can play in getting children reading.

As an experienced leader with energy and drive you will be comfortable in leading change, taking a deeply collaborative approach and be keen to work alongside expert colleagues as a member of our senior leadership team . Development of our work for children and families is a cross-organisational activity and you will be confident of your ability to influence as well as direct. You will be mission aware and passionate about how books and the magic of stories can get disadvantaged children reading.  Working in an 80 person organisation which leverages our partners to work at national scale, you will be comfortable about strategic thinking and being hands on in the detail when needed. You will be confident about your skills to nurture and develop a great team with a range of expert skills.

In return we can offer you a vital cause, an organisation with firm income foundations and relationships, a commitment to invest for the future, an open friendly workplace with expert colleagues and an opportunity to make a real difference. We are also genuinely family and life friendly.

BookTrust is going places and what we do has never mattered more. If you have the skills, experience and drive to work as a key leader in our great team - we would love to talk to you.


What we offer


  • Salary: £75,000 to £80,000
  • 28 days holiday, plus public holidays
  • Pension scheme – 7% employer contribution
  • 3 x salary life assurance
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Season Ticket Loan Scheme

How we work

  • Full-time, or 4 days per week role (pro-rata salary for 4 days per week)
  • BookTrust is committed to being a flexible employer,
  • BookTrust now works on a hybrid model. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are office-based; the rest of week can be worked in the location of choice either from home or in one of our offices. Our core hours are 10am to 4pm.
  • This post can be based in our office in Battersea, London, or our new office in central Leeds. All senior staff are also expected to be able to travel to work with colleagues across the country when needed (within our hybrid model).
  • There will be a requirement for occasional evening or weekend work consistent with the seniority of the position
  • The postholder will be expected to carry  out all duties in line with BookTrust policies and procedures and be prepared to undertake additional reasonable duties, as required.

Want to join us? Find out more about who we are at:

To apply, please submit your CV and covering letter of no more than two pages outlining your suitability in relation to the person specification to  

Closing date: Friday 13th May 2022 at 10 am.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity

We aim to provide an inclusive recruitment process and actively welcome applications from diverse talent pools: BAME candidates, candidates with disabilities and long-term conditions and candidates from underrepresented communities.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and want to ensure we have an accessible application process for all candidates. If you need any reasonable adjustments or would like us to do anything differently during the application process, please contact our HR team on or 020 7801 8855/8856 to discuss your requirements further.

BookTrust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The recruitment and selection process reflect our commitment to safeguarding therefore, the suitability of all prospective employees will be assessed during the recruitment process in line with this commitment, and pre-employment checks.


Director of Children’s Books

Book Trust, London | Leeds
Full-time, Permanent
Publishing, Research, Management
££60k +

Share this job now