Principal/CEO at Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai in United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

Dec 5, 20
Jan 31, 21




The Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (SISD) is a leading international day and boarding school where future generations are inspired to become confident and enthusiastic lifelong learners, ready to embrace the opportunities and challenges of a global world. Founded in 2015, our school currently welcomes more than 1150 students of more than 70 different nationalities on its cutting-edge campus, in the centre of Dubai. From Pre-KG to Grade 12, SISD follows the full continuum International Baccalaureate (IB) programme in three streams focusing on personalised learning and the development of 21st century skills. Students choose between the English with additional languages/STEAM stream or the bilingual English-French/German streams. We pride ourselves on being a fully accredited IB Continuum World School, offering the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), IB Careers Programme (IB CP) and IB Diploma Programme (DP). Our personalised international curriculum offers an engaging learning experience, the challenge of developing a real understanding of cultural diversity and the support of a thriving international community. Our state of the art, eco-friendly campus adjacent to Dubai creek, ensures that we can offer a wide range of sporting and after school activities tailored to the personal needs and preferences of every student.




Principal /CEO


Executive Management

Start Date

1 August 2021


Dubai, UAE

Reports to

Board of Directors / Academic Advisory Board

Direct reports

Deputy Head of School, Head of Secondary School, Head of Primary School, Head of Early Years, Head of Sport/ASA, Head of HR, Head of Marketing & Admissions, Head of Boarding


Job Scope/Purpose

The Principal/CEO will be passionate for high quality IB education, operational excellence and the marketing of the school both regionally and internationally. He/She will be responsible for providing overall strategic leadership, vision and management of both the whole school and boarding school. He/She will lead and build a cohesive team, driving the performance, culture and ethos of the school, delivering outstanding student academic achievements and high-level parent satisfaction whilst continuing to expand school enrolment and growth. He/She will take overall responsibility for the organisation and management of the school in providing inspirational vision and leadership for teaching and learning. Other responsibilities will include driving student enrolment to achieve targets through effective marketing of the school, as well as day-to-day management, organisation and administration; attraction of talent, retention, and effective management of staff.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • To implement and demonstrate a commitment to developing the schools philosophy, vision and mission, setting out very high expectations and with a clear focus on student achievement, standards and quality of teaching and learning, ensuring that the vision is clearly articulated, shared, understood and acted upon effectively by all staff.
  • To lead, develop and be accountable for annual operational plans and budgets for the school in line with the school’s strategic plans, to realize the long-term strategy and deliver the schools business objectives of revenue, profit and academic KPIs.
  • To effectively utilize and manage all resources including staff, equipment, and infrastructure in order to run a cost-effective business.
  • To ensure that high quality teaching is at the heart of strategic planning and resource management and that strategic planning takes account of the diversity, values and experience of the school and its wider community.
  • To work within the school community to translate the vision into agreed objectives and operational plans which will promote and sustain student achievement, standards and quality of teaching and learning.
  • To budget for the recruitment of outstanding staff and to participate in the recruitment of outstanding staff.
  • To lead, manage and develop staff to ensure the highest possible standards of education through the promotion of effective teaching and learning, a balanced curriculum, the provision of excellent pastoral care and support for students and a rich ASA programme.
  • To lead and direct staff and students, through the direct management of the SLT, PLT, Section Heads and senior management team, ensuring that effective responsibility is delegated through an appropriate management structure, and that the school complies with educational and other relevant legislation, including health and safety.
  • To steer the school in a progressive educational way having regard to, but not limited to, EdTech Solutions, STEAM and STEM.
  • To collaborate with the school leadership teams to implement forward thinking visions regarding education.
  • To attend meetings with the Founder and Exco and upon request the Board of Directors and Academic Advisory Board and provide/present a clear, coherent, and accurate account of performance, school developments and activities etc. and to provide objective advice and support.
  • To keep abreast of changes in wider educational practices and local/national policy.
  • To collaborate with staff to ensure the school achieves a ‘very good’ and ‘outstanding’ rating in the future when inspected by KHDA.
  • To contribute to the development of policies and procedures and to ensure that policies and practices taking into account the vision, mission and ethos of the school.
  • To develop a culture and curriculum which takes account of the richness and diversity of the school community and region and celebrates the differences, and which also promotes aspiration and celebrates success and achievement.
  • To challenge underperformances at all levels and ensure effective corrective action, support and review.
  • To build an effective partnership with parents and the wider community to include KHDA and other schools to support and enhance the achievement and personal development of its students.
  • To ensure effective planning, allocation, support and evaluation of work is undertaken by teams and individuals, ensure clear delegation of tasks and responsibilities.
  • To regularly review his/her own practice and take responsibility for his/her own personal development.
  • To ensure adequate provision to enable an appropriate work/life balance for all.
  • To manage the setting of annual performance management targets for direct reports and review progress against them in line with agreed policy and procedures.
  • To ensure individual staff accountabilities and responsibilities are clearly defined, communicated, understood, and agreed and are subject to robust and rigorous review and evaluation.
  • To support the busy and varied life of SISD, attending its events and wider programme of activities offered by KHDA and other schools.
  • To be highly visible throughout the school during the school day to include but not limited to welcoming parents and students at the start of the school year/day, drop in’s/class observations of teachers, staff meetings etc.
  • To be an involved member and visible in promoting the school by actively attending peer meetings with other schools in the region and internationally

Key Relationships


The Founder, Exco, Board of Directors, Academic Advisory Board, Senior Management and Leadership teams, Academic and Administration Staff, Students


Parents, KHDA, IB Organization, other IB Schools, Swiss Authorities, Partners, other Dubai schools and Boarding Schools regionally and internationally



Position Requirements


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • NPQH or equivalent
  • Professional Teaching Qualification
  • Relevant recent professional development that qualifies the candidate for this post


  • Extensive international leadership experience as a Head of School in a school of 1000 plus students from Pre-KG to grade 12
  • Boarding House experience (desired but not essential)
  • IB expert in PYP, MYP and/or DP and the inspection framework
  • Proven track record of educational excellence and tangible outcomes
  • Proven track record of leading schools through inspection/authorization/accreditation (KHDA, IB, CIS)



  • Can think and act in a strategic way whilst maintaining a focus on academic rigor and quality
  • Have good analytical skills, being able to synthesize complex information, summarize and draw appropriate conclusions and make decisions
  • Can understand, interpret, and present school performance and financial data to all stakeholders
  • Have the confidence, sensitivity, and resilience to inspire high performance and constructively challenge under performance of all aspects of the school
  • Cross cultural awareness and ability to impact the community by being engaging and visible
  • Skilled in networking and able to market the school effectively to parents and the target community for day and boarding schools
  • An abundance of energy, initiative, vision, drive, and ability to turn vision and strategic plans into reality
  • Strategic understanding of education
  • Committed to ensuring high standards of 21st century teaching and learning and able to model best teaching practice to colleagues
  • A keen understanding and promoter of wellbeing for students and staff
  • Exceptional leadership and communication skills
  • Good knowledge of the competitive educational landscape in Dubai.
  • Strong collaboration skills to foster partnerships with other schools in Dubai and internationally

Additional Requirements

· Any additional language a plus (French, German or Arabic)

· Swiss national is a plus.




The deadline for this will be 31 January 2021.

Candidates are requested to submit the following documents:

  •  Cover letter of one page, explaining his/her strengths as a candidate and why he/she are interested in this position
  • Current CV not to exceed two pages
  • 3 professional references with current contact details (position, phone number and e-mail address) not older than 5 years. One must be his/her current or last Line Manager

Please send the application to:

Due to the expected volume of applications we will only contact those applicants that are shortlisted for interview.

We are committed to providing a safe and happy environment for all our employees and in which our students can thrive and learn. We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our employees and students. All employees are subject to appropriate vetting procedures including satisfactory criminal record checks from both country of residence/home country and any other country of residence.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate John Ritter consults on matters of governance, planning, head and board transition, and staff development with schools all over the world.