Head of School at SEK International School Ciudalcampo in Spain
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Head of School
SEK International School Ciudalcampo (Spain)

Nov 25, 20
Dec 14, 20


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 learning, developing every aspect of each 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 research and innovation.

SEK-Ciudalcampo International School, founded in 1975, has been an IB World school since 1992. In 2011, we became a three-programme continuum school offering the IB Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. In November 2019, we received full accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), using the most recent ACE Learning protocols.

A school with a growth mindset

SEK-Ciudalcampo is a wonderful place for innovation and creativity. We provide a rigorous, bilingual and balanced educational framework, whose quality is recognised both nationally and internationally. We develop rounded individuals who are excellent communicators, with an international perspective that will enable them to face the challenges of the 21st century. We nurture a genuine student-centred learning community in an environment conducive to learning, healthy living and relaxation.

In addition to authorised and accredited by the IB and NEASC, SEK-Ciudalcampo International School is accredited/authorised by a diverse range of international education organisations, attesting to our commitment, quality and professionalism. These include: Round Square, Duke of Edinburgh Award, and Erasmus Project. We are members of Educational Collaborative of International Schools (ECIS), Council of International Schools (CIS), and ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association). In addition, SEK-Ciudalcampo boasts a WAS (World Academy of Sport) accreditation.

Our students are accepted by the most prestigious universities both nationally and internationally, thanks to the excellent results we achieve.


Our aim is to help students become proactive lobal 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 enshrined in a framework throughout the SEK Educational Group, based on our unique approach, called the Intelligent Classroom. It is founded on the following principles:

Students and their world are the focus 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.

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.

We aim to respect the diverse values of our students (individual, historical, cultural and religious).

We encourage the principles of universal solidarity in our teaching staff and students.

We value productive work, as an essential factor in personal worth and advancement, and as an aspect of sociability, not in terms of rivalry and ambition.

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 well-educated and equitable society, and of 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

Intercultural competence: relating to others, respecting different identities, international mindedness

Freedom: a supreme ideal and tied to responsibility

Intellect: wisdom, rigour and intellectual mastery

Truth: adapting thinking to reality, respecting truth

Personality: exhibiting the highest standards of behaviour, knowing how to be, how to act and to behave ethically

Aesthetics: raising awareness, nurturing discernment, and fostering creativity.

Productive Work: allowing for personal realisation and dignity

Health and Wellness: developing social, physical and mental health and mindfulness

Metaphysical: open to transcendence and abstract thinking


International Mindedness

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), the Alliance for international Education (AIE) and WISE (Worldwide Innovation Summit for Education). The new head will be joining a genuinely internationally minded community.


SEK-Ciudalcampo International School, which offers an education to children age 4 months to 19 years, is located to the north of Madrid, about 25 kilometres from the centre of the city, in the Ciudalcampo residential estate.

Students enjoy their educational experience in facilities designed to cater for different educational stages, extending over an area of 20,000m2, plus a large open-air sports complex covering more than 10,000m2.

Curricular and Co-Curricular programmes

The SEK-Ciudalcampo curriculum focuses on building responsibility, conducting inquiry, and engaging in interdisciplinary studies, through the prestigious IB Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma programmes. In the final two years, we also offer the Spanish Bachillerato.

We offer a strong languages programme, and most students follow bilingual courses leading to a bilingual IB Diploma.

Students at SEK-Ciudalcampo enjoy a wide range of enriching and extra-curricular activities.

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, which will become available due to the retirement of Maricruz Lagar who has transformed our schools, with nearly 40 years of fine teaching, leadership and innovative ideas in three SEK schools. Maricruz leaves behind a high-performing and dynamic school, and a huge legacy of outstanding achievements.

The successful candidate will join a collaborative team, with the key role of inspiring this team to even greater heights.

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 to value the collective ability of teams rather than traditional hierarchies.

Attributes, Knowledge and Skills.

It is essential that the successful candidate has an excellent command of spoken and written English and Spanish, and with experience of international curricula (preferably IB PYP, MYP and DP).

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 Spanish and international communities;
  • be a strategic thinker, with a growth mindset
  • have a strong record of learning, achievement and leadership in international schools;
  • 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.


This position has two main purposes:

  • to provide professional leadership and management for SEK-Ciudalcampo, to build on its existing reputation and to secure the school’s ongoing growth and success;
  • and to be an active member of the collaborative group of SEK Heads, and contribute to the SEK Group aims.

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 wellbeing services;
  • promote, market and raise the profile of the school with local and international organisations;
  • develop activity programmes that nurture global citizenship, social innovation, skills development, and student agency and 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 outsourced services such as transport, catering, cleaning, and security;
  • liaise with key senior staff from central corporate services, including, finance, human resources, communications, marketing, admissions, and IT;
  • oversee the day to day running of the school;
  • provide regular progress reports to the Director General 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 much longer.  

The package includes the following elements:

  • a competitive salary, liable to Spanish tax
  • free tuition at SEK-Ciudalcampo (or one of the other SEK schools in Madrid) for school-age dependent children
  • discounted tuition at UCJC for university-age dependents
  • private medical insurance, including for dependents
  • excellent professional learning opportunities.

In addition, for an international Head recruited outside Spain:

  •  accommodation and utilities allowance
  • annual flights to and from the Head’s home base (city airport), for the Head, his/her spouse and any dependent children.

We hope that the new head will have fun leading the continued development and exciting initiatives in SEK-Ciudalcampo 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, embraces collaboration and teamwork, and does all of this with a sense of humour!

Application Procedure

Start date: August 2021

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 14th December 2020.

  •  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 three pages)
  • A brief statement of educational and leadership philosophy (no more than one page)
  •  The names and full contact details (including current professional email addresses) of three or more professional referees

School website: SEK-Ciudalcampo

Email: recruitment2020@sek.es  

For the attention of: Christopher Charleson

Director General of Schools

SEK Education Group

Interviews will take place digitally in December and January, with possible final interviews in Madrid to be arranged. We reserve the right to appoint an appropriate candidate in advance of this schedule.

Did You Know…?

Director of School Relations David Cope's career has taken him to Europe, Africa, North and Central America, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.