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Head of School (HoS)

Kensington Queensmill SchoolKensington and Chelsea


The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are due to open their first, purpose-built, Special School for children and young people with autism and Severe Learning Difficulties, from September 2021. The new 80-Place Special Free School is to be established in partnership with a newly formed Multi-Academy Trust, QCEST, and together we are seeking an Outstanding Head of School to lead this exceptional new provision.

The Trust is keen to determine to appoint a highly experienced, versatile individual with considerable experience in the field of autism and related SENs, with the ability to inspire and motivate an ambitious, talented and hardworking staff group to establish the new school as a beacon of excellence in SEN. Working alongside the Executive Head teacher, you will possess impeccable interpersonal skills, be a confident, fluent communicator while being able to creatively problem-solve. We are seeking a multi-faceted leader, one who is able to lead a complex organisation with empathy and resilience while maintaining the highest professional standards. This is an exciting opportunity to develop a brand new school for children and young people (CYP) whose needs are often varied and complex, within an organisation that is progressive and innovative in its commitment to placing SEN children at the epicentre of all that it does.

Job Description

  • To Lead the school in all aspects of Teaching and Learning and in preparing young people to successfully achieve the outcomes as set in their education, health and care (EHC) plans. To ensure the quality of teaching practice is consistently of the highest quality, fully utilising the considerable range of resources.
  • Work closely with Governors of Kensington Queensmilll to execute the school’s strategic vision, while incorporating the values and core mission of QCEST Multi Academy Trust.
  • Work closely with the Executive Head, and executive team of the Trust, to deliver
  • Outstanding Teaching and Learning within the available budget, ensuring clear accountability and sound financial management.
  • With the Exec Head, lead the performance management and accountability of all staff within the school, assuring Governors and Trustees that people are motivated, organised and working cohesively to achieve the best outcomes for all CYP
  • Lead the School in all aspects of Safeguarding and Child Protection, creating a safe, empathetic, sensitive learning environment for vulnerable children and young people.
  • Inspire, motivate and mentor staff colleagues to progress within the organisation, delivering the highest standards of continued professional development, which attracts the very best to the field of autism and related SEN.
  • Foster and advocate the use of Research to inform practice and champion evidence based approaches as these pertain to autism and related SENs, working pro-actively with partner universities and other Research institutions.
  • The successful candidate will champion the needs of SEN children, demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge of autism and SEN, knowing how diagnosis affects each child, knowing how best to teach the child, and being able to support parents, staff colleagues and other stakeholders, in ensuring the best outcomes for children attending.
  • Embody the highest professional standards at all times, representing Kensington Queensmill within its immediate and wider community, demonstrating a willingness and confidence to engage with all stakeholders.
  • Collaborate, network and promote Kensington Queensmill and QCEST MultiAcademy Trust, so that both are leaders in the field of autism and related SEN, at a local, national and international level.

All candidates will have achieved the highest professional standards as practitioners within the field. You will possess, or be working toward NPQH, be a consistently Outstanding Teacher, able to model and embody good practice and able to inspire others to do so. You will have sustained, relevant management experience, as it applies to autism, SLD, and all that is required to establish the school as an Outstanding provision with Ofsted.

Person Specification

We will want a person who is able to present Kensington Queensmill and all its strengths, sometimes in arenas that hold a great deal of pressure. This person needs to be able to:

  • Demonstrate exceptional practice in all areas from EYFS to Post -19
  • Articulate and champion the capabilities and entitlements of young people with autism and related SENs, to explore new opportunities for ongoing education, employment, recreation/leisure.
  • Systematically defend our chosen teaching methods and demonstrate their strengths as these apply to CYP with autism and SLD within the school and beyond it.
  • Ability to lead a complex but highly important admissions process ensuring the school is highly sought after, thriving and maintains an unblemished reputation.
  • Explore, innovate and encourage different teaching methods used with CYP with autism and related SENs, and be able to point out any perceived overlaps or possible deficiencies.
  • Develop and enhance inclusion opportunities in other educational setting inc local colleges and schools
  • Oversee, with senior colleagues successful transitions into and from new settings for children with complex, profound and varied presentations of autism and SLD.
  • Monitor, evaluate and quality assure all aspects of Kensington Queensmill’s curriculum, ensuring students access meaningful, effective, varied and challenging learning environments and opportunities
  • Work collaboratively with multi-professionals to problem-solve and lead discussions with staff to minimise the dysregulation of CYP within the school, at home and in the community
  • Work closely with Executive Head to prepare and present the school to Trustees in the form of reports, presentations and all that is required to inform key decision-makers.
  • Lead the work of senior team colleagues in establishing and implementing interventions and practice in accordance with the school’s philosophy and ethos and integrating these fully with that of the Trust
  • Manage staff sensitively and in line with agreed school policies and procedures


To apply candidates should request an application form and write a supporting letter demonstrating their suitability for the role and how they meet each of area of the person specification.

Due to the pandemic, and the fact that the new school is still under construction, we are not able to host visits in person but interested candidates will be able to have discussions (via Ms Teams or Zoom) with the Executive Head about the role and plans for the establishment of the school. These will be between 4th – 13th January.

All applicants will be subject to an enhanced DBS check. QCEST is committed to safer recruitment, in full accordance with all national guidelines and will vet candidates extensively.

To request an application, please contact: in the first instance.

Closing date for applications written applications – Friday 15th January, 2021

Interviews for shortlisted candidates w/c 21st January 2021