Principal of Primary School at Vienna International School in Austria
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Principal of Primary School
Vienna International School (Austria)

Jul 8, 21
Aug 2, 21



seeks a


effective August 2022



The Vienna International School (VIS) is a successful independent, not-for-profit, preK-12 coeducational day school operating in the city of Vienna, Austria. VIS was founded in 1978 to serve the children of the United Nations and diplomatic communities in Vienna. It is also open to children of the international business community and a limited number of Austrian families.

The School is accredited by the Council of International Schools and its curriculum is approved by the Austrian Ministry of Education. The School is currently divided into two major sections: Primary and Secondary.


The Primary School is sub-divided into Pre-Primary (ages 3 through 5) and Primary (Grades One through Five) with our curriculum guided by the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP). Specialist teachers are available to teach Information Technology, English Language Acquisition (ELA), German, Digital Literacy, Music, Physical Education and a growing Learning Support Programme. Classroom teachers are responsible for other core subjects.


The Secondary School includes students from Grades 6 through 12. In Grades 6 through 10, students follow the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) which was authorized in 2011. Subjects offered include English, German, French, Spanish, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities, Physical Education, Design and Arts. Students gain a sense of global and community awareness, establish a strong MYP background, and develop the skills and concepts needed to succeed in the IB Diploma years. With access to over 60 community service opportunities, athletic, arts and recreational after-school activities, students are challenged well beyond the taught curriculum. Our beliefs ensure that the focus is consistently on learning through the discovery and development of personal potential. Grades 11 and 12 provide an exciting and enriching pre-university environment. VIS students consistently perform at a standard considerably above the world average and gain entry to Ivy League universities in the US, Russell Group universities in the UK, and the most prestigious universities in Europe, Canada and Australia.

As an open enrolment school, we pride ourselves on the individual achievements of every student regardless of the number of points achieved.


The school buildings include a dedicated Early Learning Centre, a space on three floors for the Primary and Secondary Schools separated into three wings. In addition, there are art studios and music rooms, seven science laboratories, a design and innovation centre, two libraries, 220-seater theatre, cafeteria and five gymnasiums and a large newly constructed sports hall. The campus includes playing fields and running track, an all-weather sports area, three playgrounds, an outdoor theatre arena and a small outdoor ecology learning centre.


The strength of VIS resides in its highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff. Many possess advanced degrees, and several have served for many years at VIS. The Primary Principal would join a senior leadership team comprising of Director, Secondary Principal and Business Manager. The leadership of the Primary School is shared with a Deputy Principal and a PYP Curriculum Leader. The faculty is highly diverse, with 38 nationalities comprising 201 teachers, counselors, specialists and educational support staff. In addition, the administration staff includes a Facilities Manager, a Finance Manager, an ICT Manager, a Marketing and Development Coordinator, an Admissions Coordinator and two HR Coordinators, comprising approximately 56 administration staff members.


The enrolment for the school year 2020-2021 is 1367 students. The Primary School (ELC - grade 5) currently enrols 448 students and the Secondary School (grades 6 - 12) enrols 834 students. Enrolment is stable, there is a high demand for places at the school with a waitlist of around 100 students.

 Our student body represents a wonderful diversity of cultures and perspectives with 111 nationalities speaking 89 first languages.


PDF LINK (Please also see the attached Job Description)

Core responsibility:

As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the Principal is to administer the Primary School according to the policies established by the Board of Governors and under the overall supervision of the Director.

 The successful candidate should possess the following profile:

Leadership Skills

The Primary Principal shall possess strong leadership skills in order to continue the excellent work of our school.  They will include:

  • A proven ability to cultivate a wholesome and rewarding school culture for children, staff, and parents.
  • A knowledge of, and commitment to, the Programmes of the International Baccalaureate Organisation.
  • The ability to inspire and motivate staff and students.
  • A commitment to quality Early Years-12 curriculum development and implementation.
  • The ability to work as a collaborative and creative leader of the entire Vienna International School community.

Professional Skills and Competencies

We are looking for a candidate who is able to:

  • Provide the educational leadership and vision that inspires staff and students to strive for excellence and work together towards fulfilling the school’s mission
  • Plan and manage strategically within a framework of available resources, to ensure their optimum use according to agreed priorities and performance indicators
  • Create an enabling ‘people’ environment through managing performance proactively, coaching and mentoring, and ensuring a positive learning culture for both staff and students

Professional Skills and Competencies (cont.)

  • Foster engagement and collaboration across a diverse, multicultural school community, by openly and honestly addressing questions and problems, building harmony and a sense of common purpose
  • Initiate and manage constructive change, enabling and encouraging others to face change, and use innovative and creative methods to accomplish their work


Candidates should hold an advanced degree in education/educational administration with at least two years’ experience in a leadership role within a multicultural school setting working with an integrated curriculum.  English fluency is required, and second language proficiency is preferred.

Professional Characteristics

  • Significant experience of enquiry-based learning theory and practice:  PYP
  • A good understanding of effective classroom practice
  • Understanding of class/specialist perspective of Primary age education
  • Lead positive, directed, and focused community discussion
  • Place school goals before personal preferences
  • Lead change efforts in a positive fashion
  • Possess a professional demeanor
  • Strong communication skills:  speaking, writing, listening, non-verbal
  • Visionary

Desired Personal Beliefs & Values

  • A strong commitment to the beliefs and values of the three IB programmes
  • A strong commitment to the belief that all children can be successful
  • A willingness to support and promote intercultural understanding and international mindedness
  • A commitment to harness learning and teaching technologies in order to support inquiring, inspired and involved lifelong 21st century learners
  • A strong commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion



  • An incentive salary (Minimum Euro 108.000-- gross p.a.) reflecting your qualification, skills and experience
  • A professional challenge in an international and open-minded working environment
  • Significant opportunity for personal and professional growth
  • For non-local candidates, benefits include a settling-in allowance, contract travel at beginning and end of employment, shipping allowance to Vienna and administrative assistance with location of suitable housing.
  • All VIS employees are subject to local taxes and pay medical and pension benefits as prescribed in Austrian labour law.



Interested candidates are asked to apply with a letter of application, CV, and statement of leadership philosophy. Contact details of a minimum of three professional referees should be provided; these should include direct supervisors or persons in senior positions of responsibility who can validate the applicant’s performance in a leadership or management role. 

All applications will receive an automated response.

In line with GDPR, we ask that you do NOT send us any information that can identify children or any of your Sensitive Personal Data (racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, data concerning health or sex life and sexual orientation, genetic and/or biometric data) in your CV and application documentation.

Following this notice, any inclusion of your Sensitive Personal Data will be understood by us as your express consent to process this information going forward. Please also remember not to mention the information or details of anyone (e.g. referees) who have not previously agreed to their inclusion.

Professional dossiers may also be submitted by the candidate, but the School’s Search Committee reserves the right to apply directly to the writers of open testimonials for confidential statements.

All final interviews will be panel interviews that will also include scenario style questions.

Applications are welcomed from a broad range of applicants.

  • Please send your application by email as one PDF file with a size not exceeding 5MB.
  • We would ask you not to paste your application into the body of the email. Please note that only the one attached document in pdf-format will be reviewed by the Selection Committee.


Please address your application to:


Please take note of the following dates:

Mon., 2nd August 2021

Deadline for receipt of full applications (as soon as possible, please, but not later than this date)

By Mon., 16th August 2021

Longlisted candidates will receive the interview invitation

Between Fri., 20th August and Tue., 24th August 2021

First interviews for longlisted candidates (held virtually; time requirement: 1,5 hrs)

By Tue., 31st August 2021

Shortlisted candidates will receive the formal invitation and further information

Mon., 20th to Wed., 22nd September 2021

Final interviews and meetings with VIS staff and students for shortlisted candidates

If the interviews and meetings will be held personally on site or held virtually is dependent on the COVID-19 travel restrictions and the Government guidelines regarding social distancing, valid at the time of the Selection days; this information will be provided with the 2nd interview invitation.

(Time requirement therefore: between 1 to 2,5 days excl. possible travel time)


Vienna International School

Human Resources

Straße der Menschenrechte 1, 1220 Wien

Did You Know…?

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