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Head of School
Baku-Oxford School (Azerbaijan)
Appointed - Mr. Simon Mitchell
Feb 1, 22
Feb 28, 22
Dear Search Colleagues,
On behalf of the Baku Oxford School (BOS) community, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Simon Mitchell as the next Head of School at Baku Oxford School, Azerbaijan beginning in August 2022. He is currently serving as the Principal at Beaconhouse Newlands, Lahore, Pakistan. His appointment has been shared with the BOS school community.
During Simon’s tenure in his current position, Beaconhouse Newlands has achieved outstanding A Level results, and numerous commendations in the school’s most recent PYP Reauthorization Report. He has introduced Core Values and a House system while simultaneously developing an initial two-year Lesson Observation Program. The school has a strong reputation for positive student conduct, and it embraces a friendly school environment. In 2023, Beaconhouse Newlands is projecting to be a full IB continuum school inclusive of the IB DP. Simon has created a positive school identity through sustained school improvement and a vibrant school culture.
Simon has a M.Ed (Educational Leadership) from the University of Buckingham and a BA (Humanities) from the University of Wolverhampton. The BOS Search Committee wishes to thank all members of the BOS community for their active participation in the Head of School search process.
Search Associates would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for this highly sought position, and to everyone who assisted and supported the successful search process for Baku Oxford School.
Dr. Eric Sands, Senior Search Consultant
Baku Oxford School
Head of School
Effective August 20, 2022
The School and Community
Baku Oxford School (BOS) was founded in 1998 as a private co-educational day school with official registration in the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan. BOS offers a curriculum which complies with both national and international curriculum standards. Registered as a Centre for Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), The International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) BOS offers programmes and qualifications to students aged 3 (Nursery) to 18 years old (grade 12). Baku Oxford School is accredited by The Council of International Schools (COIS). BOS is also a registered member of The Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS). The school is governed by the Board of Directors to whom the HoS is responsible.
BOS is located at the top of a hill overlooking the old city and the Caspian Sea in the Badamdar area of Baku opposite the Botanical Garden. It is a mixed residential and office area. It moved to its current facility in December 2015 from its former location, next door. The six-storey quad design provides an open space with some playground facilities. The building of the school is purpose-built. There is a multi-purpose gymnasium with a swimming pool, tennis courts and specialty rooms (e.g., boxing and dance).
Baku Oxford School night view
BOS offers The International Early Years Curriculum (3-5 years), Cambridge Primary (grades 3-5) and Cambridge Secondary Programmes (grades 6-8) leading to IGCSE (grades 9-10) and International A/S and A levels (grades 11-12) https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/. Azerbaijani students take the State Diploma examinations in grade 11. English is the language of instruction, while students can choose to learn Azerbaijani, Russian and an additional foreign language – French, German or Spanish.
Student Body and Nationalities
There are currently around 700 students aged between 3 and 18 from Nursery to Grade 12. Admission is open to both local and international students. While a substantial proportion of students are Azerbaijani, international students represent more than thirty different nationalities from the business and diplomatic communities in Baku. The class size ranges from 18-22 students.
BOS has 110 full-time and 11 part-time local, and 10 full-time international faculty members representing five nationalities. All academic staff members have teaching qualifications, many of whom have masters and doctorate degrees. Periodic professional development is provided on an on-going basis. There are seventy staff members both support and admin, including the management team.
BOS admits students at all grade levels throughout the academic year depending on available spaces. BOS evaluates each candidate based on the student's previous school records, English and Mathematics entrance tests, and an interview or interaction with parents and students. BOS only admits students who are able to cope with the rigors of a challenging curriculum. Graduates of BOS gain entrance to the competitive universities worldwide every year.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
BOS provides English Language Support for non-native English speakers who have difficulty in accessing the curriculum across the School. All teachers are trained in ‘Teaching young children in English in multilingual contexts’ and ‘Teaching ESL students in mainstream classrooms’ to support language learners. The EAL Department offers both withdrawal and in-class support on a case-by-case basis.
BOS is able to offer students support with mild learning needs across the school through the Learning Support Department. The Department consists of learning support teachers, assistants, Head of Learning Support, and a School Psychologist.
BOS promotes participation in the creative arts, intellectual, cultural and sports activities to support the school guiding statements and vision of learning. Student involvement in areas such as Drama, Dance, Art, Music, Technology, Model United Nations, Internship program, Student Council, and Community Service ensure a balanced educational programme. BOS is also committed to students’ physical well-being and offers a range of sports. We believe that extracurricular activities can teach students important life skills, including perseverance, teamwork and sportsmanship.
Baku Oxford School is situated in the pastoral setting not far from the famous Flame Towers and Martyres Alley. The walking distance from the school to the city center is approximately 15-20 minutes through the Alley. Public buses and taxis are readily available from school down the hill to the city. Private taxi services (Uber, Bolt, 186) are the most used taxi services in the city with online applications. There are a series of shopping markets - inclusive of grocery stores and a pharmacy - in close proximity to the school. There are various food delivery services available in the city, and a large number of restaurants, bars, cafes (local and international cuisine) in the Fountain Square (City Center).
Whatever your interests, Azerbaijan has something to offer! “Azerbaijan’s capital is the architectural love child of Paris and Dubai…albeit with plenty of Soviet genes floating half-hidden in the background. Baku has a rich history, and there are fascinating sightseeing in and outside the city with a combination of ancient and modern life stereotypes of Azerbaijan. Maiden Tower is one of the sightseeings situated in the Old City, which is in the center of Baku, according to the legend it used to be in the Caspian Sea before, which is far beyond the Tower at the moment http://www.visions.az/en/news/83/9a564bc4/. The Old Town is a UNESCO heritage site and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs is worth a visit. A walk along the ‘bulvar’ sea-front promenade is great at any time of the day.
Baku Boulevard Old city (Icheri Sheher)
There are many social and cultural activities, including casual, organized sport leagues to take part around the city. Many of these clubs are organized by expats working for British Petroleum (BP). Post a message to the Baku Expat Community Facebook group if you are interested in joining or organizing any sports. There are a number of theatres and clubs in the city centre which often advertise their listings on: http://www.citylife.az/index.php?lang=en. The Heydar Aliyev Centre - http://heydaraliyevcenter.az/#main – hosts large scale concerts. You can join Facebook groups like Bag Baku, Gokend, Camping Azerbaijan and Nature of Azerbaijan who all organise weekend trips and guided day hikes in the country.
Baku’s City Life webpage for entertainment listings and other useful websites are listed below: http://www.citylife.az/index.php?lang=en
Follow the BOS social pages:
The Head of School of BOS will take over leadership and will have the full backing of the Board of Directors and work in cooperation with the General Director to lead the school community in pursuit of a dynamic future.
Head of School (HoS) Job Description
Reports To: Chairperson of the Advisory Board
Primary Function: The Head of School is the academic leader of the school and accountable to the BOS for the administration of the educational system of the School and for the interpretation and fulfillment of the basic functions, primary activities and responsibilities. As such, the Head of School is responsible for the implementation and execution of all decisions of the Advisory Board.
Duties & Responsibilities:
Advisory Board (The Board)
- Ensures that day-to-day- operations of the school in accordance with the policies of the Board.
- Proposes change in established Board Policy and recommends new policy to the Board.
- Prepares and transmits any report required by the Board.
- Provides leadership with respect to educational policies and practices.
- Develops and recommends objectives for the educational system.
- Advises and reports the needs of educational and instructional programmes to the Board.
- Acts as a liaison between the Board, staff and the parents with respect to the efficiency and advancement of education in the school.
- Attends department, curriculum, budget and other academically related meetings as necessary to remain informed of the school’s instructional and co-curricular programmes.
- Keeps the Board informed of the school’s educational system and reports the students’ academic progress as measured by standardized tests.
- Supervises and monitors the preparation of the school’s action plan, and annual calendar.
- Develops and recommends the long term plans consistent with needs of stakeholders and the Board.
- Prepares the agendas for Board and SLT meetings, and attends all Board and SLT meetings.
- Maintains adequate records and prepares school management reports as required.
- Reviews, evaluates and coordinates departmental budget requests in preparing a preliminary Schoolwide budget.
- In cooperation with the General Director prepares the school’s academic/instructional annual budget by no later than March 31 of each school year for Board’s approval.
- Administers the expenditure of the instructional budget of the school.
- Exercises general supervision of the school and the work of the Principals, teachers and the relevant support staff.
- Appoints, evaluates or terminates (in consultation with the Board) all professional personnel in the school.
- Defines duties of all personnel and delegates authority commensurate with specific responsibilities.
- Directs the operations and activities of administrative personnel.
- Evaluates, in consultation with the various Heads of Departments, the job performance of all non certified administrative personnel in those areas that report directly to the Head of School.
- In consultation with the Chairman of the Board and/or his designate, evaluates the job performance of the Principals.
- Assists, when needed, with classroom supervision and evaluations.
- Reviews, monitors, organizes and implements professional development/in-service programs pertinent to both the immediate and future needs of the school.
- Evaluates the requests for professional development opportunities and approves if the requests are relevant to the profession of the requestors in BOS.
- Meets with parents or Parent Representatives on a regular basis.
- Meets with Student Representatives on a regular basis.
- Represents the school in public.
- Establishes and maintains liaison with other schools, professional organizations, business firms, embassies, expatriate chambers of commerce, ECIS, CIS CIE appropriate agencies of the Azerbaijani Government, the general public and such other organizations related to the educational operation of the school.
- Supervises official school publications, press releases, approves all media interviews with the school community.
- Attends school events, monitors parent-teacher conferences, and actively participates in all school functions.
- Demonstrated record of school leadership in a curricular offering of the International Early Years Curriculum, Cambridge Primary Cambridge Secondary programs leading to IGCSE and International A Levels (grades 11 – 12).
- An ability to constructively engage a dynamic and diverse community in pursuit of high-quality teaching and learning.
- Management skills focusing on the future development of the school’s programs and learning environment.
- Proven prior experience in developing and implementing strategic plans and leading the delivery of large projects.
- Masters degree in Educational Leadership or Education Management or related fields.
- Leadership experience in a school re-accreditation cycle.
- Experience in effective monitoring and evaluation for staff, student and school performance.
Preferred Skills and Experience
- High level of communication skills to manage the diverse views and interests of stakeholders and the ability to clearly communicate vision.
- Strong relationship building skills and proven ability to establish trust and credibility with all stakeholders.
- Ability to demonstrate empathy and make personal connections across the community.
- Consensus builder, capable of developing and promoting strong teams and a shared strategic vision.
- Leading by example, including the ability to promote intercultural understanding and international mindedness.
- Strong analytical skills and proven problem-solving skills and a desire to seek solutions in an optimistic “can-do” attitude.
- Highly visible and available to the community in the spirit of an “open door policy”.
- Ability to represent the school in international circles and to communicate tactfully and clearly with all stakeholders.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary and benefits package is competitive and will depend on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Benefits include furnished housing, annual home return airfare, transportation upon request, school fees for dependent children, local medical and short-term disability insurance, paid annual leave of 30 working days, relocation allowance and relocation logistics. The successful candidate will be appointed on an initial two-year term, and the contract will be extended for the further years upon the mutual agreement between the school and candidate.
Baku Oxford School (BOS) has appointed Search Associates to facilitate the search with Dr. Eric Sands serving as the consultant. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2022. However, candidates should note that the Search Committee will begin reviewing applications as soon as they are received from Search Associates. In the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, BOS reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline. For this reason, it is essential that interested candidates apply as soon as possible. For further information about BOS, please visit our website at https://bakuoxfordschool.com/baku/.
Applicants are requested to send the following documents in a single pdf file titled “YOUR NAME_BOS_HEAD OF SCHOOL”:
- A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Head of School position at The Baku Oxford School.
- A current resume not to exceed two pages.
- A one or two-page statement outlining your philosophy of education.
- References: A one-page list of at least four references who have directly supervised the performance of the candidate; one of whom should be a current direct supervisor. Please include the name, title, school, phone number and email address.
- Open letters of reference: If available, please include a maximum of three open letters of reference.