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

Appointed - Sean Areias
Oct 9, 2019
Nov 15, 2019






Search for new Head of School – from August 2020

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 2020. The Board has asked Search Associates to assist them in their search.

Background and History of the ISL Group and ISL Qatar

The ISL Schools Group began in 1972 when the International School of London was founded as a private co-educational school. Since its inception it has prided itself on the provision of a rigorous mother tongue language programme leading to a majority of students graduating with the prestigious IB Bilingual Diploma. Indeed, ISL was the first school in the UK to offer the IB Diploma programme, and one of the first in the world – with a rich history dating back to 1977. ISL’s commitment to language learning and bilingualism extends beyond the students in its care and into the parent community – offering EAL courses to all family members at the school ensuring that parents can effectively engage in their children’s learning and participate fully in the life of the ISL community.

ISL schools each have a distinct identity, but an overarching focus on addressing the needs of the whole child and providing assistance to families in transition. In addition to a rigorous international curriculum, all schools have active after-school sports and clubs and vibrant parent communities. Best practice is shared across campuses, and schools regularly review teaching and learning data to ensure that the needs of all students are met and that approaches to assessment and pedagogy remain at the forefront of educational practice.

ISL Qatar

On the back of its successful history and student focussed learning philosophy, in 2008 the ISL group was selected by the Supreme Education Council of Qatar as one of the first schools for its Outstanding Schools Initiative.  In that same year, ISL Qatar opened its doors for the first time in a modern, purpose-built campus in the northern suburbs of Doha. The buildings have been developed to embody the school's philosophy of learning and alongside its excellent classrooms, the school benefits from a large multi-purpose sports hall, a multi-purpose early childhood gym, an all-weather sports pitch, and outdoor football, basketball and volleyball courts. Other facilities include indoor and outdoor recreational areas, an auditorium, and well-resourced and spacious libraries. A swimming pool will be opened on campus this year.

ISL Qatar now caters to the needs of around 1140 students aged 3-18 and offers the IB Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. It is one of only a few schools in the country authorised to offer all three IB programmes. 

A detailed school profile can be found here.

Person Profile – ISL Qatar

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 will join ISL Qatar at a key point in its history. (S)he will possess excellent leadership experience and skills, and should have a diverse range of attributes, attitudes and competencies. Critical to his/her success will be the drive and vision to maintain and enhance student learning and achievement, the interpersonal skills needed to work with all members of a diverse and engaged community, and a sound understanding of school financial operations. In addition, (s)he should possess the core skills needed to work productively with colleagues as part of a collaborative team, on occasion acting as mentor, advisor, guide and coach – but always valuing the collective ability of teams over more traditional hierarchical structures.

(S)he should be an inspirational, passionate and adaptable educator and a caring, creative and innovative leader. (S)he should be an outstanding motivator, learner, administrator and communicator, with excellent interpersonal skills, and should be capable of leading learning and students for a modern global society, through a caring, stimulating, challenging, well-organised and supportive learning environment. (S)he should be able to provide leadership to ensure improved professional learning for staff and outstanding learning and achievement for all students.


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. 

A Full Job Description for the position can be found here.


At ISL Qatar, we believe in our students' ability to build a bright future, and that our purpose for being here should guide everything that we do.
We are committed to developing a passion for life and learning that leads to the betterment of the world in which we live.
We aim to foster creativity, empathy, integrity and resilience, founded on respect for self, for others and for the environment.
We strive to maintain a diverse community of learners that promotes, nurtures and celebrates individual growth, talent and mastery within a culture of collaboration.

Core Values

The Core Values at the International School of London are: Diversity, Understanding, Identity and Passion.

The ISL education philosophy is based on the following core values and applies to our students, teaching and administrative staff:

  • A commitment to the acquisition of knowledge and the achievement of personal potential.
  • The pursuit of excellence in all areas of activity and effort.
  • Respect of 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 and values, social justice, cultural diversity and the emotional and physical wellbeing of others.
  • Concern and respect for the natural and cultural environment.
  • Treating all members of the community with respect, honesty and integrity.


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 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 over recent 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.

We hope that the new Head will have fun leading the continued development of new initiatives at 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.

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 Dominic Currer 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 2019:

  • 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 (s)he 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: dcurrer@searchassociates.com  Tel.  +44 7594 133973

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…?

Senior Associate Ray Sparks's over 30-year career as an educator has involved working in Canada, Europe, and Asia.