Common Good: Head of Education

Common Good
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 18 November, 2019
Opportunity type: 
Employment

Common Good is a Christian faith-based, not-for-profit organisation founded by Common Ground Church in 2005, working in a range of communities. We're passionate about addressing issues of social justice that challenge our city. We seek to make a positive and lasting impact in the areas of early life, education and employment, so that individuals and communities across Cape Town can build brighter futures for themselves.

Are you called and compelled to be a change leader within the public school system in South Africa?

The reality of the current education crisis is that not all learners in public schools in marginalised communities are receiving the basic education mandated by government and that the inequality gap between the privileged with access to functional schools and those without, is growing. We believe that through a combination of resources from government, private funders and civil society organisations, a collaboration can be created to nurture South African learners to realise their potential. 

For the last three years Common Good has had the privilege of being a pioneering school operating partner, mandated by the WCED to partner and strengthen a growing network of non-fee paying collaboration schools (now legislated as such) with the goal to improve learner outcomes and close the inequality gap between high performing resourced and no-fee public schools. 

As our network of schools grows, Common Good now seeks to recruit a passionate, strategic, resilient and determined Head of Education who will be a key change agent in driving school improvement in collaboration with School Governing Bodies and School Leadership Teams, supported by 14 Common Good education team members. 

Purpose and Priorities 

  • As a pioneering leader with at least five years of school leadership experience, you will need to work closely with numerous stakeholders, with an emphasis on delivering high quality results in both primary and high school.  
  • You will ensure that each Principal and School Leadership Team receives the appropriate balance of challenge, support and professional development that facilitates school improvement and crucially, achieves outstanding outcomes for learners. You will provide senior school leaders with the high level direction and expertise required to enable him/her to provide purposeful leadership on a daily basis and to deliver an outstanding education for all learners through consistent and sustained improvement. 
  • You will lead the design, direction and management of professional development of a group of Principals and School Management Team (SMTs) members, enabling us continually to raise the aspirations of learners and teachers alike. 
  • The Head of Education will work to unite all schools in an unwavering commitment to the highest achievement for all, regardless of background or ability.
  • The Head of Education will play a key role in the transition of schools into the Common Good Collaboration Schools network, embedding the Common Good vision and standards, ensuring proper induction for principals and their teams, and identifying specific areas for targeted intervention, as well as leading the design of school improvement plans. 
  • They will work closely with Common Good’s senior leaders to develop a range of communication strategies that strengthen the profile of Common Good and each of our schools with parents, stakeholders and the entire community we serve. 

Vision and Values 

  • Vision aligned with Common Good’s aspirations and high expectations of self and others;
  • An unwavering commitment to Common Good’s vision, values and resulting behaviours;

Strategy 

  • Together with the SGB and Principal set and develop the strategic vision, values and ethos for each school. Work with the Principals ensuring clear alignment of key school improvement priorities and rigorously monitor progress against the actions required to meet them;
  • Overall responsibility for reporting to the Education Programme Director on the strategy, improvement initiatives and performance of each school;
  • Provide strategic advice and guidance to Principals to ensure all staff are line managed with performance targets and that roles and responsibilities underpin plans for continuous improvement and are clearly defined amongst the senior leadership team
  • Understands how to set high aspirations and lead effective strategies across all aspects of a school including curriculum, learning, administration, finance and communication. 

School Leadership and Programme development / Montoring 

  • Lead and work closely with the Head of Academics and Instructional Development in ensuring clear alignment of key school improvement priorities and rigorously monitor progress against the actions required to meet them;
  • Direct management, coaching and mentoring of each Principal to ensure both in-school and systematic improvement;
  • Establish a shared culture between schools that enables everyone to work collaboratively, share best practice, celebrate success and accept responsibility for outcomes;
  • Ensure that the schools (under the day-to-day leadership of the Principals) make rapid and sustained improvement, with minimal disruption to progress ensuring that aspirations and standards continue to rise over the long term;
  • Work with each Principal to ensure they are prepared for all WCED requirements and monitoring visits. In conjunction with each Principal, ensure improvement strategies (including those areas identified during monitoring visits) are mapped out, actioned and followed up;
  • Lead the on-going development of staffing structures in schools to ensure they are sustainable, fit for purpose and facilitate collaboration and continuous improvement across each school;
  • Overall responsibility for assessment and target setting systems including direct support to the Principals/SLT on self-evaluation, ensuring it is rooted in secure data;
  • Provide guidance to the  Principals to ensure that arrangements for pastoral care are effective and that all safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures are understood and adhered to;
  • In conjunction with the Principals, monitor, evaluate and review the quality of assessment, teaching and learning and the progress/attainment of learners throughout the school;
  • Work with the  Principals to challenge under performance at all levels and ensure effective corrective action, support and review;
  • Establish creative, responsive and effective approaches to teaching and learning; ensuring high quality teaching is at the heart of strategic planning and resource management;
  • Maximise opportunities for all learners through continuous school-wide focus on learners’ achievement, using data and baselines to monitor progress in every child’s learning;
  • Provide on-going advice and guidance to Principals to ensure all parental, community and media communications are consistent in message and well-targeted;
  • Support the Programme Director: Education in developing the Principal-teacher network; including hub day training and contribution to network meetings;
  • Any other duties as directed by the Programme Director.

Requirements:

  • Recognised REQV14 teacher qualification / Recognised 3 to 4 year teaching qualification
  • 7 years classroom teaching experience 
  • Minimum 5 years in school management 
  • Successful team leadership and strong track record of results.
  • Willingness to contribute to the values and ethos of Common Good is essential.

Essential Skills and Knowledge: 

  • Clear ability to set and develop the strategic vision, values and ethos for each school with the Principals and rigorously monitor progress against the actions required to meet them; 
  • Understands how to set high aspirations and lead effective strategies across all aspects of a school including curriculum, learning, administration, finance and communication;
  • Skilful and engaging leadership and political nous for maintaining effective working relationships with parents, governors and other stakeholders; 
  • Strong interpersonal, written and oral communication skills; 
  • Extreme flexibility and the ability to multi-task, with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate high levels of responsibility and multiple priorities, while working towards clarity in an ever-changing environment; 
  • Passion for Social Justice demonstrated through  background/experience;
  • Comprehensive understanding of national policy, legislation and current international thinking on education achievement and improvement;
  • Managed budget and financial processes (Preferred)
  • Experience of having worked successfully in at least one school in an urban, multi-cultural setting, teaching students from backgrounds of socioeconomic disadvantage (Preferred). 

Application Requirement 

Your application should comprise:

A cover letter, no longer than three pages, outlining your motivation and relevant experience for the role. The cover letter should also include the names of three referees. Please note that these referees will not be contacted until late in the process and with your prior agreement. Your application and the names of referees will be held in strictest confidence.
A full CV, including educational and professional qualifications, a full employment history showing the more significant positions, responsibilities held and relevant achievements. 
 
Applications should be sent to stacey.calvert@commongood.org.za by no later than 30 October 2019. The full job description can be found on our website https://www.commongood.org.za/careers/

Process

  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
  • First round interviews will be held in September. 
  • A competence exercise and referee contact will follow.
  • Final rounds of interviews will take place thereafter. 

NOTE: An application will not in itself entitle the applicant to an interview or appointment. Applicants who fail to meet the minimum requirements will be automatically disqualified from consideration. Applicants who do not receive a reply within two weeks of submission should deem their application to have been unsuccessful. Common Good reserves the right not to fill the position.

Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal

For more about Common Good, refer to https://www.commongood.org.za/

For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies

Location: 
Cape Town

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