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

Appointed - Dr. Liam Hammer
Oct 27, 2022
Nov 18, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the board of Directors of the International School of Lusaka (ISL), I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Liam Hammer as ISL's next Head of School.

Dr. Liam Hammer is from Melbourne, Australia. He has taught and led in a diverse variety of international schools over the last twenty-plus years, from Albania to Thailand, using the International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and International Primary Curriculum (IPC). He has also led workshops, presented, evaluated, and consulted for schools and conferences in Australia, Asia, and Europe. Liam is also an experienced school evaluator for the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

He holds educational qualifications from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Macquarie University, The University of Melbourne, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Wilkes University. As a lifelong learner and role model, he is now pursuing an MBA from the University of West Scotland. 

Liam and his wife, Keyren and two children, Jade and Jamal, will be joining ISL in August 2023. 

Search Associates would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for this position and to everyone who assisted and supported the successful Head of School search process for ISL. 

Kind regards,







seeks a new






The International School of Lusaka (ISL) is Zambia’s premier international school. It was established in 1963, making it one of the oldest international schools on the African continent. We strive to create a school community built on mutual respect and understanding, where all learners feel welcome, safe, included, and valued. With nearly 700 students, representing more than 60 nationalities, ISL is committed to the development of internationally-minded citizens who aspire to make the world a better place.

Through internationally accredited educational programmes, ISL aims to instill in all students a genuine desire to learn and the conviction that education is life-long and open-ended. ISL does not align itself to any political or religious creed. Interculturalism and internationalism are the heart of our learning environment and inquiry, creativity, action and reflection are the pulse.




ISL is operated as a not-for-profit organization, owned by an ‘Association’ of all parents with children currently enrolled at the school. It is overseen by a Board of Governors comprised of eleven members, all of whom are members of the Association.


ISL is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) since 1997. The school is also a member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) and the Independent Schools Association of Zambia (ISAZ). The school is an IB World School and offers International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP), International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) and the International General and Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) curriculum, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).


ISL is a leading International school in Lusaka for children aged 2 to 18 years. Our student body consists of nearly 700 students from over 60 nationalities, representing six continents. We pride ourselves that 30% of our learners come from the host country. Currently, enrollment is at its highest level in over a decade, and a number of classes have active waiting lists. Opportunities to expand enrollment are being considered.



Our faculty comprises 56 teachers and 47 staff from 13 different nationalities who provide our students with unique and diverse learning experiences. Our primary and secondary programmes are led by two principals who oversee day-to-day operations of each. 

 Within our team, we strive for a healthy balance between international and Zambian staff, who work as a team to inspire students to develop into respectful, well informed and open-minded members of society. All our teachers are IB trained (either IBDP or IBPYP), and ISL offers a range of opportunities for Professional Development, and is seeking to further strengthen this.



Located within the city center, the ISL campus is a green oasis housing friendly and diverse students, making it easy for newcomers of all backgrounds to feel welcome. The campus sits on a 25 acre plot with lovely outdoor areas for play, sports and other interactive activities.




ISL offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP), the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC), the International General Certificate of Secondary education IGCSE) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP).






  • Developing and communicating a coherent vision for ISL.
  • Developing a strong collaborative culture in the school based on open communication and trust.
  • Continue to strengthen academic standards and continuity across the four programmes.
  • Promote innovation to help prepare students for the future.



Zambia is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central, Southern and East Africa. It is a peaceful country, with 73 different ethnic groups represented across its people.  The capital city of Zambia is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of Zambia. The nation is home to around 19.5 million; its capital, Lusaka, is the largest city with a population of around 3 million.

While the climate varies across the country, temperatures in Lusaka, which is located on a high plateau, range roughly from highs of 35°C/95°F in the summer (October/November) to 13°C/55°F in the winter (June/July). Unlike other cities in the region, Lusaka is not humid, which makes the weather generally pleasant for most of the year. There is also a rainy season that spans from November to April.  

Crime in Zambia is generally petty in nature, and the country is considered to be quite safe. Most international organizations consider Zambia as a family posting, so international staff frequently relocate with their families when they take up a post in the country, and many choose to stay longer than their initial contract requires because Lusaka is a nice place to live. Many Zambians, especially those in urban areas, speak English and one or more local languages.  Dress is conventional but not overly conservative.  While Zambia is officially a ‘Christian Nation’, there are a range of other religious traditions practiced across Lusaka, including Islam, Hinduism, and others.

Despite a somewhat sizable population, Lusaka feels like a small city, and is relatively easy to navigate. Very few destinations are more than 30 minutes away, with many much closer; in comparison with many other African cities, the traffic is relatively light. There are many shopping malls, movie theaters, and fast food restaurants in the city.  There are also a number of excellent restaurants serving many different cuisines; socializing with friends at homes or meeting for coffee or dinner is common.

Within a few hours drive from Lusaka there are several of Zambia’s famous national parks, which offer excellent safaris and animal viewing, there is also a national park just outside of Lusaka which, while not on-par with Zambia’s premier parks such as South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi, or Kafue, has been significantly upgraded in recent years. Zambia is also home to Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

 Candidates can get an idea of the cost of living in Lusaka compared to their current country of residence using this tool.



As the Chief Executive Officer of the School, the Head of School is directly responsible to the Board of Governors for the execution of Board policies, for the efficient observance of regulations by all employees, for the administration, supervision and coordination of the work of the several departments and programs, and for all other educational, social and recreational activities connected with the School.

The Head of School's role and function in various institutional areas are outlined below.

 School Leadership

  •  Non-voting member of the School Board of Governors.
  • Develops the strategic plan for the school in close consultation with the community and the board, and specifically assist the Board of Governors with the review, on-going development and management of the plan
  • The Head of School shall develop annual clear work plans to the board no later than September, aligned to the Strategic Plan
  • He/she is responsible for implementing board policies, procedures, and guidelines.
  • The Head of School shall ensure adequate systems are in place to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the school policies, and inform the board through regular progress reports as well as highlight any needs for change
  • Promotes and fosters positive relationships with students and staff, ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all
  • Establishes, maintains, and enforces rules of student and staff conduct

Educational Leadership

  •  Recommends, develops and oversees the implementation of the overall educational policies, goals and objectives of the School
  • Provide professional leadership for the School, ensuring the highest possible quality of education for the students
  • Provide active leadership in the on-going development of a sound educational programme
  • Recruit a competent, qualified faculty and provide the support needed to enable them to carry out their functions effectively
  • Delegate the day-to-day management of the Upper and Lower Schools to the Principals
  • Oversees the development and implementation of the curriculum with the assistance and advice of the Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, Heads of Departments, teaching staff, and other appropriate persons
  • Ensures that the school remains accredited to the relevant international bodies, as per school policy, with the support of the school staff

Human Resources

  •  Ensures the organisational structure of the School is effective and efficient so that it supports the educational objectives of the school
  • Ensures the recruitment of a competent, qualified professional staff and ensure the support needed to enable them to carry out their functions effectively
  • Is responsible for creating a supportive work environment and fostering career development of staff
  • Responsible for ensuring that HR procedures meet the requirements of national law and best practice and that conditions of service are implemented as per guidelines
  • Oversees performance of school Principals and other senior management staff, including performance appraisals
  • Reviews and approve the Principals’ appraisals of the faculty, and make all decisions concerning their contracts
  • Promotes professionalism and commitment of all staff to HR policies and procedures

Operational Leadership

  •  Once the budget is approved by the board, the HoS has the responsibility for all financial matters, including financial planning and sustainability, resource allocation, identification of new sources of income, monitoring of expenditure to ensure that it is within appropriate levels, ensuring the linking of resource allocation to strategic and operational planning, and compliance with Board approved financial policies
  • Ensures all staff are aware of and appropriately trained in the school’s financial regulations
  • Recommends the establishment of positions and salary scales to the Board and recommends salaries and increments under the approved salary scales
  • Responsible for ensuring that the physical condition of the school’s properties is of high standard and appropriate for the implementation of ISL’s educational programs and extra-curricular activities
  • Ensures school compliance with policies and procedures relating to child protection, health, safety, welfare, security, confidentiality and data protection

Community Relations

  •  Arranges for parents to be informed and have access to school rules and regulations
  • Monitors student progress and conduct, and health conditions at the School
  • Ensures parental interest and participation in the School is encouraged
  • Is expected to play a significant role in public relations involving parents or friends of the School, with the object of keeping alive an interest in the School
  • Seeks to establish and maintain links with other schools and institutions, agencies, or firms likely to be able to assist the School with advice and material assistance on educational and other questions
  • Oversees strengthening of the School Alumni Network


  • An MA in Education and a School Administrator’s Certificate or equivalent from an accredited and recognized institution of higher learning
  • 5+ years experience in an international school senior management role (as HoS, Deputy HoS, or Principal)
  • Demonstrated track record in educational transformation


  • Visionary leader who keeps the school’s mission and vision front and center
  • Dynamic and strategic
  • Committed to continuous improvement
  • Visible and engaged leader with exceptional communication skills
  • Student-centered, ensures an inspiring, innovative, and safe learning environment
  • Leads by example; with integrity, honesty and transparency
  • A good listener
  • Emotionally intelligent with high degree of cultural literacy
  • Ability and willingness to delegate and share leadership where appropriate.


ISL offers a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with position expectations and market benchmarks. 


ISL has selected Search Associates to assist them in the Head of School search, with Caroline Jacoby as the Lead Consultant.

Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the required materials as early as possible as ISL reserves the right to close the selection process AT ANY TIME if the right candidate is found. The review of applications begins as applications are received.

Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by ISL if a candidate is under contract or otherwise encumbered in such a way that would preclude them from freely entering into a new employment contract, if offered, and being available for the start date stipulated by the hiring organization. Search Associates will contact the current employer/supervisor to request completion of a Search Associates Confidential Leadership Reference Form for all Applicants who emerge in the search as a Finalist.

Candidates should send the information listed below in a single PDF file attached to an email:

  • A letter of application describing your interest in the Head of School position at ISL, listing your strengths as a candidate and how your qualifications and experience align with the position profile and the priorities for the school moving forward.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages.
  • A one (1) page list of four (4) referees who have been your direct supervisors, with current email addresses.
  • A statement outlining educational beliefs and leadership style, not to exceed 2 pages.

The total document size should be kept at (4) MB.

Applications should be sent to Caroline Jacoby at cjacoby@searchassociates.com by November 18th, 2022 GMT.


Did You Know…?

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