Head of School at Verdala International School in Malta
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Head of School
Verdala International School (Malta)

Appointed - Totty Ellwood Aris
Oct 6, 2015
Nov 20, 2015


Verdala International School, Malta (VIS)

Seeks a Head of School

Effective July 2016

Verdala International School seeks a Head of School who will embrace and model the school’s  Vision and Mission, and the school’s Strategic Plan. 

Verdala International School (VIS), located on the island of Malta in the central Mediterranean, is a thriving and growing school.  Founded in 1976 as a day school to serve the children of expatriate families living in Malta, the school has since gone through considerable change, development and expansion.  It was originally sponsored by an American oil company, but in 1985 reconstituted as a non-profit education foundation.  It has grown into the international school of choice in Malta.

Vision:  At VIS we strive to ensure that all of our students become knowledgeable, inquisitive and ethical contributors to our world.


  • To prepare our students to be ready for tomorrow’s world by encouraging learning through inspirational education using 21st century learning methods.
  • To create a unique environment where each student can grow and discover their true potential.
  • To promote an enquiring mind with a thirst for knowledge.
  • To embrace diversity in our multi-cultural society.
  • We trust that a caring inclusive community will help build a sense of self-worth and a profound respect for others. 

Student Profile



Students at VIS have an understanding of concepts, ideas and issues across a broad range of disciplines with global and local significance.


Students at VIS participate in their learning by exploring a variety of situations with courage and an open mind. They are reflective and appreciate diverse points of view.


Students at VIS act with integrity and honesty. They demonstrate a strong sense of justice and fairness by respecting individuals, communities and the environment.


Students at VIS actively pursue opportunities to contribute

Governance and Management

VIS is governed by a seven member Board of Directors including three parent elected Foundation members, two teacher elected Foundation members, a representative assigned by the USA Embassy, and a representative assigned by the Malta Ministry of Education and Employment.  The Board sets policy, creates and monitors the strategic plan, and employs and supports the Head of School. 


Faculty and enrolment

The school has a diverse international student body of 450 students, representing 48 nationalities, along with a diverse multinational faculty of 48 teachers representing ten nationalities.  The four largest populations of students are:  United Kingdom 16%, Russian 9%, American 8%, and Libyan 7%.  In the past 24 months, enrolment has grown from 330 to 450 students in Pre-kindergarten (age 3) to grade 12.   


Unique among educational institutions, Verdala International School High School is housed in a fort built by the British in the 1880s. The Elementary and Middle Schools occupy two former barrack blocks that housed British soldiers until Malta became independent in 1964. The campus is leased from the government of Malta until the year 2072.  The facilities are designated as Malta historic sites. The facilities at Verdala International School consist of 42 classrooms plus:

  •  4 science laboratories
  •  3 computer labs
  •  2 libraries with 17,000 volumes
  •  1 small gymnasium and an outside basketball court
  •  1 music room and 1 drama studio
  •  Football Pitch

Over the past three years, the school facilities have benefitted from major refurbishment and a well-established action plan is in place for further improvements. 



VIS offers a truly international curriculum, including the IPC in the Elementary School and the IMYC in the Middle School. The IGCSE is the curriculum and examination model for grades 9 and 10 and 100% of our students receive the IGCSE ICE award. The IB Diploma Programme is offered in grades 11 and 12 and students may also earn an American High School Diploma.  The graduating class of 2015 achieved an IB pass rate of 90% while the VIS three year average IB score is 33 compared to a world-wide average of 29.3.  Class sizes do not exceed 17 students, enabling individual attention and personalized learning.  The school has recently been re-accredited by the Middle States Association through 2021.

The School’s Board of Directors is currently seeking to recruit a Head of School to lead the school from July 2016.  Their new leader will be an outstanding individual, with a background of successful international school leadership.  He/she will have excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to inspire and engage the school community.  The successful candidate will be passionate and motivated, with the energy and commitment needed to take the school through its next phase of growth and development. 



As the School’s Chief Executive Officer, the Head of School is responsible to the Board of Directors for his/her work.  The Head of School is responsible for the management of the school in all its aspects, carrying out his/her duties in accordance with the laws of Malta.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Executes Board policies and advises and makes recommendations to the Board regarding policy additions or revisions.
  • Implements the adopted curricular programmes of the school, reports student academic progress to the Board, and makes programme recommendations to the Board.
  • Serves as a non-voting member of the Board and as Secretary to the Board.
  • Supports the Bursar in the development and implementation of the school’s budget and the school’s financial system.
  • Supervises and directs all professional staff including:  recruitment, leadership structure, performance assessment and professional development.
  • Represents and promotes the school and its programs to the VIS community, the Maltese government, and the Maltese community.   


  • A minimum of a Master’s degree in education, preferably in educational leadership.
  • Evidence of commitment to past and continued professional development.
  • Eligible for a Maltese Residence Visa, Work Permit and Teacher Warrant.


  • As a Head of School or Principal, preferably in an international school setting.
  • As a teacher, preferably internationally and within multiple divisions (elementary, middle school and/or high school).
  • In the IPC, IMYC, IGCSE, American High School Diploma and/or IB Diploma Programmes preferred.
  • Familiarity with MSA Accreditation or similar accreditation programs preferred.



  • Strong interpersonal skills with a proven ability to inspire staff and students.
  • A collaborative leader who seeks and embraces input from others.
  • Delegates authority and responsibilities as appropriate.
  • Shows initiative, motivation and drive.
  • Is reliable, responsible, honest and ethical.
  • Follows through in the execution of agreed plans.
  • Demonstrates strong written and oral communication skills.



In the interest of identifying the best candidates for this position, VIS has selected Search Associates to assist in this process. The deadline for applications is NOVEMBER 20, 2015. Candidates should note, however, that the search committee will begin reviewing applications as soon as they are received.  In the event an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, VIS reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline. For this reason, it is essential that interested candidates apply as soon as possible.

Candidates should send the information requested below, preferably in a single PDF attachment. Please DO NOT send any information other than that which is specifically requested, and please limit your application to 6 MB:

  • A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in this particular position; and discuss specific talents and skills which you can contribute.
  •  A current resume not to exceed two pages, along with a head and shoulders portrait or photo (optional).
  •  A one-page or two page statement outlining your educational beliefs and leadership ability and style
  •  A one-page list of references with phone numbers and email addresses
  •  A maximum of three letters of reference which may already be in your possession


Please note the preference that ALL the above materials should be scanned into a SINGLE PDF ATTACHMENT (low resolution preferred) and sent to Search Associates at ALL of the e-mail addresses listed below. Also, please note that it is important to limit the size of your SINGLE PDF to 6MB.



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For more information about the school  please see



Did You Know…?

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