Head of School at SEK-Dublin International School in Ireland
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Head of School
SEK-Dublin International School (Ireland)

Mar 6, 19
Mar 29, 19


Head of School Recruitment

Profile and Process

Background and SEK Group

The SEK Education Group, which marked its 125th anniversary in 2017, is rooted in a long family tradition of freedom and autonomy, without any religious, political or financial ties. Our enduring commitment is the development of quality education in line with our ethos, values and education principles.

In order to meet this commitment, we implement our own unique approach to education, developing every aspect of individual student’s personalities and talents at each stage of their evolution, with the expertise of our leaders, educators, first-class facilities, educational resources, innovative technology and specially designed school environment, organisation and services.

The SEK Education Group consists of nine international schools in Spain, France, Ireland and Qatar. Additionally, the University Camilo José Cela was established in the year 2000 to foster teaching research and innovation.

SEK-Dublin International School, founded in 1981, was the first school in Ireland authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme for students age 11 to 16 years.

A school with a growth mindset

SEK Dublin is a wonderful place for innovation and creativity.

The school currently serves mainly Spanish students age 11-16 years, who follow the IB MYP. Students spend one year or one term in the school, residing with carefully selected host families in the local area. The numbers vary across the academic year with an average of about 50 students this year.

However, the school is undergoing huge change and growth. South Dublin is a thriving area where the Celtic tiger is stirring again. Major international companies have relocated to South Dublin, with the consequent influx of international families. Currently there is a shortage of school places for those families. Our intention is to attract overseas and local international students to our school, offering the IB MYP and DP, and boarding for overseas students.

We have plans to build extensive new facilities, including a 110-bed residential boarding house on campus. We are also hosting our IB Diploma verification visit in May 2019, in order for us to offer both the IB MYP and DP in September 2019 to about 120 students, and then a further 120 students when the residence is built.


Our aim is to help students become proactive global citizens by providing learning experiences which focus on concept-based inquiry and reflection thus enabling them to develop intellectually and emotionally, while acquiring a lifelong passion for learning.


Our ethos is a framework enshrined throughout the SEK Educational Group. It is founded on the following principles:

  1. Students and their world are the measure of the life and education at the SEK schools. We respect them as individuals and strive to awaken their abilities to ensure they fully realise their potential.
  2. We believe in educating in freedom for freedom. We accept the challenge implied by this and encourage students to accept responsibility for their own actions.
  3. We aim to respect the pluralistic values of our students (individual, historical, cultural and religious values).
  4. We encourage the principals of universal solidarity in our teaching staff and students. We value work, as an essential factor in personal worth and advancement, and as an aspect of sociability, not in terms of rivalry and ambition.
  5. We are open to the world and the age we live in. We are open to innovations in education and to educational and cultural organisations that share our aspiration of creating a more cultured and equitable society and bettering humanity.

Core Values

The values that guide our learning and teaching are:

Ethical conduct: personally, and towards others

Respecting diversity: respecting other ways of being, thinking and acting

Universal coexistence: justice, peace and solidarity

Freedom: a supreme ideal and tied to responsibility

Intellectual: wisdom, logical rigour and discipline

Truth: adapting thinking to reality

Personality: behavioural standards, knowing how to be, how to act and to behave

Aesthetics: raising awareness, good taste and creativity.

Work: as a means to personal realisation and dignity

Biological: physical and mental health

Metaphysical: open to transcendence



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


SEK Dublin enjoys the exclusive setting of Belvedere Hall and its 25 hectares of grounds. The campus blends traditional architecture, modern classrooms, natural greenery and woodland and extensive sports facilities. It is located between the sea and the mountains in County Wicklow, about 30 km from Dublin.

In September 2011, the school opened a modern two-storey building, housing classrooms, laboratories, robotics and multimedia learning spaces, a music room, visual arts studio, and a studio theatre.  In addition to a well-resourced library, students have access to campus wi-fi, laptops, iPads, digital whiteboards, iMacs, and Lego Robotics. Sports facilities include tennis and basketball all-weather courts, and grass playing fields for rugby and football (Association and Gaelic).

Curricular and Co-Curricular programmes

The SEK Dublin curriculum focuses on building responsibility, conducting inquiry, and engaging in interdisciplinary studies, through the prestigious IB Middle Years and Diploma programmes.

Students at SEK Dublin enjoy a wide range of sports, including among others, Association and Gaelic football, golf, horse-riding, rugby; and an arts programme offering visual arts, music, drama and dance. The school also offers excursions to concerts, museums and historic sites, and participation in major local events, providing a unique opportunity to appreciate the local culture. Students also have opportunities to participate in exchanges and joint activities with students from other SEK schools.

These unique learning opportunities provide an invaluable and unforgettable experience that contribute to development of students as active, responsible, global citizens.

Person Profile

This is not a traditional Head’s role. The successful candidate will join a collaborative team, with the key role of inspiring this team to even greater heights. The team consists of the staff, leaders, and administrators 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 SEK Dublin, 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 SEK Group. 

Attributes, Knowledge and Skills.

The Head should:

  • be aligned with the SEK values;
  • be internationally-minded and culturally sensitive, with a commitment to developing global citizenship and community action;
  • possess excellent communication and collaborative skills, with the ability to promote the school in the local and wider Irish and international communities;
  • 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/or other international programmes;
  • be able to lead, manage, and develop an expanding international school, and 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 students 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 SEK institution and the IB learner profile;
  • design, develop, implement and review the school policies and strategic thinking;
  • lead curriculum innovation, including the coordination and effective delivery of learning, teaching, assessment and reporting;
  • ensure high quality student support services;
  • promote, market and raise the profile of the school with local and international organisations;
  • oversee all matters relating to boarding;
  • develop activity programmes that nurture community service, skills development and student leadership;
  • oversee all aspects of human resources, including staffing, recruitment and professional learning;
  • oversee all aspects of accreditation, authorisation and regulatory compliance, according to requirements of external agencies;
  • ensure effective admissions policies and procedures;
  • ensure effective financial policies and procedures;
  • oversee facilities development;
  • oversee the day to day running of the school;
  • provide regular progress reports to the Director of Schools;
  • participate in a regular review and evaluation process of the head’s impact on leadership, learning and overall performance of the school.

Salary and Benefits Package

We expect that the successful candidate will stay not less than three years, and hopefully at least five years.  

The package includes the following elements:

  • a competitive salary, liable to Irish tax;
  • 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 SEK Dublin for school-age dependents;
  • private medical insurance;
  • excellent professional learning opportunities.

We hope that the new head will have fun leading the continued development of this and other exciting initiatives in SEK-Dublin International School. This is a role for someone who has the desire to try out innovative new ideas, aspires to lead and learn in new ways, and embraces collaboration and teamwork.

Application Procedure

Start Date : August 2019

Suitably qualified candidates should send the below items together in one pdf as an email attachment to arrive as soon as possible, and no later than 29th March 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 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.


Christopher Charleson

 Director of Schools

SEK Education Group recruitmentdublin@sek.ie

Interviews will take place by Skype in March, with final interviews in Dublin in March/April. We reserve the right to appoint an appropriate candidate in advance of this schedule.

Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us (Admin@searchassociates.com) that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Nick Kendell has worked in Asia, Australia, and Africa as an educator and administrator.