Director of School Relations at Search Associates in Worldwide
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Director of School Relations
Search Associates (Worldwide)

No longer accepting applications
Aug 10, 20
Oct 1, 20


Director of School Relations

Search Associates seeks to appoint a Director of School Relations to lead its Schools Relations Division.

Start date:    August 1, 2021


Search Associates, established in 1990, is widely recognized as the leading recruitment consultancy in the field of international education at primary and secondary levels. The group is currently instrumental in about 3000 appointments every year of teachers and school leaders, who move into jobs in a large and steadily growing network of international schools worldwide.

Please see for a much fuller picture.

As it enters its fourth decade Search Associates has launched an ambitious strategic plan to chart its future course in the rapidly growing international education market. It now seeks an outstanding candidate to fill the position of Director of School Relations, held since July 2018 by David Cope.

Position purpose and scope – responsibilities and tasks

As a key member of the Executive Team (ET) of Search Associates (SA), the Director of School Relations (DSR) works closely with the CEO, the COO and the Director of Consulting Services (DCS) in the overall leadership and management of SA on the basis of its strategic plans and priorities.   

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Director of School Relations (DSR) leads SA in all aspects of its relationships with international schools that are current or potential members, with their leaders and with the various educational organizations to which they belong. The DSR gives strategic direction to SA in this central area of its work, so as to nurture close, strong and well-informed partnerships of mutual confidence with member schools and their leaders, and maintain and enhance SA’s reputation in the international school world for a high level of professionalism and personal service.

These tasks are being facilitated by a new system (the School Associate plan) launched in 2019.   This plan (SAP) has been designed to enable Search Associates to manage its relationships with schools and school organizations in a structured manner and in the spirit of a professional partnership between colleagues sharing a commitment to furthering high-quality international education.    

In summary, the DSR seeks to manage and leverage the human resources of Search Associates so as to ensure that the group can fairly be seen by quality international schools of all kinds worldwide as an exceptional recruiting partner, by ensuring that member schools receive professional services of high value, always provided with a personal touch, through their partnerships with Search Associates.

The DSR’s specific duties and key tasks include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • directing and overseeing all aspects of the operation of the SAP, including reviewing its effectiveness and making data-informed recommendations for its improvement. 
  • taking the lead in addressing any significant problems arising at member schools that relate to teachers or administrators hired with the assistance of SA.     
  • leading the work of assessing the suitability of schools applying for membership, and then giving all necessary support to new member schools in the early years of their membership.
  • chairing regular meetings of the School Application Review (SAR) committee and ensuring the committee’s efficient operation.
  • line managing the School Coordinator (SC) and any other support staff as may be appointed in the future to the School Relations Division (SRD).
  • liaising closely with the COO, the SC, the Marketing Coordinator and other colleagues in steadily growing SA’s school membership, identifying, informing and encouraging potential member schools worldwide, and generally promoting the benefits of membership.
  • ensuring that the value and impact of all SA’s communications with schools, including information communicated through the public website, are optimized.
  • exploring opportunities and developing strategies for SA to better serve schools with specific profiles and needs such as, for example, UK-curriculum schools or bilingual schools.
  • taking the lead in identifying suitable training organizations for SA to partner with, in meeting the needs of both current and potential member schools.
  • participating directly in the SAP by acting as a School Associate to a group of member schools.
  • seeking advice as appropriate from the SRD’s advisory team and other colleagues on any matters of policy and/or practice relating to SA’s partnerships with its member schools.
  • representing SA at various international conferences and events, as agreed with the COO.


Person Specifications

The Director of School Relations is expected to have the following attributes, experience and skills.

  • A strong team player and an effective ambassador for Search Associates as a whole.
  • Firmly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, in every single aspect and activity of SA.
  • Successful experience of leadership in international education.    Additional leadership experience in a domestic educational environment or another industry is welcome.
  • Capacity for strategic leadership and effective change management, to steer the School Relations Division forward in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive international school world.
  • Successful experience across multiple geographical regions. Experience in the fast growing Asia and/or Middle East regions could be an asset.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills – the ability to persuade and motivate others.
  • Ability to see the bigger picture, understanding that overall organization priorities (or constraints) may sometimes have to delay divisional actions.

At Search Associates we are on a journey to creating a more inclusive and equitable organization and are committed to help shape a more inclusive and diverse international school community. We recognize that representation in our organization is an essential step, along with creating a culture of inclusion and belonging where people can show up and thrive, no matter their identities.  We strongly encourage applications from perspectives that are missing or underrepresented in our organization, including women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), LGBTQ+ leaders and leaders from other marginalized groups.


Compensation will be attractive and commensurate with the responsibilities of the position.       


Search Associates is a truly global organization, with offices in many different parts of the world.   

Therefore the location of the successful candidate will not be a constraint in carrying out the responsibilities of this position.

How to apply

Applications, and any enquiries or expressions of interest, should be sent by email as soon as possible and no later than October 1, 2020 to Melinda Williams, Executive Manager at Search Associates, at

Interested candidates should please send Melinda Williams the following documents, collated into one single pdf file:

  • A letter briefly explaining (a) your motivation for joining the leadership of Search Associates and (b) what you believe you can offer given the requirements of the position outlined above.
  • A personal statement about your career achievements and your future career aspirations.
  • Your current CV/résumé (no more than 2 pages).
  • A list of at least three referees (senior people well acquainted with you both professionally and personally), with their current addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. These referees will not be contacted without your permission.

Final approval of the selection of the new Director of School Relations will be at the discretion of Search Associates President/CEO Jessica Magagna and her Executive Team, who reserve the right to make a decision earlier than October 1, 2020 if an outstanding candidate comes forward.

It is hoped that this search will be successfully concluded by the end of November 2020, though more time will be taken if necessary to achieve the best possible outcome. 

Did You Know…?

Search Associates has over 20 Senior Associates with offices around the globe, each bringing a wealth of experience in international education.