Principal (Head) at Dar al Marefa Private School, Dubai in United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Principal (Head)
Dar al Marefa Private School, Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

Appointed - Dal Sohi
Mar 29, 2016
Apr 18, 2016



Search for new PRINCIPAL (HEAD)

  from August 2016

The Board of Governors are looking for a new Principal to take over the leadership of the school in the summer of 2016 and have asked Search Associates to assist.


    Dar Al Marefa School is an initiative of the Al Ghurair Group, a multi-business conglomerate having interests in banking, insurance, food, energy, education, real estate and construction. The group is dedicated to contributing prominently to the Education sector in the United Arab Emirates and the region.

    Dar Al Marefa School opened seven years ago with a vision of offering the first bilingual curriculum within the International Baccalaureate Programme in the UAE.     Officially an IB World School for the IBPYP, IBMYP and IB Diploma programmes, and currently with an enrolment of 700 students, the school has come a long way from its humble beginnings.   Recent KHDA ratings have been Good.    Following the successful establishment and sustained growth of the school, the Group now plans to implement a vigorous expansion strategy, keeping the school’s core values and delivering an exceptional educational environment for students, parents and the regional community as a whole.

    There is a maximum capacity of 850 students at the present facility, but expansion plans include an increase in capacity to a total of 2,500 students on a state-of-the-art campus, and to increase the number of teachers (currently 103) and support staff (currently 31) proportionately, while always remaining faithful to the school’s vision and mission.

    The School’s core competency is enriched by its vision “to create a community that fosters lifelong learning, is rooted in its values and beliefs, is open minded, tolerant, and appreciates diversity. Our graduates are principled and courageous individuals ready to contribute to a more just and peaceful world”.

    The School has thus far established its credibility with its respective stakeholders, parents and its community by working on its mission “to build a consistent, challenging and safe learning environment that supports each child in exploring his or her full potential. Our students will be lifelong learners who will always be proud of who they are, cherish their own values and beliefs, respect difference and other cultures and are hence ready to join the world with open mindedness , tolerance and confidence”.

    For further information please see the school’s website         

  2. THE JOB
  3. Principal

    Job Title Reporting to Department


    Board of Governors

    Leadership Team

    Job Purpose

    Responsible for overall leadership, management and development of the school from Kindergarten to Class 12 with the overall objective of maintaining the school’s mission statement

    Job Relations


    Teachers, Heads of sections, Administration, Registrar, Operations Coordinator, HR Manager, IT Manager, Commercial Manager


    Board of Governors, IBO, Ministry of Education, KHDA, parents, students

    Principal Accountabilities   


                •           Ensure delivery of a comprehensive, high quality education programme to all students

               Contribute to system-wide activities, including policy and strategic planning and development

              Advise the Board on educational development matters like school requirements, future planning, curriculum changes/updates, budget, etc.

              Establish and manage financial budget of the school in accordance with the departments and the Board

               Make recommendations to Board on resources, facilities and infrastructure requirements

                •           Manage relationships with the Ministry of Education, KHDA and IBO

                •           Be responsible for overall health and safety in the  school

                •           Be responsible for approvals as per the authority matrix on certain HR and non HR issues


               • Implement decisions of theBoard

               • Effectively manage and integrate the resources available to the school

    Appropriately involve staff, students and the community in the development, implementation and review of school policies, programmes and operations

                • Meet regularly with Heads of sections and Coordinators for updates

    Identify opportunities for cost optimisation, allocate responsibilities/ initiatives appropriately for implementation and monitoring progress

               • Be involved in recruitment of senior management and staff

               • Report to stakeholders on the achievements of the school and of individual students as appropriate

    Comply with IBO, regulatory and legislative requirements, policies and procedures


    Ensure attraction, retention and skill development of team to create a high performing talent pool

    Manage relations with students and their parents and the parents’ committee


    Minimum Requirements 

    Education and Experience

               • Bachelor’s Degree

               • 15 years’ experience in teaching, including at least 5 years’ experience of school leadership (preferably in an IB school)

               • Experience of working for an educational institution in senior managementand passion for working with children

    Specific Knowledge

    Deep and strong networks in the market, including research agencies, education providers, educational institutions, government and social networks

               • Knowledge of how to run an IB curriculum


                • Decision making, analytical and problem solvingskills

    Teamwork, co-operation and interpersonal skills

    Customer service orientation skills


    Individual Performance Measures



    Customer Satisfaction (Children and Parents)



    School Development/Growth



    School performance/ rating



    Children’s performance



    Succession planning and team development/training



  5. The Board of Governors are dedicated to appointing the best possible candidate to the position of Principal at Dar Al Marefa, in order to realise the vision of becoming an outstanding school.

    Board members are looking for someone with the drive and determination to continue the significant progress made in recent years.    The new Principal will play a key role in the development of the new campus.    More generally, the successful candidate will have the ability to motivate and inspire all the school’s stakeholders and create a climate of success and achievement, all in a spirit of deep respect for the cultural environment of the school community.      

  7. The salary and benefits package will be attractive, and commensurate with the qualifications and previous experience of the successful candidate.     It is expected to include

    • A competitive, tax-free salary
    • A generous housing allowance
    • Education cover for 2 children under 18 – up to an annual maximum of AED 50,000 per child
    • Health cover for the Principal and his/her family
    • Flights.    Annual economy class return tickets to and from the home country for the Principal and his/her family     

  9. Suitably qualified candidates should send to David Cope of Search – all the items below collated together in a single pdf as an email attachment (to arrive as soon as possible, and no later than 18 April 2016)

    • 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
    • a good recent head-and-shoulders photo

    Interviews will take place in late April and/or early May 2016.     However, the Board reserves the option to invite selected candidates to interview in advance of this schedule.

    Applications to

    Closing date for applications:    Monday 18 April 2016

Did You Know…?

CEO of Search Associates, Jessica Magagna, was born in Morocco and attended the American Community School in Iran while her father was headmaster.