Stantonbury International School (c 1700 on roll)
Stantonbury, Milton Keynes MK14 6BN
Deputy Head (L19-24) to join a dedicated team at a key point in the life of the school.
Relationships create community
Regulations build institutions
We are looking for a professional who knows how to build relationships quickly and is genuinely focused on student voice. Our commitment to that is underpinned by a student researcher project with a major university across all 13 schools in our Trust.
Stantonbury Campus was planned in the early 1970s as a bold social project which would see students and adults studying together and enjoying shared use with the community of a leisure centre and professional theatre which were funded by Milton Keynes Council.
It opened in 1974, under the Founding Head, Geoffrey Cooksey.
The school has been through some challenging times during the last decade or so. In 2015 the governors looked for a suitable to Trust to join and chose the Griffin Schools Trust with whom they shared values.
The vision that GST proposed to the governors was (and very much remains) of a school whose flourishing future is connected to its proud past in a number of ways:
• A strong emphasis on the Arts and Sports, using the exceptional facilities to promote excellence as well as enjoyment. We promised to increase access to the Theatre and Sports/Leisure Centre for students which had been limited since council funding ceased some 15 years ago.
• A renewed focus on international links which the campus did so well in its early years, hosting whole school staff teams and making return visits to exchange best practice and innovation in community based education.
• A revived and contemporary approach to science, maths, engineering and technology.
We used and added to the governors’ great work in winning STEM funding to secure £22m for a new building at the heart of the school to house STEM subjects. (SIS is the home of the annual Griffin Science Symposium.)
• A 100% achievement mentality (well advanced in the founding GST schools) which will see every student reaching national norms as a minimum
The full realisation of this vision (further described in in Griffin Great Schools) is a long-term project and a great deal of progress has been made in securing infrastructure, improving the estate and introducing the IB Middle Years Programme as the foundation of the curriculum. The school’s name was accordingly changed to Stantonbury International School in September 2017. However, the quality and continuity of teaching across the age and subject range at Key Stages 3 and 4 is below par and the Trust has deployed experienced senior staff to accelerate progress with this fundamental element of provision.
A symptom of this inconsistency in teaching is a variable response from students to adults around the campus.
The successful candidate will join a senior leadership team led by two joint Heads of School: an experienced GST Head and a former Deputy Head of SIS. This arrangement illustrates the Trust’s approach to growing leadership capacity in every school and to ensuring that all members of SLT gain experience in every aspect of Headship as well as using their specialisms.
This post requires someone who has a track record in building community, successfully leading sections of a school to operate on shared values rather than heavily prescriptive rules and regulations. We have wide experience in building such communities (often from recent histories of underperformance and dysfunction) and know that these are far more fulfilling places to learn and work. Communities based on mutual responsibility tend to lead to much higher attendance, engagement and achievement for students and greater professional growth and autonomy for staff. Achieving a strong community ethos needs a range of approaches from a leader but always entails the training and support of all staff to play their part on a daily basis.
This is not to say that sanctions are not required for poor behaviour and/or under-performance but these should flow from assuming an engagement with the school community rather than being seen as tariff-led punishments for breaking a list of rules.
So, the leader we are seeking needs to show us that successful experience along with a record of high quality teaching which has underpinned student success. S/he also needs the ability to create that small group sense of belonging in a relatively large secondary school.
Don’t worry about the aspects of leadership you have not yet encountered or understood. We operate a matrix approach which ensures everyone in the team learns the role of Head and the Trust provides excellent learning and development programmes.
Whether you are an established middle leader with a fine record in running key stages or houses in a day or boarding school or an Assistant or Deputy Head with strong pastoral skill and experience, we would like to hear from you and will support your next stage of professional growth.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Alison Ramsay Matt Gilbert
Joint Heads of School
How to apply
Great leaders come from all sorts of backgrounds and in all shapes and sizes. You could currently be in the independent, international or UK state sector. We will consider your application in the context of your values and track record.
Please research the Trust and the school and tell us in no more than two sides of A4 what you have achieved so far in building community and why you should join the SIS leadership team.
Please also attach a full CV with the names and contact details of two referees addressed to email@example.com
Closing date 21 February 2020, midday.
Interviews will be held at the school on 26 February 2020.