The Swanage School, Swanage, Dorset


Job details

Working pattern Full-time only
Salary Lead Practitioners range 22 to Lead Practitioners range 28, £68,877 to £81,756

Job summary

The Swanage School is a thriving single-school academy trust in a unique setting on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. It opened in 2013 after a successful community and parent led application for an entirely new 11-16 secondary free school for the coastal town of Swanage, where students had previously faced a 30 minute journey to the nearest secondary provision. It remains community-led through its governing Trust, Education Swanage.

It resides in new purpose-built accommodation at the gateway to the town and since opening has quickly built a reputation as a caring school where every child is known as an individual, is encouraged to experiment and is nurtured to reach their fullest potential. The school has grown quickly but is committed to remaining human-scale with current students on roll of 320 and a tight-knit teaching and support team who ensure that human relationships remain at the heart of everything we do.

The school was born from a vision of a happy institution which students and staff alike are proud to be part of, that is engaged at all levels with its community and its beautiful surroundings, where students take responsibility for their learning, and where they are given the opportunities they need to develop all aspects of the intellectual, cultural, moral, spiritual, creative, physical and emotional skills they will need to thrive in the modern world.

Our distinctive approach is perhaps best summed up by our Swanage School 12-point charter:

1. Excellence is central to teaching and learning
2. It is a pleasure to teach and learn
3. Every student’s needs are understood and catered for
4. Young people are known and treated as individuals
5. Students are able to take responsibility
6. All aspects of development are encouraged: intellectual, physical, creative, moral, spiritual and emotional
7. All students engage in The Swanage School Challenge curriculum extension programme
8. Young peoples’ experiences of school extend into their adult lives
9. Behaviour is characterised by mutual respect for others and the environment
10. Staff are supported through continuing professional development
11. Parents and local residents are welcomed as partners in learning
12. Horizons and global awareness are broadened through national and international partnerships

We are grateful to our retiring head, who has been with the school since its inception, for making this vision a reality. We are looking for an individual who will continue to nurture and develop the school’s distinctive ethos whilst leading new evolution and innovation. Taking direction from the Governing Body, future goals include growing the school to over 400 pupils, investigating the feasibility of post-16 apprenticeship training, and ensuring that we are environmentally sustainable.

The successful applicant will be someone with strong leadership qualities who will quickly gain the trust of staff by providing clear direction and inspiration while demonstrating the ability to listen to them; someone who can communicate effectively and work productively in a wide range of settings and partnerships; someone who will relish the unique opportunities and challenges provided by our status and setting; someone who has a proven history of excellence in teaching and management, and someone who will be a role model of the school’s core values and ethos to students, staff and the wider community.

For more information please visit the school’s website at www.theswanageschool.co.uk and download an application pack at www.theswanageschool.co.uk/Headteacher-Recruitment. Full details of the interview process and the required knowledge and skills are in the Application Pack, but for any further queries please contact our Clerk to Governors Sue Fletcher on suefletcher@theswanageschool.co.uk.

We look forward to receiving your application.

*Please note that The Swanage School does not pay exactly STPCD rates, but we take them into account when setting salary ranges.

Essential educational requirements

Undergraduate degree


Post-graduate qualification (ideally related to education)

Essential qualifications

Qualified Teacher Status.

Evidence of recent and relevant continuing professional development and study.



Further study or training relevant to headship

Essential skills and experience

A track record of achievement as an excellent classroom teacher.

Substantial experience of leading and managing at headship/deputy headship level in secondary schools.

Successful delivery of academic and vocational learning programmes.

Evaluating and reporting on classroom practice.

Using data to set challenging but realistic targets for students and staff, agree appropriate intervention strategies and monitor progress to achieve and demonstrate successful outcomes.

Working co-operatively with a wide range of partners.

Successful experience of recruiting staff and creating cohesive and effective work teams.

Successful partnership working with clusters of schools.

Effective strategic financial and resource management.

Please see Application Pack, available on www.theswanageschool.co.uk/Headteacher-Recruitment for the full job description and person specification, including essential knowledge and skills required for this post, along with desirable experience.

Employee benefits

Competitive salary
Teachers' pension
Employee wellbeing support

More on how to apply

School overview

School type Free School
Education phase Secondary
School size 310 pupils enrolled
Age range 11 to 16
Ofsted report View Ofsted report
School website The Swanage School website (opens in a new window)
Contact email suefletcher@theswanageschool.co.uk

About The Swanage School

We opened in September 2013 with brand new staff, new students and new buildings. We started with 106 students and now have 326 students on roll across years 7 to 11. Whilst popular, we aim to stay small, growing to a maximum of 420 students over the coming years.

Could your inspiring teaching shape our new school in one of England’s finest natural environments?

The Swanage School has been created on ‘human scale’ principles, which means that strong and genuine relationships – within school, with the local community and with the wider world – are at its heart.

Our vision is to provide meaningful, tailored and supportive education to young people and to enable the highest levels of attainment.

The school is genuinely embedded in the community and has forged links with community groups, businesses and charities in the town and beyond. These links have broadened and strengthened the education and life experience of our students.

School location

High Street, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2PH