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Expiring soon

Head of 16-25 / College Principal

Phoenix Primary and Secondary SchoolTower Hamlets

Phoenix Autism Trust is embarking on the next stage of its journey as a college for 19-25-year-old students with special educational needs. The Trust is looking to appoint a dynamic Principal to lead the organisation’s ambitious growth strategy to meet the needs of increased demand for places. To get there, we’re looking to solidify our foundations and strengthen our curriculum, systems and structures so that we are ready to meet this growth.

The Trust was established by Phoenix School in 2015 to meet the needs of their students who were unable to continue in mainstream FE colleges. It had been operating with the local FE college for five years. In September 2019, it started the Project Search programme in collaboration with Queen Mary University and in September 2020 it was designated by the EFSA as a Special Post-16 Institution and opened ‘Phoenix College’.

In January 2021, the college moved to its new premises and we will seek to develop the space so that it can meet the needs of its evolving curriculum. The building will be shared with the Phoenix Outreach Research & Development Centre and will provide opportunities for work-related learning for our students. The curriculum is designed to support young people towards independent living and/or employability and the timetable is reflective of these pathways.

Staff deployed at the college are currently employed by the School. You will initially be employed by the school and the role will be split across the school and the college (approximately 40/60). This is until the college meets its growth targets when the role will move exclusively to the college along with its own directly employed staff and become a fully independent organisation.

At Phoenix School, you will lead the KS5 curriculum in our new modernised building across the road from Phoenix College. Phoenix School is an Outstanding school (Ofsted 2018, 2013, 2008) and one of the largest SEN schools in the country. The school provides education for over 430 children and young people, all with Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP), aged from 3 to 19 years, with a significant number of children on the waiting list. There is an already established curriculum and you will bring a new perspective to ensure that this continues to grow and that students are appropriately prepared for their next destination.

Whilst we want to establish greater independence of the college, we also acknowledge the support structures in place and available across the different organisations and believe this relationship will be invaluable to the development of our young people and the work that we do.

We are looking for a dynamic leader that can drive the 16-25 programme forward to ensure the best possible outcomes for our young people. You may have experience in either schools, sixth forms or further education, but more important is experience in a leadership position with significant outcomes. This will be a strategic role with a requirement to get hands-on during its infancy and development stage.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to arrange a visit or video call with Stewart Harris, Executive Head Teacher. Please contact:  020 8980 4740

For further information about the role please see the attached recruitment pack, job description and application form.

Closing Date: 9am, Monday 25th January 2021.

Interview dates: 9th/10th February  2021

Please send completed applications to


Phoenix school is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of our children and young people and expects all our staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All posts are subject to an enhanced DBS check.

We welcome applications from suitably skilled candidates regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality, religion or age.

Supporting documents