Principal (Head of School) at British International School of Tbilisi in Georgia
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Principal (Head of School)
British International School of Tbilisi (Georgia)

Appointed - Stephen Priest
Mar 7, 2017
Mar 31, 2017


Dear colleagues

I’m pleased to announce that after a wide-ranging search the British International School of Tbilisi, Georgia, has recently appointed Stephen Priest to be the school’s new Head of School.

Stephen is currently Vice Principal at the British School in Kathmandu, Nepal.     Earlier in his career, after six years teaching in the UK, he worked at Berlin British School, where he was Head of the Senior School and IB Co-ordinator.   

Stephen will take up his new post in August 2017.

Best wishes







Search for new PRINCIPAL (HEAD)

  from August 2017

The British International School of Tbilisi is looking for a new Principal (Head) to take over the leadership of the school in August 2017, and has asked Search Associates for help with the search.


The British International School of Tbilisi (BIST) was founded in 2011 with just 22 students as the international department of the British-Georgian Academy, and became a separate, independent international school in 2015. Currently the school has 175 students of over 30 different nationalities from Reception to Year 9. In 2017-2018 BIST will start to offer the Cambridge IGCSE programme from Year 10.    

The school delivers a first-class holistic education that aims to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.    The curriculum is based on the best of global and UK standards, and features the Cambridge international programmes and qualifications including Cambridge Primary, Cambridge Secondary and IGCSE, and also the International Early Years (IEYC), Primary (IPC) and Middle Years (IMYC) Curricula.

As a registered Cambridge school and a member of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), BIST is committed to excellence in education, and offers internationally recognised qualifications to its students.     It is a truly international, multicultural environment.   The culturally diverse student body is supported by the faculty, staff and administrators who themselves come to BIST from a number of different countries.    All the teachers, who are native English speakers, are qualified and experienced professionals.

The school occupies a modern, purpose-built campus which extends over 10,000 square metres and is situated next to a natural lake on the hills overlooking the city of Tbilisi.   The state-of-the art facilities incorporate many important features that support innovative teaching and learning in the 21st century.

The academic building features spacious and well-resourced classrooms arranged around an internal courtyard, to accommodate a dynamic learning environment.    Specialist learning spaces include da Vinci Studios (multi-purpose science, art, and technology rooms), a performing arts centre, and multiple Einstein Suites - designated open spaces for both group work and individual study.    The well-equipped ICT infrastructure, including computers and interactive whiteboards in all classrooms, enriches teaching and learning, and ensures that students are well-prepared to engage with the information and communication technologies of the modern world.

The spacious atrium, hallways and other informal areas in the administration building have been designed to provide flexible, friendly learning spaces where students and parents can meet and build a sense of community. Students and teachers can explore an extensive array of books and resource materials in the Discovery Centre, use computers for research, enjoy a quiet space to read or study, or work individually or collaboratively on projects. Children and staff enjoy their meals in our colourful Lakeview Café with panoramic views of Lisi Lake and the surrounding hills.

The school has a large sports and recreation centre (including a swimming pool, sports hall, multi-purpose basketball/tennis/volleyball court, and all-weather playing field for football/rugby) which helps to promote an active and healthy lifestyle, while also encouraging students to develop team-building and leadership skills.

Outdoor learning spaces and interactive playgrounds foster opportunities for imagination, creativity, and exploration in the natural world, and include facilities such as go-karts, trampolines, an ice-skating rink, a rollerblading court, climbing equipment, and water and sand play areas.

A wide variety of optional after-school activities is offered to students suiting all interests, from sports to science, crafts to computing. Children also get the chance to showcase their skills: singing, dancing and acting in school drama performances and concerts; showing off their maths and science knowledge during subject fairs; competing in local and inter-school sports tournaments; and engaging in arts, debating and computing as part of an active after-school programme.

The school’s proximity to Lisi Lake offers the school an amazing resource which is used for multiple sports activities and outdoor learning opportunities, such as orienteering, studying geography and science topics, writing projects, art activities and learning about animal welfare at the local dog shelter.      Generally the school benefits from Georgia’s beautiful and varied countryside, with its mountains, coastal regions, and valleys, which lends itself to ski camps, leadership and confidence camps, and other excursions into nature.    All children are given the opportunity to participate in a range of off-site field trips and activities that broaden their experience.

For more detailed information please see the school’s website



The Principal has overall responsibility for leading the school in all areas of its operation, including curriculum, instruction and assessment, as well as for managing all administrative tasks related to the smooth running of the school and the nurturing of a happy and effective educational community. 

Generally, the Principal is responsible and accountable for helping children achieve their full potential, by providing education of a world class, continually improving standards and contributing to the delivery of excellent services for children. This is achieved through the Principal’s personal excellence in teaching, learning and assessment; leadership and management; support for the achievement and well-being of children as diverse individuals; relationships with children and their families; team-working and collaboration with colleagues in the school; continuing professional development, and support for colleagues’ development.    

Specific responsibilities of the Principal include:

Student Learning Programmes

  • Oversees the planning, implementation and evaluation of the school’s curriculum. This includes the process of curriculum review, documentation of performance standards and implementation of the school instructional programme.
  • Oversees the development of a Master Schedule, extra-curricular activity programme and School Events Calendar each school year.
  • Monitors, evaluates and reviews the assessment strategies used and ensures that all teachers know, understand and use the school’s assessment and reporting guidelines.
  • Organises any internal and external examination arrangements.
  • Reviews the results of student learning including review of grades, standardised test results and other relevant data.
  • Provides leadership in the planned international school accreditation.

Personnel Management and Professional Development

  • Interviews and selects all teachers and other staff, both overseas and local.
  • Prepares and implements the orientation programme for new teachers.
  • Works with new teachers when they are hired, in the pre-arrival stage, during orientation sessions and throughout the year to ensure their understanding of the international programme.
  • Serves as a Teacher Mentor to monitor teaching practices and provide feedback to teachers.
  • Monitors and coach teachers in the use of appropriate classroom management strategies as needed.
  • Advises and supports colleagues in the appropriate use of technology to enhance instruction.
  • Oversees the arrangement for teacher substitution.
  • Evaluates teaching faculty and teaching assistants in the British International School of Tbilisi. This involves working closely with faculty in overseeing the setting and review of annual professional goals in a timely manner.
  • Conducts regularly scheduled faculty management and planning meetings.
  • Oversees, through planning and organisation, the professional development of all teaching staff.


  • Liaises with the Admissions Director on the admission of new students. This includes making recommendation for admission of students based on a review of school records, screening tests and reports.
  • Administers all policies affecting students, developing new policies and updating existing policies as necessary.
  • Handles student discipline problems, including documenting incidents in the student files, parent follow up and communication with teachers.

Parent/Community Liaison

  • Maintains productive, on-going dialogue with parents throughout the school year in promoting a positive attitude towards the School.
  • Leads or coordinates special school events with the Events Coordinator, e.g. Open House, Back to School Night, etc.
  • Attends whole school parent meetings as required.
  • Organises and leads school/parent Coffee Mornings and other information meetings with parents.
  • Contributes regularly to any newsletter publication.

Other Administrative Responsibilities

  • Co-ordinates requests for the academic budget based on curriculum programme needs.
  • Assists in the maintenance of an orderly, safe and secure campus environment.
  • Performs a wide variety of other duties, as required by the responsibilities of the Principal


Candidates must be graduates with appropriate academic qualifications and with successful school leadership experience (preferably, but not necessarily, to Head of School level), including international experience.

Desired qualities and experience:

  • Ability to provide effective leadership in an international school community – specifically, a personal track record of excellence in academic, pastoral and extra-curricular matters and the ability to take a hands-on approach to driving forward student-centred improvements in all three areas
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication (both private and public) skills
  • Ability to recruit, guide, monitor and motivate staff members
  • Excellent planning, problem solving, time management and organisational skills
  • Cross-cultural openness, understanding and sensitivity
  • Capacity to develop a safe, secure and nurturing learning community
  • Knowledge and understanding of current developments in education
  • Commitment to ongoing self-education and staff professional development
  • Strong work ethic.

Desired personal characteristics:

  • Strong moral and ethical code
  • Passionate commitment to quality education
  • Energetic and enthusiastic
  • Friendly and approachable
  • Good sense of humour
  • Innovative and willing to learn
  • Good team player, good team builder
  • Determined
  • Resilient
  • Temperamentally steady, especially in challenging situations.


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 salary
  • Rent-free, furnished accommodation
  • Medical insurance for the Principal, the Principal’s spouse/partner and children up to age 18
  • Annual return economy flights to/from home country for the Principal, the Principal’s partner and children up to age 18
  • Free tuition at BIST for any children of the Principal up to age 14   


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 31 March 2017)

  • 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 (one of which should if possible be the leader of the applicant’s current organisation)
  • a good recent head-and-shoulders photo

Interviews are scheduled to take place during April 2017, with the final round in Tbilisi.     However, BIST reserves the option to invite selected candidates to interviews in advance of this schedule.

Closing date: 31 March 2017               Applications to:


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During the past year, Search Associates has assisted over 3,000 teachers, counselors, librarians, and administrators find jobs.