Head of Middle School at TASIS The American School in England in UK
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Head of Middle School
TASIS The American School in England (UK)

Appointed - Dr. Megel Barker
Feb 3, 2022
Feb 28, 2022



On behalf of the leadership of TASIS The American School in England, Search Associates is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Megel Barker as the new Head of Middle School, to start in August 2022.

Dr Barker is a UK citizen with a BA degree from the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica, an MS degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from the State University of New York, Buffalo and an EdD doctorate from Wilkes University, Pennsylvania.   After teaching in Jamaica and then the UK for 18 years he moved in 2012 to Oman to take up the post of IGCSE Coordinator at Al Sahwa Schools, and subsequently in 2014 to ABA Oman International School, where he has served in several leadership positions including that of Middle School Principal since August 2021. 

Dr Barker is happy to be moving to an international school leadership position in the UK at this point in his career.    His wife Denise will also be joining the staff of TASIS England as College Counsellor.     They and their three children are greatly looking forward to joining the TASIS England community.

Search Associates would like to thank everyone who contributed to the achievement of this successful outcome, as well as all the candidates who applied for the position.



HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL - from August 1, 2022

TASIS The American School in England (https://www.tasisengland.org/)

is seeking a new Head of Middle School, from August 1, 2022.


David Cope and Barbara Powers of Search Associates

are assisting TASIS England by leading the search.



TASIS England is a private, independent, co-educational boarding and day school with students from over 60 countries.      Founded in 1976 by Mrs Mary Crist Fleming, and located on a spacious 46-acre campus in a beautiful village setting in Surrey, the school now educates 645 students from ages 3 to 18, over 400 of these in Grades 9 to 12 (UK Years 10-13), and 135 in the Middle School, Grades 5 to 8 (UK Years 6 to 9).   TASIS England offers a choice of American and international curricula, including the IB Diploma and the Advanced Placement (AP) program, and its graduating students go on to achieve excellent university placements in the UK, US and worldwide.   For full details please see the school’s website and also the Academic Prospectus.


The Middle School currently serves 135 students with a team of 30 faculty/staff.  The Head of Middle School will report directly to the Head of School and work collaboratively with the other Heads of Section and serve on the school's Senior Leadership Team. 

Full details of life in the Middle School at TASIS England can be found in the Middle School section of the school’s website and in the Middle School Handbook.

The school is looking for an engaging and dynamic Head of Middle School who will reinvigorate Middle School enrolment and lead a team of over 30 dedicated Middle School faculty and staff.  

TASIS England aims to offer every student high quality learning through a commitment to pathways, engagement and connection.   It is very much a “community” school and believes in open, transparent and frequent communication related to learning at all levels, including the Middle School operation.    

The school is therefore seeking a colleague who will thrive in curriculum development and will have a strong desire to promote best practice throughout the Middle School – a colleague who sees and embraces the many learning opportunities that exist in a time of transition and growth for developing independent adolescents.


Reports to:   Head of School

Direct Reports:        Middle School Academic Coordinator, Middle School Pastoral Coordinator, Subject Coordinators, Fifth Grade Team Leader, EAL teachers, Learning Resource teachers, Middle School Counsellor, Lower and Middle School Librarian and Media Specialist, Middle School teachers and the Middle School Secretary.

Based at:       TASIS The American School in England, Coldharbour Lane,

                      Thorpe, Surrey, TW20 8TE.

Background Information: 

TASIS The American School in England is a leading independent, co-educational school located just outside London in the United Kingdom. The Middle School enrols approximately 135 students, of whom 10 typically board, with over 30 full-time and part-time faculty. TASIS England Middle School students represent over 40 nations and more than a dozen languages. With an American curriculum including a full complement of arts and elective courses, TASIS England seeks to carry on the tradition of excellence in American and International education.

Job Summary:         

The Head of Middle School is responsible for leading a program which addresses the academic and individual needs of the Middle School community by providing a challenging, supportive, and stimulating learning environment; offering a wide range of co-curricular programs and activities; supporting the professional well-being and development of Middle School teachers; communicating effectively with parents and with other sections of the School; and leading a community wherein students strive for academic achievement and model the attributes of being principled, open-minded and compassionate.

General Responsibilities:

  • To have charge of the day-to-day activities of the Middle School ensuring the implementation of the school’s Mission, Commitments and Outcomes in all matters relating to education, administration and management with the support of the Head of School, the Senior Leadership Team and the Middle School Leadership Team through appropriate delegation, and in line with Board policies;
  • To coordinate all of the key activities for the Middle School (including academic scheduling, curricular programs, co-curricular programs, external testing programs, pastoral care programs, trips and excursions, parent conferences, graduation etc.) and set goals for all members of the Middle School faculty and staff in support of the school’s Strategic Plan;
  • To ensure the maintenance of high academic standards through the periodic review of curricula and teaching methods that take account of the pedagogical orientation of the school, the preparation of plans for the development of the school’s educational programs through the Curriculum Development Project and the continued implementation of the Professional Learning Journey Process to focus on learning and teaching within and beyond the classroom;
  • To be responsible through the Academic Coordinator, Subject and Grade Level Coordinators, and in collaboration with the Curriculum Coordinator, for effective learning engagements and opportunities through quality teaching, reflection, collaboration and assessment, including records and reports to parents and guardians;
  • To support and be responsible for the development of all students through the establishment of an effective pastoral care program (inclusive of Advisory and PSHEE), clear codes of behaviour and discipline for students and support for our boarding students in collaboration with the Middle School Pastoral Coordinator, the Middle School Counsellor, the Director of Pastoral Care and DSL, and the Head of Boarding;
  • To be responsible for the appointment, appraisal and support for all Middle School employees in accordance with School policies and legal compliance;
  • To assist the Executive Director of Finance and Operations/Bursar in preparing and maintaining an annual school budget for Board approval, in accordance with our financial guidelines;
  • To promote good relations among students and parents/guardians in the Middle School by adhering to the Communications Protocol and informing them of the pedagogical approach of the school, of developments, and of ways in which they can participate in and support the Middle School;
  • To develop the leadership capacity of Middle School faculty members, by modelling teamwork and collaborative decision-making;
  • To strengthen the school's efforts to provide a balance of academically rigorous programming within a personalized, caring environment through the promotion of Community Service, support for student advocacy and leadership, and participation in the Sports and Activities Program;
  • To enhance personalized learning throughout the Middle School, with particular emphasis on providing appropriate levels of challenge and support for each student throughout their learning journey at TASIS England, including specialized support as necessary for English Language Learners and students with special educational needs;
  • To support the Admissions and Marketing Departments in recruiting and retaining students who live the Mission of the school;
  • To support the Boarding Program to ensure the best possible outcomes for our boarding students.

Management Responsibilities:

  • Hold regular and minuted meetings with the Middle School Leadership Team and Middle School faculty to conduct the business of both the day-to-day running of the school and its broader and longer-term development;
  • Ensure that all agreed decisions are communicated and implemented effectively;
  • Direct the management, supervision and appraisal of all Middle School Leadership, Faculty and Staff through the Professional Learning Journey Process;
  • Ensure clear communication with all Middle School employees in relation to School developments and Upper School initiatives defined within the Strategic Plan and through thought leadership articles and timely notices of upcoming events;
  • Be responsible for the review and publication of the Middle School Handbook, the Middle School Academic Program and other publications as required;
  • Coordinate with the Safeguarding and Pastoral Care teams to ensure that our students are supported and well cared for;
  • Be visible and approachable for all Middle School students, employees and parents throughout the school’s programs, events and functions;
  • Attend Parent Council Executive Board meetings, representing the interests of the Middle School and maintain excellent relationships with our parent community;
  • Oversee the allocation of classroom space and resources used by Middle School teachers;
  • Secure coverage in cases of teacher absence;
  • Meet regularly with the Head of School to report and advise on daily and long-term needs, operational issues, events, activities, and staffing in the Middle School;
  • Oversee the entire Middle School budget, collaborating with other Middle School leaders;
  • Review files of students applying to the Middle School and assist in determining their suitability for acceptance;
  • Coordinate self-studies as required by accreditation associations, in consultation with all Middle School employees;
  • Coordinate the academic scheduling of the Middle School faculty and students in collaboration with the Middle School Academic Coordinator, the Subject Coordinators, cross-sectional Department Heads, the Upper School Academic Dean, and the Heads of the Upper and Lower Schools;
  • Support the coordination and execution of Middle School Graduation and other major school events as required;
  • Oversee and authorise academic reporting and recording keeping, including all grade reports, parent/teacher/student conferences, honor roll, standardized test reporting, and any necessary grade and/or transcript changes;
  • Oversee the completion of student recommendations for those students who are repatriating or moving on to other schools.


  • Ensure the existence of a high standard of curriculum throughout the Middle School, appropriate to the needs of the school’s community and recorded within Atlas Rubicon;
  • Ensure the maintenance of curriculum continuity between the Lower and Upper Schools;
  • Ensure assessment data, from both internal assessment data and external standardized assessments, are utilized to inform student learning and monitor curriculum development, particularly to prepare students for study in the Upper School;
  • Support the review and development of the school’s Language Policy and Assessment Policy, as well as, the implementation and review of the School’s Learning Support Handbook and the EAL Handbook.


  • Manage all Middle School faculty and staff recruitment, movement and deployment with the assistance of the Head of School, appropriate Middle School Leadership Team members and the Human Resources Department;
  • Make recommendations to the Head of School and Executive Director of Finance and Operations/Bursar with respect to appropriate staffing levels and needs;
  • Ensure that appropriate standards of professionalism and demeanor are maintained within the Middle School’s faculty and staff in accordance with the Code of Conduct;
  • Ensure that the Middle School’s faculty and staff are given access to and encouraged to actively participate in appropriate professional development;
  • Maintain open communication with all faculty and staff;
  • Oversee all faculty and staff leave requests.


  • Lead the preparation and management of the Middle School budget in conjunction with the Executive Director of Finance and Operations/Bursar and the Middle School Leadership Team.

Maintenance and Security:

  • Oversee maintenance and repairs to school property and buildings in conjunction with the Executive Director of Finance and Operations/Bursar and Estates Manager;
  • Oversee the implementation and review of the School’s Crisis Response Manual;
  • Ensure that all employees are trained and support the implementation of the School’s Safeguarding Policy and that all policies relevant to their roles have been read and understood;
  • Ensure that regular maintenance and security briefings and updates are provided to the Middle School faculty and staff as required.

Safeguarding Responsibilities:

  • Support the work of the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead and Safeguarding Team;
  • Proactively be alert to indicators of potential safeguarding issues and report these immediately in accordance with the school’s procedure;
  • Implement the School’s Safeguarding Policy and follow its requirements;
  • Attend training relating to the safeguarding of children;
  • Engage in safe practice and professional conduct to safeguard children to mitigate against the potential for misunderstandings or situations being misconstrued;
  • Support the safeguarding of boarders through boarding house inspections and by serving as Senior Leadership Team member on-call as part of weekend duty rota;
  • Create safe and secure learning environments.

The school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and has a range of policies and procedures in place which promote safeguarding and safer working practice across the school.  We expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.    We will ensure that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment. All successful candidates will be subject to enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks along with other relevant pre-employment checks, including checks with past employers.


Right to work in the UK

Please note that TASIS England will prefer candidates who have the right to be employed in the UK without needing a work visa.

Qualifications/Professional Bodies



University Degree

Master’s Degree

Teaching Qualification






Proven educational leadership at a senior level

Previous experience within an independent international boarding school

Proven line management experience

Experience of working within a boarding program

Minimum of 5 years full time teaching experience

Knowledge and experience of living outside of home culture/country

Experience of teaching grades 5 - 8


Experience of co-educational settings


Substantial experience and knowledge of working with children and young people






Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and technological) including presentation skills

Familiarity with standards-based curricula, specifically Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards

Strong Technological Competence – school data base, grading program and support programs (Google docs, MS Word, Adobe Acrobat)

Knowledge of student management information systems (Veracross), hybrid learning programs and the effective use of technology in classrooms

 Experience using Rubicon Atlas

A highly professional approach with skills and ability to engage positively and build strong rapport with students, colleagues and parents

Knowledge of mathematics course sequencing and IB and AP Programs

Strong listening skills and grasp of non-verbal communication

Understanding of young adolescent development and behavior

Organized and able to consistently meet deadlines and effectively and calmly respond to unexpected issues and challenges


Expertise in reviewing student and grade reports


Understanding of and commitment to diversity and cultural differences



Personal Attributes



Embraces TASIS England Mission


Committed to lifelong learning and the TASIS Learning Journey Program


Ability to coach, mentor and evaluate faculty and direct reports and support the educational expectations of the school


Collaborative and willing to work positively and productively with colleagues in the Middle School and across the school


Adaptable and creative with a proven ability to motivate parents, students and colleagues


Strong sense of moral purpose and emotional intelligence


Empathetic, enthusiastic and outgoing with a good sense of humor


Willing to participate in co-curricular activities and to actively support the boarding program


Embraces change and understands change management


Supportive of school policies, procedures, rules and regulations


Idealistic in aspirations for the future of young learners


Committed to safeguarding children and young people


Committed to supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive educational and working environment




The school will offer a 2-year initial contract and an attractive package including the following:

  • Competitive UK salary
  • Pension: 3% minimum employee contribution, 7% maximum employer contribution
  • Death in Service Life Cover
  • Private Medical Cover
  • Dental Cover
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Relocation cost support (to be determined)
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Cycle to Work Scheme and various other well-being initiatives including use of the school’s fitness centre and personalized wellness apps
  • TASIS Rewards – a special benefit scheme offering discounts and savings across a range of high street retailers, leisure and entertainment providers
  • Commitment to continued professional development
  • Highly competitive tuition benefit including 100% remission for the first child.



TASIS England and Search Associates are keen to attract suitably qualified applicants

from diverse backgrounds, particularly candidates whose gender, race, nationality or identity

is currently under-represented in international school leadership.


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

David Cope and Barbara Powers of Search Associates

dcope@searchassociates.com and bpowers@searchassociates.com

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

to arrive as soon as possible, and no later than February 28, 2022:

  • 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 they can offer
  • a CV/résumé (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)

It is expected that interviews will take place during March 2022.   However, TASIS England reserves the right to invite selected candidates to interviews in advance of this schedule.

Closing date:     February 28, 2022

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Bill Turner’s international teaching career has taken him to Sudan, Italy, Qatar and the UAE as well as his home country of England. His very first teaching position was in rural Sudan.