Middle School Principal at International School Basel in Switzerland
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Middle School Principal
International School Basel (Switzerland)

Jul 2, 20
Aug 9, 20





Position Posted

July 2020


9 August 2020








Fifteen students walked through the door of the newly founded International School Basel (ISB) in 1979, inspired by founder Janet Galli, an American entrepreneur. Since that time, going from strength to strength, the school has grown to just over 1400 students and established itself as the premier international school in Basel, Switzerland.


ISB is an IB World School, offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP). We are organised into three divisions:

  •  Junior School - situated on our Aesch Campus, caters for just over 400 students from Early Childhood 1 (3 years old) to Grade 5;
  • Middle School - situated on our Aesch and Fiechten Campuses, caters for just under 400 students from Grade 6, 7 and 8;
  • Senior School - situated on our Reinach Campus, caters for just over 500 students from Grade 9 to 12.

The mission of the school is unique, perhaps the only school in the world that uses a student's voice to articulate its core values:


"We all want to learn more;

We all do it in different ways;

We all have fun learning;

We all help."

-ISB Student


Embedded in these simple and powerful assertions lies the groundwork for the school's goal to support educational excellence and the curiosity and creativity of all students, the value of diverse learners and inclusion, the goal to inspire stimulating and relevant learning, inside and outside of the classroom, and a deep-rooted commitment to the values of "care, compassion, and responsible action." The newly refreshed Mission and Mission Guiding Statements highlight the school's powerful commitment to the whole child in an international setting and articulates the aspirational direction for the success and growth of the school.


Our School is a non-profit organisation, overseen by the ISB Board of Directors.  The ISB Board is made up of 7 to 12 members in total and understands their responsibility to the families and students of ISB. The Board is elected by the shareholders. Some members of the Board serve as representatives of the largest corporate shareholders while other Board members are representatives of ISB's largest single shareholder which is made up of ISB parents and staff. The Board engages in regular governance training and professional development.


OUR COMMUNITY comes from around the globe, with students representing close to 60 different nationalities and teachers coming from around 30 different countries. University matriculation is predominantly to European/British universities, although students apply to the US and colleges of note worldwide. Our faculty and staff consist of a dedicated team of practitioners, eager to deliver a high-quality international education. They truly care about the progress of each student and provide the resources and relationships that encourage each student to reach for aspirational personal goals. Students described the faculty as "approachable, enthusiastic, encouraging, patient, and good humoured."




ISB is an INCLUSIVE SCHOOL, with a non-selective admissions process. We support the learning needs of our students and seek appropriate pathways to support and challenge diverse learners. We are very proud of our Intensive Needs Programme, that allows students thrive in specialised and individualised programs. Ongoing IB training connects a knowledgeable and committed faculty to the IB Learner Profile across the PYP, MYP, and Diploma Programme. The academic success of ISB students is a remarkable testimony to the commitment to each individual student. Each student has the opportunity to thrive.

OUR STUDENTS reflect the School's mission: a vibrant and diverse group of learners who thrive in an environment which promotes respect and acceptance among their peers. The students describe the ethos of ISB as "warm and welcoming" and students speak about the genuinely kind and empathic behaviour among peers.


THE PARENT COMMUNITY at ISB supports the School enthusiastically through our Community Association. Our parents are proud of ISB, citing the fact that the School "engenders a sense of confidence and capability" for their children. Parents believe in education and volunteer their time and expertise actively and often for the benefit of the entire school community. They consistently describe the community as "welcoming and supportive", citing the number of ways international newcomers are brought into the life of the school: language groups, community events, service opportunities. The parent community at ISB is both sophisticated and well-educated and is committed to maintaining an active role in the education of their children.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB): ISB is an IB World school and implements the rigorous standards of the IB through use of the IB Learner Profile and external moderation throughout the program, from the Junior School through to the Senior School. A commitment to academic excellence is a key driver of the identity of International School Basel.

Schoolwide, the language of instruction is English. English as an Additional Language is offered across all grades. German language is compulsory up to Grade 8, although Middle School students also take either emergent French or Spanish in addition. Starting in Grades 9 and 10, students have the choice of German, French, or Spanish.


Our Junior School

Our Junior School welcomes just over 400 Early Childhood 1 to Grade 5 students each day. Our primary goal is to teach students to "love learning and to know how to learn", using the IB PYP as a framework for learning. Building agency for students translates into asking students, "What's the next step?" and providing the scaffolding for enrichment and extension into units of study. German language instruction is required and integrated into the school day. We track student progress through student-led conferences, Fountas and Pinnell recording, results from the Measure of Academic Performance (MAP) testing, teacher assessments, and report card grades. The school-home partnership is cultivated through numerous opportunities to include and value parents as important members of our learning community.


Our Middle School

Our Middle School is home to just under 400 Grades 6 to Grade 8 students. Great middle schools provide a combination of a supportive environment, with opportunities to pursue new areas of interest and academic rigor. Our Middle School has a daily homeroom and weekly extended homeroom to build warm, caring and supportive relationships between students and a teacher. Our end of day Z-block gives students a variety of clubs and activities they may pursue. All students follow the IB MYP, an ambitious programme combining academic rigour and challenge while preparing students for the demands of an ever-changing world, which includes Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, Arts, Design and Physical and Health Education. The IB MYP includes interdisciplinary projects and activities highlighting cultural events such as the Festivals of Light and Fasnacht. MAP testing has been introduced as a benchmark for student progress.


Our Senior School

Our Senior School is home to just over 500 Grade 9 to Grade 12 students, who work to complete the MYP and DP. All Grade 9 and 10 students follow the final two years of the IB Middle Years Programme, including completion of the Personal Project. During their final two years at ISB, students may choose to pursue the full IB Diploma, or choose an individualized programme of study integrating a selection of ISB courses and IB Diploma Programme courses to attain an International School Basel Diploma. A remarkable percentage of Senior School students, over 90%, complete the full IB Diploma Programme. Last year, 94 students took the IB Diploma exams and earned a 90% pass rate and an overall average of 34 Points. Beyond these outstanding results, each student has contributed significantly to the ISB community and impressed with their unique talents both in and out of the classroom.




Please see the detailed CANDIDATE BRIEF for this role HERE.


International School Basel (ISB) seeks an experienced, dynamic, approachable, and courageous leader as its next Middle School Principal. The Principal will play a key role in providing principled, effective leadership, serving the students, teachers, support staff, and parents of the Middle School.


The Middle School Principal is the educational leader of the Middle School, ensuring that all programmes and practices of teachers and staff support the school’s mission and values, so that all students are provided with an excellent educational program on a day-to-day basis. Under the direction of the School Director, the Principal is responsible for leadership and management of the Middle School division, communication, staff development, and curriculum leadership, among other responsibilities.


Responsible to:

The School Director


ISB Philosophy and Objectives

It is expected that all teachers will become familiar with the school's mission and guiding statements, working to promote these in all aspects of their role.


“We all want to learn more;

We all do it in different ways;

We all have fun learning;

We all help.”



The Middle School Principal manages Middle School operations and provides strong leadership to our teachers and staff members, upholding our mission, and values. This Job Description may be modified by ISB, with your agreement, to reflect or anticipate changes in the job, commensurate with the salary and job title.


The Middle School Principal is responsible for the following areas:

  •  Mission-Centred Leadership and Management to the Middle School
  •  Leadership in the areas of Culture, Community and Wellbeing
  •  Leading Curriculum and Pedagogy
  •  Professional Growth and Creating Agency
  •  Ensuring Effective Professional Development of Self and Others
  •  School Facilities and Operations

Please see the full Job Description HERE


In addition to the overall responsibilities outlined above, specific responsibilities may be allocated by the Director, following consultation. These responsibilities will be in line with the priorities identified in the School Improvement Plan and will also aim to provide professional development opportunities.



A highly attractive, comprehensive and competitive package will be offered to the successful candidate. Details will be shared with shortlisted candidates.



International School Basel (ISB) seeks to appoint a Middle School Principal who is both a strongly committed and experienced professional. This individual will lead the ISB Middle School, to ensure its continued success. The see the full Person Specification HERE.


Please see the detailed CANDIDATE BRIEF for this role HERE.




To apply, please send a single pdf document including the following materials:

  •  A Letter of Application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in this post.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae / Résumé not to exceed three pages.
  • A one-page statement outlining your educational beliefs and leadership style.
  •  The names, current email addresses, current telephone numbers, and positions of at least three confidential referees. These referees must be current and recent supervisors (within the past 6 years); they should not be colleagues or peers. For a candidate who is currently a Divisional Principal, this would normally include your current Head of School. For a candidate who is currently Head of School, this would normally include your current Board Chair. Unless you clearly notified us otherwise, we will assume that by submitting this information you agree that we may contact these referees directly.


Please remember to combine all of the above materials into a single pdf attachment. Please send this single pdf attachment to Mr Bradley Roberts (Director of International School Basel) to the following email address:



Safe Recruiting Practices

International School Basel is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students in its care. As an employer, the school expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All post holders are appointed subject to satisfactory Criminal Records Checks, Social Media Check, Civil Litigation Check, Global Sanctions Check, and Reference Checks with past employers.


Key Dates:


Closing Date for Applications:       Sunday, 9 August 2020


Longlist Interviews:                      mid- to late-August 2020

(via online video conferencing)


Shortlist interviews:                      Mid-September 2020

(onsite in Basel, Switzerland)


Starting Date of Employment:       Sunday, 1 August 2021

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Diana Kerry was an international educator and administrator for 25 years in various countries, including Iran, France, Thailand, and Indonesia.