Secondary School Principal at Bishop Mackenzie International School in Malawi
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Secondary School Principal
Bishop Mackenzie International School (Malawi)

Appointed - Ms. Lesley Peacock
Oct 1, 2021
Oct 23, 2021


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Adrian Moody, the Director of Bishop Mackenzie International School (BMIS), I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Lesley Peacock as the new Secondary Principal to commence in August 2022.

Lesley comes from New Zealand and earned her MA in Education from Bath University in the UK. Lesley has worked at international schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Spain, Kazakhstan, China and Malaysia. In part of his message to the BMIS community Adrian Moody said, 

"I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Lesley Peacock as Secondary Principal (Head of Secondary) for August 2022.

Lesley comes to BMIS with over 20 years of leadership experience as a Secondary Principal.  She has worked in three programme (Diploma, MYP, PYP) IB schools throughout her career and has, at various times, been the Diploma Coordinator and the MYP Coordinator.  Most recently she has spent 9 years in Africa at the International School of Uganda and The American School of Kinshasa. She brings to BMIS a wealth of experience in curriculum development, collaborative planning, strategic planning, teacher evaluation systems, professional development, teacher recruitment, multi-cultural awareness and has led the accreditation process of CIS/NEASC as well as DP and MYP authorisation."

Search Associates would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for this position and to everyone who assisted and supported the successful Upper School Principal search process for ICSA. 

Kind regards,



Bishop Mackenzie International School (BMIS)

Lilongwe, Malawi

seeks a new

Secondary School Principal

Effective August 2022


Bishop Mackenzie International School (BMIS) educates and inspires students to value integrity, cultural diversity, and the pursuit of well-being and excellence. Our school fosters an environment which empowers students to become creative, confident lifelong learners ready to take action in the local and global communities.

BMISBelief | Motivation | Inspiration | Success





Cultural identity

Independent learner




Responsible citizen




Committed individual

Critical thinker



Ready to take action

Lifelong learner

Educated for global citizenship



Life skills



Technically competent


School Aims

Bishop Mackenzie International School is committed to the development of responsible, confident, compassionate and independent citizens of society. Teachers, students and parents will work together to ensure that all students:

  • receive equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum, regardless of race, religion, ability or gender;
  • have the opportunity to reach their full potential intellectually, emotionally, socially, morally and physically;
  • develop skills for independent, creative and critical thought;
  • develop a positive attitude towards our host country, based on understanding and knowledge;
  • develop an awareness and tolerance of different cultures, beliefs and lifestyles;
  • are encouraged to act in a courteous and responsible manner towards all members of the community and the school;
  • become concerned for the quality and care of the local and global environment;
  • are offered education in an international context which ensures transferability and continuity with educational institutions around the world.


Bishop Mackenzie International School (BMIS) is an English-medium private, non-profit co-educational day school founded in 1944 that has grown to provide an education to 700 students in the primary and secondary schools from Reception to Year 13 (4 – 18 years old, grades K-12). The school was named in memory of Charles Mackenzie, a prominent figure in the early history of Malawi. He joined David Livingstone on the Zambezi in 1861 as Bishop of Central Africa and Head of the Anglican Universities Mission, the first Christian mission in this part of Africa and the inspiration of Livingstone himself. Mackenzie’s career was brief and was a tragedy of disease, hunger and tribal warfare. Mackenzie died of malaria and the mission collapsed almost before it began, yet he helped create a vanguard for the destruction of the slave trade by means of Livingstone’s much heralded “Commerce and Christianity.”

BMIS was founded in 1944 as The European School under a colonial administration that maintained separate European, Asian and African schools. Originally there were no more than a dozen pupils, housed on the site of the Golf Club. The school expanded rapidly in the 1950s, acquired its present location and became a boarding establishment throughout the then Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. This reverted to a day-school under the Nyasaland Government, and later provided boarding facilities again when the Designated Schools Board was organised in 1977.

From 1977 onwards BMIS developed very much along the lines one might expect of a large primary school with an international clientele. Efforts were made by a succession of Head teachers and members of teaching staff to ensure that the best available options were offered to pupils and parents who had an interest in the school. Under the Designated School Board, the school developed an enviable reputation for quality education. A decision in 1990 saw an extension of the Primary School by the creation of a Secondary Department, now a thriving part of the school.

In 1998 BMIS separated from the Designated Schools Board and established itself as a Trust under Malawi law. All parents are members of the Parents’ Association, which constitutes the membership of the Board of Trustees. BMIS became an International Baccalaureate World School in 1997, authorized to offer the Diploma. The school expanded the IB programmes in 2006 introducing PYP, which was authorized in 2011. As the students have moved up through the school, MYP has been introduced and BMIS is now a fully authorized MYP school. The school’s most recent evaluation/accreditation visit took place in 2019.


BMIS is fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).


BMIS is a non-profit organization run by a Board of Trustees. The Board consists of nine elected members, three of whom are Malawian taxpayers, three non-Malawian taxpayers and three non-taxpayers. Each of these three groups shall have three voting members on the board.  Board members are elected from the parent body by the Parents Association. The Director and Head Teachers of the Primary and Secondary schools, an elected teacher representative from the Primary and Secondary Schools and the Chair of the PTA are ex-officio members. The Board may also appoint ex-officio members with particular skills in order to fulfil its obligation to facilitate the smooth running of the school.


BMIS is an authorised International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering PYP, MYP and Diploma Programmes to students across the age range from 3 – 18 years. 


BMIS enrolment is about 580 students from 45 different nationalities. About 40% of students are Malawian. The balance of students are children of expatriates or long-term residents working for NGO’s, Diplomatic missions or business.


There are 70 faculty members, from 11 countries including the UK, Malawi, the US, Australia and SA.  The average length of stay for expatriate teachers is 4 years.


The school occupies a 25-acre site on the southwestern edge of Lilongwe’s Area 3, a settled area of suburban housing. In the primary school, there are 21 teacher-based classrooms and specialist rooms for art, music and French. In the secondary section, special facilities include 21 teacher classrooms, 4 fully equipped laboratories, 2 ICT laboratories, language acquisition lab, open collaborative “Breakout Space,” drama studio and a design lab. The library is shared by the Primary and Secondary Schools, as are the sports fields and gardens. Hard play areas include 2 tennis courts and a basketball court. There are 2 assembly halls that double as sports halls and there are two outside volleyball courts. A swimming pool complex comprises of a 25m pool, an 18m pool, and an infant splash pool.


The Secondary School program at BMIS serves students in grades 6-12. The school is authorized to offer the IB PYP, MYP and DP programmes. The MYP and DP coordinators are doing an excellent job at leading their respective programmes. The IB DP is non-selective and the pass rate is above world average and 100% pass rate in the previous academic year. Action is a school-wide focus and there are many examples of meaningful service projects. The school links the UN’s 2030’s Sustainable Development goals to their service activities. Students appreciate the school’s close community, and enjoy knowing most of the other students in the Secondary School. They also appreciate the support that they get from their teachers. The school offers a wide range of After School Activities which many students enjoy being involved in.


Malawi is a small landlocked country in Africa, south of the equator. Malawi is listed by "World Population Review” as the sixth poorest country in the world. However, it is also considered a friendly and tolerant country. It is well suited to those who enjoy an outdoors and active lifestyle.

One of the major geographical features of the country is Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest lake is only a two-hour drive from Lilongwe and a popular place to relax and to participate in many recreational activities, including swimming, kayaking, fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving.  There are also a number of wildlife reserves around the country that offer the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful unspoilt wilderness. There are also many exciting travel opportunities in neighbouring countries.

Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi, on the Lilongwe River. The city has a population of about one million people and is generally considered safe. The school is located in a residential area of the city.

Teachers appreciate the excellent quality of life that they have living in Lilongwe. People generally spend their free time enjoying the outdoors either by socializing outdoors or playing golf, swimming, cycling, walking horse riding, running or swimming and snorkelling at the lake. There is a range of good restaurants in town. Teachers tend to make their own fun and Lilongwe suits people who are comfortable with an outdoors, small community life.

The Secondary Principal is provided with a house on campus which has utilities and Internet provided and has 24/7 generator backup.

Health care in Malawi is adequate for basic medical needs and teachers visit expat GP’s and local clinics. However, Malawi wouldn’t be a good fit for anyone with major underlying health conditions.  For serious medical needs teachers travel to Kenya or South Africa. The school provides William Russell international health insurance as well as a local health insurance.

The cost of living in Malawi is relatively low. Candidates can use this cost of living comparator tool to give them an idea of cost of living compared to where they currently live.


BMIS seeks a Secondary School Principal who is an emotionally intelligent experienced leader of learning. The Principal should be an excellent communicator who is empathetic and has strengths and a proven record in building and maintaining strong relationships in the community.

The Secondary School Principal is responsible for the running of the Secondary School and works closely with the Primary School Principal and the School Director, who is his/her direct supervisor. The Principal directly supervisors and works closely with the IB Diploma and MYP Coordinators, the Student Support Coordinators and the Approaches to Teaching & Learning (ATT/L) Coordinator. The Principal’s role is to support these coordinators and the teachers to deliver the programmes to the students. The full job description may be accessed here.

Areas for the new Principal to particularly focus on are:

  • Developing strong relationships with and among faculty, staff, students, parents and the wider community.
  • Being an open and transparent communicator.
  • Curriculum development and articulation.
  • Being visible and involved in all aspects of the Secondary School.
  • Assisting the Director in recruiting and retain excellent Secondary School teachers.
  • Recruiting and retaining Secondary School students.


  • Leadership role in an international school.
  • A Master’s degree in Educational Leadership or similar.
  • Leadership experience in at least one of the IB programmes.
  • Experience living and working in the developing world


  • An excellent listener
  • Clear and open communicator
  • Emotionally intelligent with a high degree of cultural literacy
  • Visible and active in all aspects of school life.
  • A sense of humour
  • A flexible thinker


BMIS offers a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with position expectations and market benchmarks. 


BMIS has selected Search Associates to assist them in the Secondary School Principal search, with Caroline Jacoby as the Lead Consultant. The deadline for applications is Saturday 23rd October 2021. 6:00p.m. GMT.

Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the required materials as early as possible as BMIS reserves the right to close the selection process AT ANY TIME if the right candidate is found. The review of applications begins as applications are received. Interested candidates who applied when this position was advertised in April/May 2021 need to submit another application.

Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by the hiring school/organization if a candidate is under contract or otherwise encumbered in such a way that would preclude them from freely entering into a new employment contract, if offered, and being available for the start date stipulated by the hiring organization.  Search Associates will contact the current employer/supervisor to request completion of a Search Associates Confidential Leadership Reference Form for all Applicants who emerge in the search as a Finalist. 

Candidates should send the information listed below in a single PDF file attached to an email:

  • A letter of application describing your interest in the Secondary School Principal position at BMIS, highlighting your strengths as a candidate and how your qualifications and experience align with the position profile and the school’s areas of focus.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages.
  • A one (1) page list of four (4) referees who have been your direct supervisors, with current email addresses.
  • A statement describing your leadership and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
  • The total document size should be kept at (4) MB.

Applications should be sent to: Caroline Jacoby at


Did You Know…?

Search Associates has over 15 Senior Associates with offices around the globe, each bringing a wealth of experience in international education.