25 February 2010
Thank you for your interest in this post which offers a unique opportunity to the successful
candidate. Summerhill School is a forward looking and successful school. Exam results in 2009
reached a new all time high, with 85% of students gaining 5 or more GCSE grades A* - C and 75%
achieving this figure including English and Maths. We have recently been funded for a second
specialism in addition to our Language College status and have opted to work with other schools in
the RAPP (Raising Achievement Partnership Programme). We enjoy working in a multi million pound
new building (opened in 2003) and are heavily over subscribed. The school’s success is a reflection of
the outstanding staff we have here – they are hard working and innovative and always pushing the
boundaries in order to improve the work of the school. In short, this Deputy Head post could be a
major stepping stone in the career of the successful candidate. The challenge for us all is to move
from where we are to even higher achievement and the elusive overall “outstanding” grade at our
Whilst expecting our deputy to stay for a reasonable time, interested candidates must aspire to
headship and be prepared to take on all the responsibilities of a sole deputy head in a thousand
pupil school noted for its pastoral care, curricular innovation and team ethic.
In drafting this job specification it would be all too easy to come up with a profile of some hybrid
super human that only serves to intimidate potential candidates. That is not the intention! What is
required can be clearly expressed in terms of skills and qualities but they would apply to any post;
we are looking for someone who can display a commitment to our principles and core values, will
move the school forward to our next phase of development and can operate as a leading
professional who can work with people in a sensitive and effective way.
Some skills and qualities are essential:-
A passionate interest in learning and the ability to lead a team of committed and intelligent
A clearly defined educational vision
Imagination, particularly in curricular organisation
Superb “people skills”
Resilience and energy to keep going when others are flagging
A willingness to work in partnership with various groups of people – staff, parents,
employers and local schools as part of a consortium delivering the 14-19 curriculum
I enclose a school brochure, which I hope will give you a flavour of the school and our style here. I
also enclose a job description and a person specification. The post is more or less a straight
replacement of the role of John Warrington who is retiring. However, the exact nature of the job can
be negotiated and roles can be rotated to allow experience of all aspects of the school to be gained.
Your application should contain a completed application form and three separate pages of A4 which
1 Your achievements to date
2 Your educational philosophy – what skills do children need to cope with life in the 21st
3 What are the key challenges and opportunities of national 14-19 developments for
Please feel free to arrange a visit to the school to discuss the post.
Interviews will be held on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 October 2009. Please assume your application
has not been successful if you have not heard from us by then.
I look forward to receiving your response and to welcoming a new colleague to Summerhill.
Mr B Warren