Head of Geography, Thurrock

Closing date:Expiring in 2 days

Harris Academy OckendonThurrock

Date posted:
Start date: April/September 2020
Contract type: Full Time
Salary: MPS (London Fringe) + £1,500 Harris Allowance + TLR
Contract term: Permanent

What is our team looking for?

We are always on the search for authentic teachers who enjoy what they do, who have great subject knowledge, charisma and have a strong sense of moral purpose. 

Our geography team is searching for a new Head of Department to join them – perhaps the candidate will also wish to train towards the LP accreditation.  We need your expertise to tackle the new curriculum and help lead the department to great success.  You will receive brilliant training to master your craft and become an inspirational leader. 


The successful candidate will have:

The potential and ambition to lead aspects of teaching and learning in the department and across the whole school

Passion for education; courage; integrity

A flair for working with young people

A great team player who will fit well with our optimistic and positive culture

The ability to teach great lessons at both GCSE and A-Level

Who are we?

Harris Academy Ockendon is a really friendly school and is new to the Federation.  It provides a fantastic opportunity for an experienced member of staff to hone their leadership craft and be part of a remarkable story.  The building and facilities are fantastic, and the staff are really on board and behind the vision of the school.

The Executive Principal is George McMillan, who led the transformation of Harris Academy Greenwich to being in the top 15% of schools in the country 6 years in a row.  Harris Greenwich is renowned as one of the best schools in the country in developing pedagogical excellence, leadership skills and leadership capability, but also as a place where work-life balance is genuinely valued.  One of their mantras is “zero burnout, ever.”

As an executive coach, Mr McMillan works with teams both inside and outside the Federation, helping them to become more resilient, sustainable and highly effective.  He believes that students should feel inspired at school and that teachers should be happy and highly motivated at work.  Having a safe and positive environment at school where everyone can have fun, work hard and thrive is a key part of the Harris Greenwich success story.  Mr McMillan is "fiercely proud" of the students and staff he leads.  He is working with the brilliant Principal, Ms Jo Rainey, to create a similarly inspiring story for the staff and students of Harris Ockendon.

The Harris Federation is a highly successful group of schools who serve many of the most deprived areas of London.  We are collaborative, enterprising and share a passion for turning lives around, yet each school is autonomous and free to set its own vision and strategy for how it does that. 

Each Harris school feels completely different in terms of culture and ethos.  Perhaps this is the school you’ve been looking for.


What are we passionate about?

“I have the great privilege of not only seeing young people grow and flourish, but providing opportunities for staff to step into their greatness in an environment that feels really safe and rewarding.  We will make Harris Ockendon a brilliant place to work and learn – naturally we are all passionately student focused and we touch lives every day, but that shouldn’t come at the sacrifice of staff.  I believe you can have it all in a school and experience tells me that happy teachers make great teachers so we work hard on that.  We don’t grade lessons, we don’t create fear in the workplace and we certainly don’t burn out our staff.  Indeed, we are incredibly mindful of our ‘life/work balance’ which I hope will be refreshing to hear for staff in other schools who feel constantly bashed and ground down by relentless pressure from above.  What we aim to do is engage, motivate, energise.  Teaching should be the best job in the world.  My job is to make that feel really true.”  George McMillan, Principal

Forget what you’ve heard about big, bad Federations. This is a school that really tries to keep staff morale high, that gives you a sense of purpose, a sense of autonomy, a sense of trust and continual support and challenge to achieve mastery.  Come pay us a visit and see for yourself.

We look forward to meeting you. If you would like a completely confidential chat with the Executive Principal, please contact George McMillan direct by email: george.mcmillan@harrisfederation.org.uk

To apply or to arrange a visit, please contact the HR Manager, Julie Leedham on J.Leedham@harrisockendon.org.uk

Harris Ockendon: Enjoy being the best you can be


Harris Benefits


As part of the Harris Federation, we can offer you a range of benefits, including:


The opportunity to develop and grow your career within the Federation.

Performance and loyalty bonus

Pension scheme (LGPS) and access to our Harris Wellbeing Cash Plan, covering a range of health and wellbeing benefits

Bicycle Purchase and ICT loans

Click here for a full list of Harris benefits.


The Harris Federation


The Harris Federation is the leading large Multi Academy Trust in the country for both primary and secondary education. We have an established reputation in transforming education in London and an unrivalled track record in achieving success through rapid school improvement.


Closing the gap between young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers has always been a core mission of the Harris Federation. We have transformed standards in schools that had, in some cases, failed for generations before joining the Harris Federation. Social mobility is the Holy Grail for the pupils we serve. The key to their futures is a high quality education.

We want every child in London to have the best possible education, enabling them to fulfil their potential and decide their own future.

We look for motivated support staff who are committed to helping us transform lives and who will share our belief that every child has the potential to do well.

Please note: academies may hold interviews as and when applications are received, and this job may be withdrawn at any point without notice. You will still be able to add information until the closing date, but you will not be able to submit your application. With this in mind, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Harris academies are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All offers of employment are subject to an Enhanced DBS check, and where applicable, a prohibition from teaching check will be completed for all applicants. In line with our commitments to safeguarding, the Harris Federation uses preferred agencies and is unable to work with any agencies where Terms of Business have not been agreed by both parties prior to an engagement. Harris Federation is fully committed to equality and to valuing diversity as an employer and a provider of education. Click here to view our full equality and diversity statement.



More about Harris Academy Ockendon
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Type: Mainstream School
Phase: Secondary with sixth form
Funding status: State - Academy
Gender: Mixed
Age Range: 11 - 18 years
Address: Erriff Drive, South Ockendon, Essex, RM15 5AY, United Kingdom. View in Google Maps
Telephone: +44 1708 851661