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Food Learning Officer

Closes on Thursday, September 17, 2020
The Museum of East Anglian Life
Stowmarket, England
Full Time

Job Title                              Food Learning Officer

Reports to                           Collections & Interpretation Manager

Salary Range                      £21,500 to £24,000

Term                                     Permanent, full-time

About the Museum of East Anglian Life

The Museum of East Anglian Life cares for 17 historic buildings set in 75 acres of countryside, in the heart of Stowmarket, Suffolk. The museum is a charity supporting the community and we undertake a wide range of projects and programmes. We are seeking to become the Museum of Food and our mission is to explore the social, cultural and industrial history of food and connect people with where their food comes from and the impact of our choices on the environment, health and wellbeing.

Purpose of the Job

The post-holder will lead on the design and delivery of a hands-on, diverse and fun, food-focused activity and schools programme, and to deliver projects which help further the museum’s mission.

Who are we looking for?

We are keen to recruit someone who loves to teach and inspire others, who is enthusiastic about their own learning and who has practical food-growing and cooking skills and wants to develop them.

Main duties

  1. List of specific duties:
  2. Design and deliver hands-on activities and sessions for visitors of all ages, using the museum’s landscape, farm animals, crops and collection.
  3. Work with consultants, teachers and health professionals to develop and deliver a new schools programme for all age groups relevant to the National Curriculum, focused on healthy eating, food growing and biodiversity.
  4. Take charge of the small crop rotation area which is key to the delivery of an active outdoor learning programme. Work with visitors, volunteers, external experts and estate team members to grow and maintain crops using organic and self-sufficiency principles.
  5. Design and deliver community growing and cooking programmes and projects. In the first instance, project manage the delivery of the ‘Skills Kitchen’ programme, which will recruit 20 people not in work or full-time education to build their skills and experience of food production and business over 12 weeks in spring and summer 2021 and to deliver a series of weekly evening events on a diverse range of cuisines at the museum.
  6. Recruit and manage volunteers, working creatively to provide opportunities to engage people with the work of the museum. In particular, oversee and support the food-growing volunteers.
  7. Build partnerships outside the museum to help the museum to be a more open and welcoming place. In particular, broaden the museum’s engagement with refugees and migrants through the Skills Kitchen programme and through the restoration of the watermill which will include an activity programme on the heritage of bread. Be an ambassador for the museum’s work.
  8. Key relationships will include the Estate Manager, Estate Officer (Livestock) and Volunteer Officer.


  1. This job information cannot be all encompassing. It is inevitable over time that the emphasis of the job will change without changing the general character of the job or the level of duties and responsibilities entailed. This information may be periodically reviewed, revised and updated in consultation with the post holder to reflect appropriate changes.


  1. The post-holder must be aware of and abide by the museum’s policies and procedures. All staff must work in such a manner as to ensure their own safety and the safety of others – including members of the public – and report to their manager any hazards, dangerous occurrences or dangerous equipment they see, and any accident they are involved in or that they witness.


  1. The post holder will be expected to travel in the UK, particularly in rural East Anglia, and to drive vehicles around the museum, possibly to include historic vehicles (training will be given).


Person Specification

If you are unsure about any of this or would like to talk to someone about whether your experience is applicable, please get in touch.

Essential criteria – you need to have these How this will be assessed

Good general education including strong literacy and numeracy; energy, interest and a commitment to your own learning are more important to us than qualifications

Application form and interview
2. Outgoing and friendly manner; confident to talk to visitors and volunteers about the museum and our mission; the ability to teach and direct others clearly and to support them to develop Application form and interview

Practical experience and ability in at least two of the following areas: food-growing/gardening, cookery, teaching (in a formal context such as a school or informal context such as a museum). You do not need to be an expert crop-grower, but you will need to be willing to learn and to get your hands dirty.

Application form and interview
4. Good project management skills, including the ability to manage simple budgets and write briefs for consultants, and to seek and find help when you need it Application form and interview
5. Interest and knowledge of/a willingness to learn about current and best practice in agroecology and food production, conservation and food history; to engage in debate Application form and interview
6. Computer skills – able to use Outlook, Word, Excel and Powerpoint as a minimum; confident using the internet Application form and interview
7. Driving licence Application form
Desirable criteria – it would be a bonus to have these

Experience of working with or managing volunteers

Application form and interview
9. Experience of working in a museum or visitor attraction in a visitor-facing role Application form and interview
10. Experience of teaching or delivering learning sessions; knowledge of the National Curriculum Application form and interview
How we expect you to behave
11. Be creative and imaginative: identify opportunities to deliver added value, be inquisitive and thoughtful; be able to solve problems and think for yourself Interview
12. Be effective and efficient: take responsibility for managing own work; stay focused on getting the job done; have a can-do approach; plan and think ahead and make decisions mindful of their cost. Interview
13. Be tactful and collaborative: work well and supportively with other staff, volunteers and external people Interview


14. Communicate clearly: be precise and assertive – especially when dealing with difficult issues. Think about how to talk to people to get the best out of them. Listens to and respects diverse voices. Interview


Additional Information

Terms and Conditions

  • Your normal hours of work will be 37.5 per week, excluding lunch breaks. This would normally be 09:00–17:00, unless otherwise agreed with your line manager.
  • The post-holder needs to have flexibility over weekends. Our ideal candidate would probably work Wednesday to Sunday. However we are open to negotiation over this with the right candidate. Some weekend and evening work and work during school holidays will certainly be necessary in order to meet the needs of audiences.
  • There is a requirement on occasions to work unsocial hours for which leave in lieu will be granted.
  • The successful candidate will be on probation for 6 months.
  • The annual paid leave allowance is 22 days per annum and 8 days per annum in lieu of public holidays.
  • The museum has a pension plan to which the successful candidate will be signed up.


The salary range for the post is £21,500 to £24,000. Starting salary is normally at the minimum of the range depending on experience.


Candidates will be marked against the criteria listed above and the top-scoring candidates will be invited to interview. It is essential that your application form gives a full and concise description of the nature, extent and level of the responsibilities you have held. The shortlisting criteria are detailed under the personal specification. Please ensure that you clearly address each and all of the criteria on your application form. Applications by CV will not be accepted.

To Apply

The closing date for receipt of applications is midday, Thursday 17 September.

Interviews will take place on Thursday 24 September.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application and provide feedback if you would like it.

The Museum of East Anglian Life is committed to equal opportunities and welcomes applications from candidates of any and all backgrounds.

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