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Headteacher & Lead Learner of Kingussie High School

ref: HGH06798

My Job Scotland Application Form Person Spec

HT Job Description

Extra Information

10th October 2018

We will start recruiting for 2019/2020 in February 2019.

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Please contact Ollie Bray (Headteacher – for a few more weeks) – ollie.bray [at] kingussiehigh.org.uk if you have any questions or want to make informal inquiries about the Headteacher post. Tel: 01540 661475

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Why you might want to come and lead the team (& more importantly, be part of the team) at Kingussie High School?

In a nutshell…

We are a small school in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park. As Headteacher you will live and work in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Cairngorms National Park

We are a school that is in a period of transformational change. You should read our inspection reports and have a look at our Scottish Government data if you are serious about becoming Headteacher and also read our current thoughts on how your curriculum drives attainment.

We also believe that we are one of the fastest improving schools in Scotland and as the new Headteacher you will be a key part of our ongoing improvement journey within a school where we believe anything is possible. We have some great pupils. But, as a school who likes to be honest we admit that but there are a few who could still be better behaved and few that could work a little harder.

Our biggest challenge is aspiration and trying to work across the whole school community so everyone understands what is possible (this includes pupils, staff, parents and our associated primary schools). If you are applying for the job you need to understand what is possible (locally, nationally & Internationally) and be fully committed to the looking outwards agenda.

We are committed to being a school with traditional values but with a modern approach. Where possible we like to support our learners through the use of our local environment and appropriate technology. We are continuing to work hard to get better at this – if you join us you will have a role here too and be required to develop our strategy around system leadership and an emerging 2025 vision.

The staff demographic is increasingly new but we are lucky to have some brilliant staff who have been around for a while. They know the community and the school well. All of our staff remain youthful – even the ones close to retirement. This is just one of the things that makes Kingussie High a special place to work.

We have been working hard on our curriculum, but we know that we should be more ambitious. We will need your ideas to make this happen. We run NQs, NCs, PDAs and HNCs – not bad for a small school. To be honest timetabling it all is a bit of a nightmare, but we ask staff not to worry about that. As the Headteacher you will continue to work with your senior team to protect your teaching and support staff from bureaucracy. The only thing they should have to worry about is teaching the best possible lessons that they can.

An ambitious curriculum will requires flexibility from all members of staff, especially the Headteacher. The new Headteacher needs to be ambitious, flexible and genuinely open minded. You will responsible for some of the most professional, passionate and committed staff that you will have ever worked with in Scottish Education. As well as teaching classes and supporting young people most run extra-curricular and lunchtime clubs. Some run trips to remote and undeveloped parts of the world, others run trips to Alton Towers – both are valued equally, because they are both important. Partnership is very, very important to us and as a new Headteacher you will need to continue to build a range of strategic partnerships.

We honestly believe that we have the capacity to become the best medium sized school in Scotland (we might even be close?) As Headteacher you will work long hours, have to deal with challenging situations and make a range of difficult decisions. In return you will be paid at the end of each month and be greeted with some smiles from time-to-time. If you get it right, you will be absorbed in that wonderful feeling that you have made a difference to the lives of children, their families, the community and your wider staff team. It is the best feeling in the world.

In recent years KHS has become a centre for Chinese language learning (the Highland Confucius Hub), rolled out 1:1 computing (chromebooks) across S1 – S6 (including becoming Scotland’s first Google Reference School), built a whole school ‘makerspace’ and with our partners at the University of the Highlands and Islands we are working hard to become a research engaged school (though collaborative enquiry). We not ashamed to admit that we are aiming for ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ in as many quality indicators as possible when HMIe come back to visit us in 2021/2022 (thinking ahead and strategic planning our one of our current strengths – it needs to be one of yours).

Importantly, if you are serious about applying for the Headteacher’s job you need to be able to relate to the schools sense of humour and be prepared to be a full member of our integrated staff team. 

Anyone perspective candidates are most welcome to get in touch or to pop in for a wander around.

It has been a true privilege to lead the school community over the last five years and it is a great opportunity for the next person.

Good luck and may the force be with you.

Ollie Bray (@olliebray), Headteacher, Kingussie High School – for a few more weeks.

updated: September 2018.

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