Principal, Nigeria

Closing date:Expiring soon

Government College UmuahiaNigeria

Date posted:
Start date: September 2020
Contract type: Full Time
Salary: Undisclosed
Contract term: Permanent

Government College Umuahia (GCU) was originally founded in 1929 by Rev. Robert Fisher as a secondary school for boys. GCU, along with two other Government Colleges launched in Ibadan and Zaria, were modelled on famous English public schools, to provide the very best education for boys from Nigeria and across West Africa. The school was located in extensive grounds and developed with outstanding facilities.

Over the following decades, GCU became known as the ‘Eton of the East’ and gained an enviable reputation for its high standards, achieving consistently excellent academic results and producing a long list of notable, distinguished alumni.

Unfortunately, under the subsequent state ownership, over a number of decades GCU’s standards began to decline dramatically and the school fell into a state of disrepair, no longer with the outstanding reputation it once enjoyed. More recently, in an effort to put an end to its decline and to restore the school as an institution of excellence, the Government College Umuahia Old Boys’ Association (GCUOBA) approached the Government to hand back the school to it to restructure, fund and manage it in a sustainable way. The Fisher Educational Development Trust (named after the founder) has now been established as the vehicle to restore the school and rebuild it to its former standard and reputation. The GCU Restoration Project is being undertaken with a clear focus on delivering three primary goals that reflect the school’s heritage and the economic realities of modern education: Student Outcomes - GCU will be built to achieve quality educational results; Culture and Orientation – the school will reflect and transmit the heritage values and virtues GCU was known for; and Economic Sustainability – GCU will operate as a social enterprise and sustaining itself in perpetuity.

The Board of the Trust intends to relaunch the new GCU in September 2021, as a boarding school, initially with 480 boys in its first year of operation, to an eventual capacity of approximately 720. The new GCU will offer the Nigerian National Curriculum, for the junior levels and the first two senior levels, preparing students to take IGCSEs, internally assessed as a part of a GCU Diploma, leading on to the Sixth Form where students will study for externally examined AS and A-Levels. The school aims to develop its students and offer them guidance to access top universities across the world.

The new GCU will be a school that provides a programme that supports every child through the value and quality of teaching practice, as well as a holistic programme of performing arts, sports and clubs. Teaching will be evaluated via a robust teacher evaluation system and supported through professional growth, peer coaching, technology, well maintained facilities and a strong culture of excellence in all that is offered and done. The teaching staff will be predominantly local Nigerian trained teachers.

The buildings restoration project has already commenced. A master plan and roadmap has been developed to deliver the physical infrastructure program. The construction work will be carried out in two phases, and phase one is ready and advanced to architectural and construction drawings, which include all the basic facilities required to re-open the school. Construction is planned to commence in April 2020.

To support the Board in ensuring the success of the relaunched GCU, the Fisher Trust engaged the services of an internationally renowned educational consulting team, BEL Consultants. The consultants are leading the effort of the Fisher Trust in the restoration project. The consulting team comprises of Sukwinder Bassi (formerly CEO of GEMS Africa), Tony Little (formerly Head of Eton College and Chief Academic Officer for GEMS Education) and Tony Eysele (formerly Head of International Schools in Africa and the UK).

The Board of the Trust is currently seeking to appoint a dynamic, experienced and inspirational Principal to prepare, launch and lead GCU from September 2020. This will be a challenging and exciting project, to relaunch Government College Umuahia, and bring it once again to the forefront of excellent educational provision in Africa. For an informal discussion about this opportunity, please contact Edward Clark on +44(0)1256 862840 or +44 (0)7718 588616, or email at To apply for the post, please visit and submit your up to date CV and a formal letter of application quoting code GCU. The letter should incorporate how you meet the person specification, why you are applying for the position and what particular attributes and qualities you would bring to the role.

Key Dates
Closing date: 7 April 2020
Shortlist interviews: 20, 21 April 2020 (in London)
Final Interviews: 14, 15 May 2020 (in Nigeria)

The Fisher Educational Development Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be required to undergo relevant background checks.

More about Government College Umuahia
Type: Mainstream School
Phase: Secondary with sixth form
Funding status: Independent
Gender: Boys
Age Range: 11 - 18 years
Address: Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria. View in Google Maps