Head of School/CEO at International School of Lusaka in Zambia
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Head of School/CEO
International School of Lusaka (Zambia)

Appointed - Mark Fox
Sep 27, 2016
Oct 28, 2016


Dear colleagues

I’m pleased to announce that after interviewing three strong finalists at the school recently the Board of the International School of Lusaka has chosen Mark Fox to be the school’s new Head, to take over from Martin Gough in summer 2017.

A British graduate in Physics and Philosophy, Mark started his career teaching Science for four years in Botswana and then following two years in Abu Dhabi moved to the International School of Manila as Head of Science and then Director of Instructional Technology.      After two years as an Assistant Principal in Bahrain he moved to his first head of school position, setting up the Jay Pritzker Academy in Cambodia (2006-2011).   He then became Head of the Garodia International Centre for Learning in Mumbai (2011-2015), and currently works as Dean of Students at Independent Schools Riau in Indonesia.   

Best wishes


Search for a new HEAD OF SCHOOL/CEO

 from August 2017

The Board of Governors of the International School of Lusaka (ISL) is looking for a new Head of School to take over from the current Head, Martin Gough, in summer 2017, and have asked Search Associates to help them in their search.



The International School of Lusaka (ISL), founded in 1963, is one of the oldest international schools on the continent of Africa, and is currently the third largest such school in the Association of International Schools in Africa. ISL is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). There are over 650 students of more than 50 different nationalities. The teaching staff consists of over 60 professional educators from 15 countries. The School is overseen by a Board of Governors, 9 of whom are elected by the ISL Association. The Association is composed of the parents of the students attending ISL and the professional teaching staff.

The administration of the school is directed by the Head of School, who is supported by the Primary Principal, the Secondary Principal and the Finance and Administration Manager.


The Primary School (Nursery up to Year 6) is authorized to offer the IBPYP. There are comprehensive internal systems for monitoring individual progress with external checks, such as the MAP multi-skills mathematics and language tests administered, at appropriate grade levels. Specialist subjects include Art, Music, French, Spanish, PE, IT and Zambian Studies. The programme is also supported by a Primary Counsellor and ESOL and Learning Support teachers.

The Secondary School programme offers the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) in Years 7-9. The United Kingdom-based International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a two-year curriculum offered in Years 10-11, followed by the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in the final two years of High School. All High School students work towards gaining an ISL High School Diploma. ISL is the permanent test centre in Zambia for USA College Board SAT tests. There is an English-as-a-Second Language programme for those who require it and the School Counsellor is available to assist with university admissions and standardized testing. ISL graduates go on to study at universities around the world, including USA, Canada, UK, India, Europe and South Africa.

Vision and Mission Statement

The school intends to embark on a major re-development programme from 2017. This re-development programme is necessary in order to provide up to date facilities and deliver the teaching curriculum, as well as position ISL competitively against other schools in Lusaka. The re-development programme will also involve exploiting commercial opportunities afforded by the facilities and teaching staff beyond the core business.


Zambia is one of Africa’s friendliest and most peaceful countries, with a lovely year-round climate and superb travel opportunities. Its capital Lusaka is a safe, laid-back and attractive city, offering excellent medical and recreational facilities, a diverse cultural life and a generally healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

For further information please see www.islzambia.org.


The Head of School is the Instructional Leader and Chief Executive Officer of the school. The Head is accountable for the continuous improvement of the school in maximising learning for all students. He/she provides the leadership and management necessary to ensure the success of the school in fulfilling its mission. The Head works in a collaborative way to model ISL’s philosophy and core values with the goal of building a 21st century learning-focused school.

The Head reports directly to the Board of Governors and is evaluated annually by the Board.

The Head of School takes primary responsibility for:

  •  Implementing the school’s vision and strategic development. He/she will work in accordance with the guiding principles and policies established by the Board of Governors while maintaining the strong traditions and ethos of the school.
  • Providing academic leadership for the school through staff recruitment, staff orientation and training, staff appraisal, curriculum development, maintenance of international accreditation standards and professional development planning.
  • Acting as the primary representative of the school when interfacing with all external agencies and organisations, including government authorities within Zambia, regional organisations, accreditation organisations, other important local organisations and other agencies dealing with the school.
  • Overseeing the financial sustainability of the school, ensuring compliance with budget parameters, audit requirements and principles of sound corporate governance at all times.
  • Ensuring that the Board of Governors is well briefed at all times on matters of policy, significant operational issues, legal exposure and any other matters of concern to the school community.
  • Ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the school in all aspects of its operation.



  •  To develop and propose to the Board of Governors an Administration perspective on future operating and strategic plans.
  • To undertake reviews of, and prepare reports on, any aspect of the school's operation, as requested by the Board of Governors
  • To attend all Board of Governors meetings in a non-voting, ex-officio capacity.
  • To attend meetings of committees of the Board of Governors
  • To advise the Board of Governors on the need for new and/or revised policies and see that all policies of the Board of Governors are implemented.
  • To organize the Board of Governors orientation/retreat workshop each year.
  • To ensure that the Board of Governors Policy Manual is current and all Board members have an updated version.
  • To act as the liaison between the Board of Governors and the school staff.
  • To act with discretion, when necessary, on matters not covered by Board of Governors Policy and report such action to the Board as soon as possible.


  • To develop the overall financial plan for the effective and efficient use of all school resources.
  • To monitor the school's finances and recommend financial strategies to the Board of Governors.
  • To prepare the annual operating budget, in association with the Finance and Administration Manager and the Chair of the Finance Committee.
  • To review and present, with the Finance and Administration Manager, to the Board of Governor’s Finance Committee, the financial situation of all school accounts on a monthly basis.
  • To ensure, with the Finance and Administration Manager, that suitable auditors are identified and engaged and work with them in the preparation of the school's annual audit.
  • To participate in salary and benefit negotiations for both professional and support staff.
  • To support the preparation of departmental/unit budgets.



  •  To direct, develop, and maintain the educational programme in the best interests of the students and the community.
  • To provide continuous curriculum development, evaluation and supervision of all academic programmes at the school.
  • To interpret the school's educational objectives, as defined by the Board of Governors, to school personnel and to the community.
  • To oversee the school's schedules and keep the Board of Governors, teachers, and community notified of any changes.
  • To supervise the evaluation of the professional and support staff.
  • To encourage a free flow of ideas among the staff and help promote staff development.
  • To organise meetings of employees as necessary for the discussion of matters concerning the improvement and welfare of the programme.
  • To strive to develop and maintain positive staff morale.
  • To appoint Heads of Departments and coordinators on recommendation of Principals.
  • To promote ISL’s vision and mission



  • To maintain good standards of student discipline throughout the school.
  • To report Board of Governors any major disciplinary issue when expulsion may result.
  • To maintain contact with parents as necessary regarding disciplinary action or concerns.
  • To implement and supervise an appropriate programme of support services for students.
  • To ensure all students have a safe environment in which to pursue their academic programme.
  • To ensure student welfare in all respects.



  • To recruit, develop, motivate and retain high-quality teachers, administrators and staff.
  • To take appropriate disciplinary decisions as necessary.
  • To ensure all ISL constituents understand and adhere to ISL’s Codes of Conduct.
  • To ensure all personnel perform their duties in accordance with the job descriptions, the conditions of service and normal work expectations.



  • To maintain the operation of a safe and clean school environment.
  • To coordinate the planning of facility improvements.
  • To coordinate the supervision and security of the buildings.
  • To review and approve within budgeted amounts the maintenance of the buildings and grounds.
  • To facilitate school re-development.

Other professional responsibilities

  •  To stay informed of modern educational thought and practices by advanced study, by engaging other schools, attending educational conferences, and by other appropriate means.
  • To be a role model for students and staff.
  • To be the spokesperson of ISL to the community.
  • To promote and market ISL effectively.




The Board of Governors seeks a Head of School with drive, energy and the vision and dedication needed to lead the school towards a positive and successful future.

The successful candidate will have a postgraduate degree (Master’s or similar) in a field related to Education.

He or she will also demonstrate:

Leadership skills:

  •  A successful record of leadership in an international school - experience in an African or developing country setting would be an advantage.
  • Substantial knowledge and experience of IBDP, IBPYP and IGCSE programmes.
  • Proven experience in managing the business and financial aspects of a school of comparable size.
  • Experience in expanding revenue streams by exploiting commercial opportunities presented by school facilities.
  • The ability to provide sound and genuine professional leadership to the staff.
  • The ability to create and maintain a strong commitment to academic excellence.
  • Experience of planning according to goals aligned with the school’s values and strategic priorities.
  • Skills in effective strategic planning in a competitive environment, particularly experience of school re-development.
  • A strong work ethic.


Management skills:

  • The ability to plan, prioritise and delegate.
  • Clear understanding of finance and budgeting systems.
  • Skills in making transparent, effective and timely decisions.
  • The motivation to facilitate and support the professional growth of colleagues
  • A commitment to one’s own professional growth.
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills.


Interpersonal and communication skills:

  • The ability to motivate teachers, students and parents, demonstrating intercultural sensitivity and value of the local culture.
  • An interest in developing and maintaining effective relationships with all key stakeholders, in order to achieve mutual goals and objectives.
  • The ability to foster good working relationships with the senior administrative team, with members of the Board of Governors and with relevant government authorities.



The initial contract offered to the successful candidate will be for three years, renewable thereafter by mutual agreement of the Head and the Board.

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

  •  a competitive salary, with provision for pension fund and life insurance contributions
  • a school vehicle, including maintenance, insurance and fuel allowance
  • appropriate accommodation
  • reduced tuition fees for any dependent children enrolled at ISL
  • private medical insurance, including evacuation
  • annual return airfare for Head of School and his/her family
  • baggage allowance at beginning and end of contract



Suitably qualified candidates should send to David Cope of Search Associatesdcope@searchassociates.com - all the items below collated together in a single pdf as an email attachment (to arrive as soon as possible, and no later than 28 October 2016)

  •  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 he/she can offer
  • a CV (no more than two pages)
  • a 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 organisation)
  • a good recent head-and-shoulders photo

Interviews are scheduled to take place during November/December 2016, with the final round in Lusaka. However, ISL’s Board reserves the right to invite selected candidates to interviews in advance of this schedule.

Closing date: 28 October 2016       Applications to:  dcope@searchassociates.com




Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Gez Hayden led the first international school authorized to offer all three IB programs in China.