Head of School at International School London Qatar in Qatar
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Head of School
International School London Qatar (Qatar)

Appointed - David Monk
Oct 20, 2016
Nov 15, 2016

Dear colleagues

I’m pleased to announce that out of a strong field the International School of London Qatar has chosen David Monk to be the school’s new Head of School, to take over from Chris Charleson in summer 2017.

A British graduate in Education and Physical Education with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Management, David started his international teaching career at the British International School of Cairo.   Subsequently he served for 8 years at NIST in Bangkok, ending up as Secondary School Vice-Principal, followed by 7 years at the International School of Amsterdam where he was the Head of Upper School.     Since 2010 he has been a very successful Head of High School Campus at the International School of Zug and Luzern.

Best wishes




Search for new Head of School – from August 2017

The Board of the International School of London (ISL) group of schools is seeking a new Head of School for the International School of London, Qatar, to take up the position on 1 August 2017. The Board has asked Search Associates to assist them in their search.

Head of School Recruitment - Profile and Process

Background and ISL Group

The ISL Schools Group began in 1972 when the International School of London was founded as a private co-educational school. Because of the strength of its languages programme, ISL was selected by Qatar's Supreme Education Council to open a school in Doha as part of the Outstanding Schools initiative. The ISL Group now enrolls over 1500 students across four campuses in Chiswick, West London; Woking, Surrey; and Doha, Qatar.

In September 2008, ISL Qatar opened in a modern, purpose-built campus in the northern suburbs of Doha. The buildings have been developed to embody the school's philosophy of student-focussed learning. It offers a curriculum appropriate to the 21st century, using methods and technologies that engage children while advancing their learning and knowledge. In its ninth year of operation, rapid growth has seen student numbers rise to nearly 1000.

Mission Statement

 ISL Qatar is a culturally diverse community which fosters a passion and enthusiasm for learning through outstanding educational practices. Students’ cultural and linguistic identities are valued and nurtured through our international curriculum and Mother Tongue programme. Our school develops the attitudes, skills and understanding needed for active and responsible contributions to both local and global communities.


At ISL Qatar, we believe in:

  • empowering students to maximise their learning opportunities and to find their passion and excel at it
  • actively integrating cultural diversity in the curriculum
  • creating inclusive, vibrant and innovative learning communities
  • offering a diverse and extensive international programme that supports personal, social and professional growth
  • treating all members of the school community with respect, honesty and integrity

These beliefs are critical to the way we operate as a school. They shape our behaviour, inform our decision-making, guide our policy setting and maintain our focus.

Core Values

The ISL Qatar educational philosophy is reflected in our core values:

  • a commitment to learning and the achievement of personal potential
  • the pursuit of excellence in all areas of endeavour
  • respect for self and others, including the recognition of the uniqueness of each individual
  • social and civic responsibility which seeks to explore and promote the common good
  • social justice, cultural diversity and the emotional and physical well-being of others
  • concern and respect for the natural and cultural environment.


ISL Qatar is a truly international community, offering international curricula throughout, with over 70 nationalities in the student body and over 50 nationalities across a diverse and talented staff. The school holds unique international accreditation and authorisation credentials having gained CIS and NEASC accreditation; IB World authorisation for Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma programmes; BSME membership; and Qatar Ministry of Education Outstanding Schools membership.

Our international-mindedness extends to participation in international organisations such as the IB, the Education Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS), the Council for International Schools (CIS), the Academy for International School Heads (AISH), the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) and the Alliance for international Education (AIE). The new head will be joining a genuinely internationally minded community.

A school on the Move!

The school has seen a massive upward trend in all areas in the last four years thanks to a supportive MD and CEO, an outstanding senior leadership team, superb teaching and support staff and a student body that constantly delight and surprise us. ISL Qatar is a great place for innovation and creativity.

As an example, we are in the process of implementing a very exciting innovation, Learning for Impact (L4I), which is the result of four years of inquiry, collaboration, prototyping and learning from mistakes. Still in its development stages, L4I has already had a huge impact on learning and has energised our school community.

We hope that the new head will have fun leading the continued development of this and other exciting initiatives in ISL Qatar. This is a role for someone who: has the desire to try out radical new ideas; wants to lead and learn in new ways: embraces collaboration and teamwork; and is not afraid to challenge the orthodoxy of some august international education organisations.

Person Profile

This is not a traditional Head’s role. The successful candidate will join a collaborative whole school leadership team of accomplished senior leaders, with the key role of inspiring this team to even greater heights. The whole school leadership team functions as the leaders, administrators and managers of all strategic and operational matters of the school.

The successful candidate should possess excellent leadership experience and skills and should have a diverse range of attributes, attitudes and competencies. He/she should be an inspirational, passionate and adaptable educator and a caring, creative and innovative leader. He/She should be an outstanding motivator, learner, administrator and communicator, with excellent interpersonal skills, and should be capable of leading learning and development, and preparing students for a modern global society, through a caring, stimulating, challenging, well-organised and supportive learning environment. He/She should be able to provide leadership to ensure improved professional learning for staff and outstanding learning and achievement for all students.

A key competency is to be a collaborative team member and value the collective ability of teams rather than traditional hierarchies.


This position has two main purposes:

  • To provide professional leadership and management for ISL Qatar, to build on its existing reputation and to secure the school’s ongoing growth and success.
  • To be an active member of, and resource to, the ISL Group. 

Attributes, Knowledge and Skills

The Head should:

  • be aligned with the ISL values of diversity, passion, identity and understanding
  • be internationally minded and culturally sensitive, with a commitment to developing global citizenship and community action
  • possess excellent communication and collaborative skills
  • be a strategic thinker, with a growth mindset
  • have a strong record of learning, achievement and leadership in international schools, preferably with experience of International Baccalaureate and other international programmes
  • be able to lead, manage, and develop an expanding international school and in particular help to nurture  team spirit
  • have experience of implementing major new projects and leading collaborative change in international schools
  • be innovative and creative in applying current research as to how children and adults learn and develop best
  • have extensive experience of international curriculum developments, programmes of study and assessment methods and be innovative and creative in applying them in practice
  • have an innovative and creative approach to international school leadership, based on best current practice
  • have an excellent command of spoken and written English

Roles, responsibilities and expectations

The Head should:

  • foster the values, dispositions, behaviours, attitudes and attributes of the ISL Qatar values and IB learner profile across all members of the ISL Qatar community
  • continue to develop and implement the Learning Insights* and Learning for Impact initiatives, in conjunction with the ISL Group Officers, as linked pathways of professional learning and evaluation
  • design, develop, implement and review the school policies and strategic thinking, in conjunction with the whole school leadership team
  • lead Crafting the Curriculum (CTC)*, in conjunction with the whole school leadership team, including the coordination and effective delivery of the learning and teaching of the school, and in particular he/she should liaise with the whole school leadership team in matters concerning staffing and timetable, and the implementation of a strong and diverse extra-curricular programme
  • design, develop, implement and review the Evidence for Learning (E4L)* structure, in conjunction with the whole school leadership team
  • ensure that, through appropriate Strategies for Learning (SFL)* and excellent learning opportunities are offered for culturally diverse and mixed ability students, with a variety of learning needs and styles
  • liaise with the Head of Student Support Services and the Knowing our Students (KOS)* team to ensure high quality pastoral care, language and learning support, counselling (college and social and emotional) and health care for students
  • in conjunction with the Head of Student Support Services and the Knowing our Students (KOS)* team, maintain records on individual students and groups of students, monitor their overall progress, report to and maintain regular contact with parents, in particular ensure the organisation of parent consultations, three-way conferences, and student-led conferences
  • liaise with the Global Engagement (GEN)* team and the Global Citizenship and Community Action Coordinator to develop programmes that develop student leadership, enabling them to act as role models for younger students and the community in general
  • design, develop, implement and review Professional Learning (PL)* procedures for staff within the school, and in particular, Learning for Impact and Partnerships for Learning, in conjunction with the ISL Group Officers and the whole school leadership team
  • liaise with the HR department, Heads of Section and ISL Group Officers, to ensure the recruitment of high quality new staff, timely completion of all contractual formalities, and new staff induction and initial evaluation
  • liaise with the steering committees and programme coordinators to ensure that recommendations from external agencies are implemented in a manner compatible with our philosophy and needs
  • hold regular review meetings with staff, students and parents to evaluate the effectiveness of the school
  • liaise with pastoral and admission staff to ensure the smooth transition and on-going support for new students
  • meet regularly with the Senior Administration Leaders (Heads of Administration, HR, Admissions, Finance, Business Development and Facilities) to monitor and review all aspects of the school operation
  • liaise with the Head of Finance to: ensure the financial success of the school, manage the financial affairs of the School within the approved budget and according to ISL Group Policies, lead the budget process for the whole school, ensure financial risk management procedures are in place, ensure all prescribed procurement, purchasing and asset management policies are followed
  • in conjunction with the Health and Safety Committee, ensure compliance with all regulatory and internal frameworks and requirements, including, Child Protection, staff and parent safety, and all health procedures
  • liaise with the Head of Facilities to ensure development of the campus in a safe, efficient, effective and student-focussed manner, according to established and agreed standards and procedures
  • foster a positive attitude between the school and wider community through: attending parent meetings, school events, and through contributions to regular school publications
  • enhance the standing of the school by representing the school at local, regional and global meetings of senior educators, including presenting at appropriate conferences
  • liaise with the Business Development and Marketing team to develop mutually beneficial relations with leading companies and organizations in the region, including financial partnerships and sponsorship, and to protect the integrity of the ISL brand
  • lead occasional whole school assemblies
  • in conjunction with Heads of Section, oversee the day to day running of the primary and secondary schools
  • provide regular progress reports, in line with requirements, to the Managing Director
  • support the Managing Director’s activities in relation to the Ministry of Education
  • participate in a regular review and evaluation process of the head’s impact on leadership, learning and overall performance of the school

* Learning Insights – Evidence for Learning (E4L), Crafting the Curriculum (CTC), Strategies for Learning (S4L), Knowing our Students (KOS), Global Engagement (GEN) and Professional Learning (PL).

Salary and Benefits Package

The Board’s expectation is that the duration of the contract for the successful candidate will be not less than three years, and hopefully at least five years.  

The package includes the following elements:

  • a competitive tax-free salary
  • furnished accommodation and annual utilities allowance
  • annual flights to and from the Head’s home base (city airport), for the Head, his/her spouse and any dependent children
  • free tuition at ISL Qatar for dependents
  • private medical insurance
  • excellent professional learning opportunities
  • 3 weeks end-of-service gratuity for each year of completed service

Application Procedure

Suitably qualified candidates should send to David Cope of Search Associates – all items together in one pdf as an email attachment to arrive as soon as possible, and no later than 15th November 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 the school
  • 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 (including current professional email addresses) of four or more professional referees
  • a good recent head-and-shoulders photo

E-mail: dcope@searchassociates.com
Tel.  +44 1954 231130

Interviews will take place by Skype in November, with the final interviews in Doha in early December. The ISL Board reserves the right to appoint an appropriate candidate in advance of this schedule.

Did You Know…?

Search Associates is a family-owned business founded by John Magagna, former international educator. After working with her father for ten years, daughter Jessica Magagna is now CEO.