Head of School at The International School of IITA, Ibadan in Nigeria
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Head of School
The International School of IITA, Ibadan (Nigeria)

Appointed - Derek Smith
Oct 26, 2018
Jan 15, 2019


We are pleased to announce that after a thorough worldwide search process the Board of the International School of IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria has recently appointed Derek Smith to be their next Head of School.

Derek has a Bachelor of Education degree from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK and a Master’s degree in Education from the Open University.        Following an early career as a teacher, administrator and teacher trainer in the UK, Guinea Bissau and The Gambia he took up his first headship in 2003 at the British Yeoward School, Tenerife, Spain.      Subsequently he returned to school leadership in West Africa as Director of Studies at Capital Science Academy, Abuja, Nigeria and then – after a year as Head of the British International School Wroclaw, Poland – Principal of D-Ivy College in Lagos.      Since 2012 he has been Principal and CEO at Olashore International School in Osun State, Nigeria, and serves as President of the Association of International School Educators of Nigeria.        

Derek will start his new job in Ibadan in August 2019 and is greatly looking forward to joining the IITA community.




Search for new HEAD OF SCHOOL –  from August 2019

The International School of IITA in Ibadan, Nigeria is seeking a new Head, to start no later than August 2019, and has asked Search Associates to help in the search.


The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Its award-winning research-for-development (R4D) approach addresses the development needs of tropical countries. IITA works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. IITA is a non-profit organization founded in 1967 in Nigeria and governed by a Board of Trustees. IITA works on the following crops: cowpea, soybean, banana/plantain, yam, cassava, and maize. It is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Please visit http://www.iita.org/ for more information on IITA.

The IITA now seeks a highly qualified and experienced Head to provide professional leadership for its international school that will secure its continuing success and improvement and ensure high-quality education for all its pupils and good standards of learning and achievement.


Established in 1972, The International School of IITA is a private, co-educational school with children of all nationalities from the ages of 18 months to 14 years old. The School is a member of AISEN and CIS and has the advantage of being situated within the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, an agricultural research station of outstanding beauty. The children not only benefit from a well-resourced, safe and caring school but also from an environment rich in opportunities for meaningful and practical learning. Governed by the IITA Management and run by the Head and a team of teachers, the School draws on its concept-driven, inquiry-based and student-centred approach to teaching and learning to deliver a broad-based international primary and middle school curriculum. English is the medium of instruction. A number of students have gone on to achieve coveted places at schools in Nigeria as well as in the UK and the USA. The School year commences in early September and runs through to the end of June. A full extra-curricular programme operates in the afternoons and includes French, drama, gymnastics, computers, singing and drumming, games, art and craft, and aerobics.

IITA International School aims to develop students who will create a better and more peaceful world through respect, intercultural understanding and lifelong learning.  It strives to prepare students for successful learning through an international educational programme, with a comprehensive curriculum and rigorous assessment, in an environment which promotes confidence, caring, and understanding.

For further information please see http://school.iita.org.



Duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the Head include but are not limited to the following:

Administration and organization

  • Striving to achieve the objectives as stated in the school philosophy
  • Creating a school development plan in conjunction with the staff
  • Being responsible for recruitment
  • Developing a strong sense of unity within the school community
  • Promoting high standards of behaviour in the school.
  • Being responsible for maintenance of the school buildings to a high standard
  • Identifying key issues within the school and reporting to IITA Management
  • Developing the school budget in conjunction with IITA Management
  • Ordering stationery, books and stock
  • Overseeing the enrolment of pupils
  • Preparation and updating of class and school lists
  • Organization of the timetable
  • Co-ordination of assemblies and special events
  • Scheduling, setting the agenda and chairing staff meetings
  • Supervision and enforcement of safety regulations
  • Knowledge of school authorization and accreditation processes, especially IB PYP
  • Experience of implementing global external assessments such as ISA

Educational Leadership

  • Commitment to promoting academic excellence in all areas
  • Responsibility for co-ordination of curriculum review and development
  • Organisation of learning support and extra-curricular activities
  • Responsibility for supervision, appraisal and professional development of staff
  • Coordination of in-service staff training
  • Being a 21st century leader, comfortable with technology integration.

Teaching Roles

  • Liaising with class teachers concerning any support they need
  • Monitoring and evaluating pupils’ progress
  • Assisting teachers with programmes and activities to mainstream pupils successfully as quickly as possible.
  • Regularly teaching in small groups
  • Providing ongoing support to pupils and advice to teachers
  • Testing and monitoring children’s progress in reading and writing.

Qualifications required

  • A graduate degree (of at least Master’s level) from a recognised university, in a field related to Education.
  • At least five years’ relevant and successful experience in a leadership position in international education. 
  • Fluency in both spoken and written English.      

Previous experience of working in a developing country may be an advantage.

Competencies required

  • A passionate, capable and committed school leader with the capacity, skills, and knowledge to lead the faculty
  • A high-visibility leader with an open, warm and friendly demeanour
  • A team player who is inspired to collaborate, excited to explore new ideas, and willing to learn from others
  • An excellent communicator with strong writing and speaking skills
  • A confident leader who displays humility, empathy, and is a good listener
  • A leader who is experienced in building positive relationships and has the interpersonal skills needed to successfully manage the human complexities of an international school community
  • A patient and calm individual with a willingness to listen and reflect, but decisive when decisions need to be made
  • An effective time manager with good organisational skills and the ability to look at things in detail
  • A leader committed to the values of the International Baccalaureate. 



The contract will be for an initial period of three years. IITA offers an internationally competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars and other attractive benefits.


Suitably qualified candidates should send to David Cope of Search Associatesdcope@searchassociates.com

all the items below collated together in a single pdf as an email attachment (to arrive as soon as possible, and no later than 15 January 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
  • 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 of at least three professional referees (one of which must be either the leader of the applicant’s current organisation or the applicant’s direct supervisor at her/his present place of work)
  • a good recent head-and-shoulders photo

Interviews will probably take place during late January and February 2019, with the final round at IITA. However, IITA reserves the option to invite selected candidates to interviews in advance of this schedule.

Closing date:              15 January 2019

Applications to:         dcope@searchassociates.com

IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes

applications from suitably qualified female candidates.

Did You Know…?

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