Abraham Darby Principal Application Pack

Abraham Darby Principal Application Pack

Strood Academy

Application Pack for the Position of Assistant Principal

The Strood Academy

Application Pack for the position of Assistant Principal.


A message from the Principal3

About the sponsors4

What is a SponsoredAcademy4

Introduction to Strood Academy5

The vision for the Academy5

Job Description8

Person Specification12

How to apply15

Further information and Academy location15

A Message from Kim Gunn – Principal

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for requesting details of the post of Assistant Principal forStroodAcademyin Rochester. This is an outstanding opportunity for the right person. Strood Academy is a successful 11- 19 co-educational Academy, with 1400 on roll, including over 200 in the sixth form.

Our mission is to create through a partnership with the University for the Creative Arts (UCA)an outstanding Academy. We aim to ensure that every young adult who leaves the Academy is able to make good choices about his/her future and to succeed in adult life.

The University for the Creative Arts has an established reputation in providing an excellent learning environment. With a history stretching over 150 years, they have a commitment to preparing their students and enabling their staff to make a creative contribution to the cultural economy.

Since opening in 2009, we have both created and delivered our educational vision to raise standards and narrow the gap between the performance of children in Strood and national and local averages. Results are improving and increasing numbers of students are applying for University.

The move into our new building in 2012 provided the opportunity to re-organise our students and staff into three smaller ‘human scale’ organisations, our Colleges, each based within a wing of the new building. Each College is responsible for the academic progress and pastoral care for 400 children. Each is led by a Vice Principal.

We are now looking to appoint a talented, highly motivated leader with drive and a commitment to excellence as well as strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to communicate to a range of stakeholders. You will be joining a supportive, committed and passionate team who work hard to ensure that all of our students achieve their potential.

This is an exciting time to join our leadership team. You will be expected to play a key role in developing the strategic vision for Strood Academy whilst ensuring that our students develop their potential, achieve academic success and develop our five core values of Respect, Collaboration, Creativity, Distinctiveness and Sustainability.

There remain many challenges ahead before we will be able to say we have fulfilled our aims; however led by a determined, energetic, visionary Senior Leadership Team, and working in partnership with a wide range of others, Iam confident we can succeed. I look forward to your application.

Yours sincerely,

Kim Gunn

About the Sponsor

The sponsor for the Academy is the University for the Creative Arts (UCA).

UCA,has a strong record of promoting enterprise and teaching business skills in undergraduate courses as well as an MBA Programme in Creative Industries Management. The Academy will work with UCA to provide excellent teaching in the specialist subjects by bringing students into contact with related areas of university expertise. Digital technology is a particular strength of the University, including computer-aided design and the production of prototypes. This will help to extend young people’s theoretical work into practical applications. UCA expertise in virtual environments, design, architecture, animation, film, stage production model-making and visual and performing arts will add further value to the teaching of the specialist subjects. UCA also provide Strood Academy with excellent support through strong governance.

What is a SponsoredAcademy?

A SponsoredAcademy is a publicly funded state school, with an independent governing body accountable to the government, which provides free education for students of all abilities in its local and wider communities. Whilst Academies are independent of the Local Authority, they are nonetheless part of the wider family of schools and other educational institutions in their area.

Academies are established by sponsors from a wide range of backgrounds who are responsible for securing the very best education for students in their communities in partnership with the Principal and the Academy Leadership Team.

Introduction to Strood Academy

Strood Academy was created following the closure of Chapter Girls School and Temple Boys School in 2009. Both had been below national ‘floor’ targets of 30% of children attaining 5 or more ‘good’ GCSE grades with English and mathematics. Chapter was a popular local school and the closure followed a protracted and divisive campaign to retain the school. Temple had not enjoyed the same level of confidence and had a low roll. Academic performance was below that of Chapter. Strood Academy is fully co-educational and non selective and a larger than average size school with approximately 1400 students, including 200 in the sixth form.

The profile of children entering the Academy is below national averages. On entry, average Key Stage 2 points scores are 2.1 below national average. There is an above average number of students who are on the SEN register and also those who are in receipt of Student Premium Funding. 81% of our students are white British. Value added for English and Maths in 2015 was in line with national average.

The Academy has achieved a steady rise in GCSE performance since opening. The headline % A-C with English and Maths has risen from 21% - to 42%. Gaps are closing rapidly for disadvantaged students . A level performance has risen to a pass rate of 100% with 64% at grades A*/A/B in 2015. An increasing number of young people have progressed to university.

This post provides an outstanding career opportunity to lead one of our three Colleges and to play a critical role in the next phase of the Academy’s development.

The Vision for the Academy

The sponsors' vision for the Academy is to create a school with children at the centre of all that the Academy does. The aim is to develop well-educated, considerate and caring citizens with a strong sense of values. They will achieve academic success and always aim high so as to seize the opportunities that life offers them. The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) willaim for strong and sustained improvements in attainment and behaviour by every student in the Academy. The strength and effectiveness of the Academy's leadership and management, along with excellent teaching and high aspirations for every student will ensure the success of the Academy, producing confident, well-rounded, capable and respectful young people who are fully prepared for the future. The lead Sponsors core values for the Academy are creativity,collaboration, distinctiveness, respect and sustainability which will be embedded in everything that the Academy does. This will be fully integrated with the five key outcomes of the Every Child Matters framework – staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, economic well-being, and making a positive contribution.

Creativity - this will be at the heart of promoting excellence challenging staff and students to think differently and contribute to the enjoyment of learning as well as transforming achievement.

Collaboration -empowering the Academy community to work together, transforming achievement by making positive contributions in groups and teams.

Distinctiveness - daring to be different and ensuring that everyone at the Academy recognizes the value of their own contribution to a learning community.

Respect - recognising and valuing everyone's contribution in an ordered and effective learning environment.

Sustainability - investing in a secure and sustainable future through the promotion of well-being and long term economic life chances.


Like the large majority of secondary schools the Academyhas specialist subject status and uses those subjects to help raise standards across the curriculum. The Academy specialises in Mathematics and Business and Enterprise.

The emphasis on mathematics acknowledges the importance of this subject in all walks of life as an essential key skill enabling success across the curriculum at school and beyond.

The Business and Enterprise specialism goes well beyond boundaries of the subject and will aim to develop an “enterprise capability” in every student. Students learn to develop ideas and manage study projects both individually and in groups. They learn to collect information; validate it; analyse it and use it to develop their ideas. They are learning the skills of leadership and how to be a constructive member of a team. They are developing skills to present their findings, and the opinions derived from them, to a range of audiences. They are learning to criticise in ways that develop ideas and improve them; and also how to use the criticism of others as additional learning opportunities.

The Academy Curriculum

Throughout years 7-11, the Academy provides full coverage of the core National Curriculum subjects (English, Science and Mathematics) embedding information technology across the curriculum and using IT to allow students to access learning resources and other support outside the classroom.

One key objective is to raise existing standards of literacy and numeracy further, thus providing a solid ground for an overall increase in academic standards.

The Academyprovides many opportunities that go beyond the National Curriculum boundaries and promote a broad view of achievement. Students are supported to gain qualifications. Their success is also be celebrated in art, culture, sport, music and community service. The particular contribution of the University of Creative Arts (UCA) will paramount: providing both students and staff with opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding across a broad range of creative disciplines.

Enquiry based project work is a major way of delivering the mathematics and business enterprise specialisms and preparing students for the world beyond school. Students will apply their knowledge and understanding to real, everyday life contexts, and have opportunities to communicate their learning and achievements to others through exhibitions, presentations, performances and other celebratory events.

The Academy provides an innovative curriculum, which develops students as creative thinkers and problem solvers. This deeper learning will enable students to relate ideas to previous knowledge, look for patterns and principles, check sources of evidence, think critically and become active learners. Approaches to teaching and learning will take account of students’ aptitudes and aspirations; and promote both individual and collaborative achievement.

The Academy is an exciting and inspiring place, with stimulating, relevant and challenging courses, and outstanding facilities. We are building on:

  • a clear focus on self-discipline, independent learning and student achievement
  • a strong learning culture with excellent, creative and imaginative teaching in every area of the curriculum using ICT as a learning tool
  • individual learning plans for all students to ensure that they make the best progress possible
  • regular homework, marking and feedback to students on their progress
  • regular reviews and assessment of students’ learning and progress to improve their achievement
  • a strong tradition of mentoring and tutoring within the school to help raise standards of achievement and develop students’ self confidence and self esteem

All students’ progress are carefully monitored and learning is differentiated to meet the needs of individual students. There is timely and accurate feedback on progress for learners with clear advice on how to improve. These regular checks and discussions will provide for learning tailored to the needs of the individual; individual target setting; and ensure that approaches to intervention and support for students are effective. Students at the Academy will be encouraged to monitor, evaluate and take greater responsibility for their own learning, thus making a powerful contribution as confident and independent learners.

The Academy, therefore, provides a unique opportunity to establish outstanding educational provision with many distinctive features, and a high quality education for its students through to post 16 education, working within the Strood community of schools, the North Medway Partnership; and in collaboration with higher education and the world of business and enterprise.

Job Description

The Assistant Principal will report to one of theVice Principals of the Academy.

The Sponsorand Principal are looking for an experiencedprofessional who can demonstrate strategic leadership and excellent management. Candidates should have a proven track record of success in raising standards, preferably in a coeducational setting.

The successful applicant will be a key member of the senior leadership team and will have significant autonomy in the leadership of a range of whole school responsibilities across the Academy,and will likely have line management responsibilities.The Assistant Principals will be part of a senior team that will drive improvement to deliver a three year improvement plan

Brief summary of Post

The post holder will also have other whole school SLT responsibilities and line management duties commensurate with the post of Assistant Principal. These will be discussed at interview and we will look to match the successful candidate’s strengths with the needs of the Academy and in line with the Academy Improvement Plan.

The post holder will have some teaching responsibilities. Currently, the teaching load for an Assistant Principal is 50%.

The post is available from September 2016

Key Responsibilities


Raise the standards of teaching and learning within the areas of responsibility to ensure that key performance indicators are met and exceeded where possible.

Ensure that parents and carers have access to programmes and activities that promote partnership and engagement with the school.

Maintain effective and rigorous quality assurance to support the self-review framework that will inform the completion of the SEF.

Support the Principal in managing the academy effectively and ensuring the successful implementation of radical change.

Work in harmony with the Principal, Sponsor, Governors, local schools, other academies and other partners as appropriate.

Leading and Managing Staff

Exercise effective staff management, lead and motivate others and generate effective working relationships at all levels.

Line manage key staff.

Maximise the contribution of staff to improve the quality of education provided and standards achieved.

Create and maintain good working relationships among all members of the academy community.

Sustain their own motivation and that of staff for whom they are accountable.

Promote the academy ethos in which the highest achievements are expected from all members of the academy community.

Contribute to an effective and rigorous Performance Management process.

Efficient and effective use of staff and resources.

Work with colleagues to appoint, monitor and deploy all staff effectively in order to improve the quality of education provided.

Ensure that staff codes of conduct in relation to performance, attendance, dress code and punctuality are met.

Ensure that the academy’s Inclusion Programme effectively delivers the agreed curriculum and community outcomes.

Support the Principal in managing specialist accommodation efficiently and effectively to ensure that it meets the needs of the curriculum and health and safety requirements.

Manage and monitor the delegated budgets to ensure that best value is achieved.


Lead regular and systematic reviews of standards to ensure early identification of strengths and weaknesses ensuring effective interventions are made.

Support subject, middle leaders and pastoral staff in the effective review of inclusion data in their areas of responsibility

Motivate students and staff to achieve the highest possible standards and secure the best possible outcomes

Establish and maintain clear improvement plans, milestones, targets and expectations in relation to standards, quality and achievement

Specialist Status & Community

Ensure that the ethos of inclusion is adopted by the academy community.

Ensure that communication with parents and other agencies is timely and appropriate.

Additional academy- wide responsibilities

Additional areas of responsibility may be designated to reflect the experience, skills and aspirations of the successful candidate.

The SLT responsibilities change from time to time in accordance with the needs of the academy and seniority of the post.

Core Purpose

To provide outstanding and inspirational leadership for a College of 400 students within the Academy

To take responsibility for standards in at least two academic faculty areas, located within the wing of the College.

To support the Principal in creating ethos of high expectation and a success culture for students and staff

To secure excellent learning outcomes for students as a consequence of consistently high standards of teaching

To help build a sustainable, creative and distributed model of leadership throughout the Academy

To promote the outcomes of Every Child Matters in partnership with a range of partners and stakeholders

To ensure that every child is able to enjoy a positive educationalexperience irrespective of their background or barriers to achievement

To develop and promote networked learning partnerships with all sectors of education, the business community and voluntary sectors

Model the values and vision of the Academy

Key Responsibilities


Support the Principal in developing and communicating a clear strategic vision of how to develop the Academy successfully

Have a deep understanding of education theory. We aim topersonalize education through innovative approaches to learning, support, experience and leadership.

Have an ‘eye’ for standards. Implement accurate performance indicators for students and staff and hold everyone accountable for them

Have up to date understanding of Ofsted requirements and ensure the effective and rigorous self review framework is embedded within the College.