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VACANCY: Principal

Principal Job Description

Location: Arco Academy, Camberwell

Salary: Competitive

Reporting to: CEO and Advisory Board

About Arco Academy:

Arco Academy is a registered independent school with sports as a specialism. Situated in the heart of Camberwell, London, Arco Academy offers education to students referred by mainstream schools and the Local Authority. We have an emphasis in pastoral care and take a holistic approach towards education.

Our aim is to enhance the academic, wellbeing and personal growth for all students of all abilities.

We are committed to high-quality education and promoting our vision to unleash the potential we know exists in all our students, by providing a creative and tailor-made curriculum.

Every student is provided with the opportunity to learn, achieve and succeed to their highest potential. Consequently, we work diligently towards meeting the learning needs of our students. This includes encouraging participation in sports, development of essential life skills and nurturing a positive relationship within school and the community.

We believe all staff members play a vital role in the lives of our students. Therefore, we take a proactive approach to the development and wellbeing of all Arco staff. We are committed to investing in all staff through CPD, internal staff support and wellbeing development.

We pride ourselves on appreciating, promoting and celebrating the diversity and individuality of all students, staff and partners.

Arco Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All positions are subject to an enhanced DBS and other necessary checks.

For further information regarding Arco Academy policies, visit . Please ensure you have read the Safeguarding (Child Protection) Policy and Safer Recruitment Policy

Role Overview:

This role is one which combines leadership and individual contribution. This is critical to the success of the role so that the Principal is engaged with the students. The individual contribution can be as Designated Safeguarding Lead, or as Teacher of English (up to 12 hours’ teaching per week). Separate job descriptions will be provided for the individual contribution element of the role.

Main Purpose:

  • Establish and sustain the school’s ethos and strategic direction together with the Advisory Board and CEO and through consultation with the school community
  • Review, consolidate and oversee systems, processes, and policies so the school can operate effectively
  • In consultation with CEO and Advisory Board, identify problems and barriers to school effectiveness, and develop strategies for school improvement that are realistic, timely and suited to the school’s context
  • Ensure that school improvement strategies are effectively implemented and that the school is making progress towards achieving its aims and objectives
  • Manage the school’s resources, including financial, premises and the team appropriately, efficiently, and effectively
  • Assist CEO and Advisory Board in strategic development and expansion of Arco academy, including securing new premises and enhancing student recruitment


  • Uphold public trust in school leadership and maintain high standards of ethics, behaviour, and professional conduct
  • Build positive and respectful relationships across the school community
  • Serve in the best interests of the school’s students
  • Be an ambassador for the academy, publicising its achievement and success locally and nationally and securing investment in its future

Duties and Responsibilities

Academy culture and behaviour:

  • Create a culture where students experience a positive and enriching school life
  • Uphold educational standards in order to prepare students from all backgrounds for their next phase of education and life
  • Ensure a culture of staff professionalism
  • Promote well-being across the school community
  • Encourage high standards of behaviour from students, built on rules and routines that are understood by staff and students and clearly demonstrated by all adults in school
  • Use consistent and fair approaches to managing behaviour, in line with the school’s behaviour policy
  • Add any other duties relevant to your school
  • Ensure an inclusive and proactive approach to identifying, managing and supporting students’ needs and abilities, including social, emotional and mental health issues
  • Ensure rigorous ongoing liaison with students’ home schools and the local authority

Teaching, curriculum and assessment:

  • Establish and sustain high-quality teaching across all subjects and phases, based on evidence
  • Ensure teaching is underpinned by subject expertise
  • Effectively use formative assessment to inform strategy and decisions
  • Ensure the teaching of a broad, structured and coherent curriculum, tailored to available resources and students’ needs, so that they are well equipped for the next phase of education and life as responsible citizens.
  • Establish curriculum leadership, including subject leaders with relevant expertise and access to professional networks and communities
  • Use valid, reliable and proportionate approaches to assessing students’ knowledge and understanding of the curriculum, including their prior learning and relevant gap
  • Deliver up to four lessons of teaching each week

Additional and special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities

  • Promote a culture and practices that enables all students to access the curriculum
  • Have ambitious expectations for all students with SEN and disabilities
  • Make sure the school works effectively with parents, carers and professionals to identify additional needs and provide support and adaptation where appropriate
  • Make sure the school fulfils statutory duties regarding the SEND Code of Practice.
  • Implement effective means of tracking and monitoring the implementation of EHCPs and the progress of students with SEND, sharing this data with relevant personnel and institutions

Managing the school

  • Ensure staff and students’ safety and welfare through effective approaches to safeguarding, as part of duty of care
  • Manage staff well with due attention to workload
  • Ensure rigorous approaches to identifying, managing, and mitigating risk
  • Work with the CEO and Advisory Board to attract, appoint and retain the highest quality teachers and support staff
  • Develop and oversee effective approaches to leading and managing staff, including managing their performance, supporting their development and holding them to account

Professional development

  • Ensure staff have access to appropriate, high standard professional development opportunities
  • Ensure systems and opportunities are in place to enable teachers’ subject specialist training and to support those teaching outside their subject specialisms
  • Keep up to date with developments in education
  • Seek training and continuing professional development to meet needs

Governance, accountability and working in partnership

  • Understand and welcome the role of effective governance, including accepting responsibility
  • Work with the CEO and Advisory Board to develop effective approaches to accountability, particularly of those responsible for leadership and management of the academy
  • Ensure that staff understand their professional responsibilities and are held to account
  • Ensure the school effectively and efficiently operates within the required regulatory frameworks and meets all statutory duties
  • Work successfully with other schools and organisations
  • Maintain working relationships with fellow professionals and colleagues to improve educational outcomes for all students

Other areas of responsibility

  • Contribute to enabling the ongoing financial viability and future expanded provision of Arco through securing recruitment of more students and new premises

Please note that this is illustrative of the general nature and level of responsibility of the role. It is not a
comprehensive list of all tasks that the school principal will carry out. The post holder may be required to
do other duties appropriate to the level of the role.

Candidate requirement:

Qualifications and Relevant Experience:

  • Qualified Teacher Status
  • Degree qualification
  • At least 3 years experience in a successful leadership and management experience in a school
  • Involvement in school self-evaluation and development planning
  • Demonstrable experience of successful line management, performance management and staff development
  • Experience of positive behaviour management in challenging settings
  • Experience of safeguarding responsibility at school leadership level
  • Ability to teach one or two subjects at secondary and GCSE level

Skills and Knowledge:

  • Knowledge and commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people
  • Up to date knowledge of Keeping Children Safe in Education, Safeguarding and GDPR compliance
  • Data analysis skills, and the ability to use data to set targets and identify weaknesses
  • Understanding of high-quality teaching based on evidence, and the ability to model this for others and support others to improve
  • Understanding of school finances and financial management
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to communicate a vision and inspire others
  • Ability to build effective working relationships
  • Insight into SEN provision

Personal Profile:

  • Ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to work under pressure and prioritise effectively
  • Commitment to uphold the 7 principles of public life (the Nolan principles) at all times
  • Commitment to getting the best outcomes for all students and promoting the ethos and values of the school
  • Commitment to maintaining confidentiality at all times
  • Commitment to safeguarding and equality, ensuring that personal beliefs are not expressed in ways that exploit the position
  • Commitment to team work and distributed leadership
  • Proactive, creative outlook and ability to retain and convey optimism

Desirable qualities include:

  • Educated to Masters level
  • National professional qualification for headship (NPQH)
  • Safeguarding L3 training
  • Planning, monitoring, and assessing online learning
  • Current First Aid certificate
  • Hold an up to date fully enhanced DBS (must have before role commence)

Job benefits available.

To apply, please complete Arco Employment Application Form and the Equal Opportunities
Monitoring. Send the completed documents to



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