Head of School at UWC Thailand International School in Thailand
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Head of School
UWC Thailand International School (Thailand)

Appointed - Lural Ramirez
Nov 24, 2020
Dec 18, 2020


Head of School

UWC Thailand

August 2021

‘Good Heart, Balanced Mind, Healthy Body’

The Opportunity

United World College Thailand (UWCT) is looking for an incredible human being, who also happens to be a world-class educator to become our Head of School to lead the next ambitious stage of our multicultural school’s growth.

We are a CIS accredited, IB Continuum authorized, co-educational school for students in Nursery through to Grade 12, currently serving nearly 400 day and boarding students from +60 nationalities.

Commitment to using education as a force for peace and sustainability and having the stamina, resilience, and energy needed to commit the school pillars (Service, Outdoor Education, Activities, Mindfulness/SEL, Academics), is required.

UWCT aspires to become a global leader in progressive holistic education and as Head of School you will lead by example as we strive together to achieve this ambition. You will be supported by an extremely talented staff and senior leadership team, all of whom are committed to the philosophy of this mission-driven school.

Person Specification

UWCT seeks an individual with outstanding leadership, management and communication skills. The ideal candidate will have strong academic credentials and a passion for teaching and learning. In addition, he/she should have many of the following skills and experience:

Required Experience & Attributes

  • Experience working in an IB school
  • A holistic, progressive educational pedagogy
  • Experience in a leadership role within a high-quality international school
  • Demonstrate high levels of cross-cultural competence that enable understanding and engagement with diversity in all its forms
  • The capacity to be aware of, control, and express emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically
  • Alignment with the UWC philosophy
  • Ability to build institutional success, spirit and community (both internally and externally) through effective and empathetic oral and written communication
  • Cooperative leadership style
  • Commitment to genuine consensus building, participatory decision making and to appropriately devolving responsibility to staff and students
  • Mission focused and the ability to inspire others to work collectively towards a vision 

Desired Experience & Attributes

  • Experience working in a K-12 school
  • Experience working in a boarding school
  • Experience working in Asia
  • Exposure to fund raising and philanthropic development
  • An understanding of mindfulness, a personal mindfulness practice and the implementation of a mindful approach to life
  • Experience in the UWC movement


The UWC Movement

United World Colleges (UWC) was founded in 1962 by the German educationalist Kurt Hahn with the vision of bringing together young people whose experience was of the political conflict of the cold war era. In the turbulent world of the 21st century, UWC’s aims and objectives are as relevant today as they were in 1962 – perhaps even more so. To quote Her Majesty, Queen Noor of Jordan, the current President of the UWC movement:

"The goal of our educational movement is not simply to produce educated young people but also to nurture activists for peace and future leaders who can help resolve the challenges within their own societies and contribute to building bridges between communities and cultures within their regions and throughout the world." 

Educating over 12,000 students between the ages of 4 and 19, UWC now has 18 schools and colleges around the globe, each with its own distinctive character but sharing the same mission, vision and values. Kurt Hahn’s philosophy of education is encapsulated in the phrase Plus est en vous – there is more in you (than you think).

Each year in excess of 1,000 students are selected by committees based in over 150 countries - including Thailand - and awarded needs-based scholarships to attend one of the UWCs. UWC is committed to ensuring that as many students as possible experience the unique educational opportunities the movement provides regardless of socioeconomic, cultural, racial and religious backgrounds and experience or national provenance. The aim is to create a deliberately diverse community in each school that represents a microcosm of the world, thus fostering international and intercultural understanding. By bringing together such a diverse group of engaged and motivated young people from across the globe, UWC is able to provide a transformational educational experience that no other schools can provide.

During their time together in this truly multicultural environment, students develop an understanding of the variety and complexity of issues facing the world and leave prepared, and committed, to becoming positive change agents.


UWC Thailand

UWC Thailand is situated in the north eastern part of Phuket, in the foothills of the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. It is 13km from the international airport that has direct flights to most major cities in Asia and some in the Middle East and Europe.

The School is a not-for-profit school founded in 2008 as Phuket International Academy. At the core of the School’s philosophy is the belief that a true holistic education is one in which the heart, mind and body are all nurtured. The intention is that a rich academic programme, service, physical well-being and mindfulness should be central components of the School. At UWC Thailand, students will also gain a knowledge and appreciation of Thai language and culture, enabling them to act as ambassadors for the country. 

There is a boarding community of 70 students from G9-G12.

There is an energetic and active parent community, who support the school to host a diverse range of events and activities for parents, students and the wider Phuket community.


UWCT Educational Programme

UWCT is founded on the fundamental principle of providing a caring, supportive and joyful environment for all members of the community so that they grow as individuals: the well-being of each and every individual is seen as both a personal and a collective responsibility.

The School views the understanding of our minds, our bodies and our emotions as a key life skill, fostering the development of students by tending to both intrapersonal awareness and interpersonal sensitivity in order to create a positive school culture.  UWCT’s aim is to cultivate genuine happiness. In an increasingly interdependent world, the students should treat others and the planet with respect, kindness and consideration, helping even in the smallest of ways.

The concept of developing the whole person is deeply embedded in the School culture and to achieve this aim, the School offers a holistic educational programme that encompasses academics, social and emotional learning and mindfulness, service, outdoor education and activities.


Learning from the process is at the heart of the philosophy of experiential learning. The School is committed to making learning engaging and meaningful for all. Through experiential education, students purposefully engage in direct inquiry and focused reflection in order to increase their knowledge, enhance conceptual understanding, develop skills and clarify values. The process engages learners, often in collaborative situations, in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in contexts that are personally relevant to them.


An ambitious programme of this kind, which encompasses intellectual, spiritual, and physical challenges cannot be confined to the classroom or, indeed, the school campus. UWCT actively promotes outdoor education providing authentic opportunities for the students to bond together as they interact with the world around them. Each grade from G1-11 participates in developmentally appropriate expeditions.


Service has a central place within our philosophy. Service provides us with opportunities to put into practice our values on a daily basis, to learn about ourselves and the society we live in, fostering empathy, and encouraging our community to become attuned to the needs of others and the planet.


Through an open-minded and thoughtful approach to education, the School aims to develop international and intercultural understanding. The community are actively encouraged to engage in and reflect upon discussions across profound differences – locally, regionally and globally – to develop an appreciation of others perspectives. In so doing, they gain an understanding of the diversity that exists within the world but also our common humanity.


By providing opportunities, the students are encouraged to extend the boundaries of their experience, embracing new challenges. It is essential that all students experience success, allowing them to flourish and develop their self-confidence. It is also understood that failure is a crucial part of the learning experience. In a supportive and caring environment students learn to persevere, developing resilience and a growth mindset.


In preparing the students for their futures, as they grow older they are provided with greater autonomy giving them increased opportunity for negotiation and self-determination. In so doing, an environment is created in which students become self-motivated and develop a positive attitude towards learning.



UWCT is a not-for-profit organisation. The role of the Board of Governors is to set direction, establish policies, ensure accountability and provide leadership to improve the learning environment of the students at the School. They are not involved in the day-to-day management of the School, however, have a supportive and collaborative way of working with the Head of School and school leadership team.

The Board consists of nine people including the Thai School Director, a parent and a teacher.  Apart from the Thai School Director who is ‘ex officio’, Board are generally nominated for three-year terms.

UWCT is overseen by a Thai non-profit Foundation, Education for a Sustainable Future.  This foundation has a board currently made up of seven individuals, who are ultimately responsible for guarding the mission and direction of the school. 


The School employs 61 teaching staff, 19 teacher assistants and 15 admin and support staff. All teachers hold teaching qualifications, and many also have a higher degree in their specialist subject. While the majority of teachers are from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and North America, 15 nationalities are represented across the teaching staff. Most teachers have had experience of working in international schools before joining UWCT.

The teaching staff at UWCT are enthusiastic in facilitating the highest level of academic excellence for students and in their contributions to the broader educational programme. Teachers are expected to contribute wholeheartedly to the vision and ethos of the School. All teachers participate in the Activities and Service programmes; many are involved in the trips and expeditions organised each year.

Staff are highly motivated and are encouraged to use their initiative to drive the organisation forward – a ‘can do’ attitude permeates throughout the School.



The School occupies a spacious site in a quiet and attractive part of Phuket.  Primary classrooms occupy 3 ‘pods’ Early Years, Lower Primary and Upper Primary, with Secondary classrooms occupying a dedicated two storey building.

The school has a multipurpose hall, small gymnasium, basketball court and futsal pitch.  The school also rents space at the adjacent world-class sporting facilities at Thanyapura. These consist of a 25m and 50m pool, several gyms, tennis courts, football pitch and running track.

The current boarding house opened in 2014 and plans are being developed for the construction of a second boarding house.



The salary will be highly competitive and will depend on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Benefits include tuition at UWCT for school age children, housing (allowance) and car, health insurance, annual flights to home of record and limited shipment of personal effects. Salary considerations will be detailed during the interview process.


Application Process

As a UWC, we are committed to deliberate diversity and therefore aim to hire staff as diverse as the students we serve. Our goal is to create an inclusive culture that gives voice to the variety of global perspectives.

To do this, we encourage a wide range of candidates to apply, including people from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. We consider all applications in a manner that is as respectful and as free from bias as possible as we pursue hiring the best available people who are experienced, qualified and incredible human beings.

UWCT has engaged the services of Search Associates to assist with the recruitment of the new Head of School with Dr. Norma Hudson (nhudson@searchassociates.com) and Dr. Barry Drake

(bdrake@searchassociates.com) as the consultants.

The deadline for applications is 18 December, 2020. Candidates are asked to submit their applications as early as possible as the Search Committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is found. The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received. Initial Zoom video interviews of candidates will take place on a rolling basis and might be scheduled for selected candidates soon after their application is received by the Search Committee.

Due to COVID related travel restrictions there will be no site visit.  Final interviews will be conducted by Zoom over the course of a 1-2 day period, expected to be no later than early January. The new Head of School will be selected immediately after the interviews of the short-listed candidates have been completed.

Candidates should send the following information as a single pdf file which is less than four (4) MB, if possible, and attached to an email:

  • a letter of application including educational philosophy and leadership style, not exceeding two pages
  • a current résumé
  • the names, current phone numbers and professional work email addresses of three supervisory referees.

Applications should be sent to: nhudson@searchassociates.com and bdrake@searchassociates.com 

Did You Know…?

Search Associates has over 15 Senior Associates with offices around the globe, each bringing a wealth of experience in international education.