Executive Principal (Head of School) at Tunku Putra - HELP School in Malaysia
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Executive Principal (Head of School)
Tunku Putra - HELP School (Malaysia)

Appointed - Mrs. Shirley Harrison
Nov 20, 2020
Dec 12, 2020



Dear all

On behalf of the Board and CEO of HELP Education Services in Malaysia, I am pleased to announce that Mrs Shirley Harrison has been appointed Executive Principal (Head of School) at Tunku Putra HELP School in Kuching.    She will take up the position from August 2021.

Mrs Harrison began her teaching career in 1989 in the Greater Manchester area of Lancashire, UK, moving into senior leadership in 2009 as Assistant Head Teacher at North Chadderton School, Oldham before becoming Vice-Principal of Sheffield Springs Academy in Yorkshire, UK.  Since 2017 she has been Head of High School at Emirates International School Jumeirah in Dubai.

Mrs Harrison has a BA degree in English from Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University), UK; a PGCE in English and Drama from the University of Manchester, UK; and a Master’s degree from the University of Huddersfield, UK.   She has also been since 2016 a facilitator on the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership programme at the Institute of Education, University College London.

The Board, the CEO and Search Associates would like to thank all candidates who expressed interest in this Head of School position and to everyone who assisted and supported the successful search process.

Best wishes





from August 2021

HELP Education Services in Malaysia is looking for a new Executive Principal

for Tunku Putra – HELP School in Kuching, Sarawak,

to take over from the current holder of the post, Mrs Julie Dowling,

with effect from the start of the school year 2021-2022,

and has asked Search Associates to help them in their search.



Tunku Putra-HELP School (TPHS), formerly known as Tunku Putra School, is a coeducational, private international school located in Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia. The school is named after the Father of Malaysia, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.

The School was established in 1997 and has undergone an ownership restructuring and relocation to an attractive, purpose-built campus. It educates children from the ages of 4 to 18 years and offers both the Malaysian National Curriculum and the Cambridge International Curriculum. The whole school currently has around 700 students.

Curriculum (National, and International – Cambridge IPC and CAIE, IGCSE, A Level)

School Education Model

Schools must go beyond academic subjects. We aim to equip students with skills needed for the 21st century and enable them to become true global citizens. We encourage our students to explore various areas of development delivered through our holistic curriculum focusing on the following 9 areas:



School campus

The TPHS purpose-built campus encapsulates the school’s philosophy that learning should be a wholesome and joyful experience, where students are encouraged to flourish and fulfil their potential in a safe and secure environment. The campus includes the following facilities:

For further information about the School, please see https://tphs.edu.my/.




To provide a challenging, effective, well-rounded international educational experience for the students attending the School.


  •  The Executive Principal is responsible for the direction and supervision of all personnel who perform their respective functions within the school.
  • The Executive Principal reports directly to the CEO of HELP Education Services, Dr Gerard Joseph Louis.
  • The Executive Principal will also be required to provide regular reports to the Board of Governors who oversee the academic standards and direction of the school.


  •  Coordinating and leading all school operations, activities and programmes.
  •  Developing, monitoring, evaluating and promoting the school’s instructional programme.
  • Promoting current innovative educational practice, relevant curriculum content and regular assessment of educational quality.
  • Setting high standards and expectations for all students and staff, with regard to both academic performance and personal and social behaviour.
  • Developing school improvement plans that align with the school’s long and short term goals.
  • Leading a system of staff monitoring whereby all teachers receive systematic feedback on their professional performance.
  • Recognising and promoting the use of Information Technology, both as an essential 21st century learning tool and also for efficient and effective administrative practices.
  • Keeping school policies and procedures under review and making changes as needed.
  • Coordinating and leading an effective school leadership team.
  • Leading the process of recruiting high quality teachers for the school.
  • Planning and implementing programmes for the assistance and orientation of new teachers.
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of the school calendar.
  • Coordinating student advisory groups and programmes.
  • Developing community contacts and working productively with community organisations.
  • Developing procedures for the maintenance of permanent records.
  • Maintaining a consistent and fair behaviour management system for students.
  • Maintaining a positive, interactive and transparent relationship with the school community.
  • Leading and supporting the school’s administrative team.
  • Performing other duties as assigned by the CEO of HES.



The successful candidate will be a person who shares deeply in the school’s vision of holistic education and who has the ability to inspire others in the school community to embrace this vision.    

She/he will meet the following criteria in terms of qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Completion of at least a recognised Post-graduate Certificate in Education. Certification of having completed a course in school leadership will be an advantage.
  • At least 3 years’ successful experience as Principal of a school.
  • Ability to demonstrate, with evidence, the impact of leadership on student achievement.
  • Ability to demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of pedagogy, and ability to lead the school staff in teaching and learning.
  • Proven ability to work autonomously and collaboratively as a member of a leadership team, with high levels of accountability.
  • Proven capacity to produce and implement clear, evidence-based improvement plans and policies and lead innovation and change.
  • Proven capacity to ensure that the school’s human, physical and financial resources are efficiently allocated and managed.
  • Evidence of ability to create a professional learning community that is focused on the continuous improvement of teaching and learning, supporting all staff to achieve high standards and commitment to their own learning and well-being.
  • Proven capacity to work well with a diverse school community and develop positive relationships parents/families and the local community.



The initial contract offered to the successful candidate will be for three years, renewable thereafter by mutual agreement between the Executive Principal and HELP Education Services.

The compensation package will be commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and will include the following elements:

  • A competitive salary, with an optional Employees Provident Fund contribution
  • Health insurance, for Executive Principal and her/his immediate family
  • Accommodation allowance
  • Full tuition fees cover for up to 2 dependent children enrolled with TPHS
  • Annual return airfares for Executive Principal and her/his immediate family
  • Relocation allowance (reimbursement basis)


Suitably qualified candidates should send their application as an email attachment to

David Cope of Search Associatesdcope@searchassociates.com –

including all the items below, collated together in a single pdf,

to arrive as soon as possible, and no later than December 12, 2020:

  • a letter of application (no more than one page), briefly outlining why the candidate wishes to apply for this position and what specific skills, qualities and experience she/he can offer
  • a CV (no more than two pages)
  • a short statement of educational and leadership philosophy (no more than one page)
  • the names and full contact details of at least three professional referees (one of which should if possible be the leader of the applicant’s current organization)

Interviews will take place during December 2020 and January 2021.   However, HELP Education Services reserves the right to invite selected candidates to interviews in advance of this schedule.

Closing date:     December 12, 2020   Applications to:            dcope@searchassociates.com

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Diana Kerry was an international educator and administrator for 25 years in various countries, including Iran, France, Thailand, and Indonesia.