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About the job

Salary: L33– L39 £92,624 - £107,239 a year
Hours per week: 1.0 FTE , Full time

The Governors are seeking to appoint a talented, and values driven Head Teacher to lead our already highly successful school through its next phase of development, in partnership with staff, Governors, and parents.

Woodlands School is an outstanding secondary special school educating children between the age of 11 and 18 years. The new Head will build on our significant existing strengths and inspire and motivate the school to ongoing outstanding future success.

The school has 260 children on roll, all of whom have severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties, complex medical needs, or autistic spectrum disorder. Woodlands is one of the biggest special schools in the country and has a highly skilled, innovative, enthusiastic and supportive staff team.

At Woodlands we believe that learning is a life-long journey and we aim to inspire and support our children and young people to achieve their full potential. Our curriculum offer is tailored to the individual needs of the young person. Our broad and balanced curriculum focuses on functional learning and incorporates life-skills to support and promote independence. Woodlands School provides a vibrant, fun and inclusive educational and therapeutic community where all members, students, their families and staff, are continuously learning together. The video below will give you a good insight into the school and the work we do.

We believe that children and young people learn best when they are happy and emotional well-being has a high priority. Woodlands prides itself on the therapeutic support it provides for young people struggling with adolescence; this includes Play, Art and Music Therapy, Forest School, School Counsellors and three resourced provisions where pupils have a high level of therapeutic support.

If you share our passion to deliver positive outcomes that continually transform the future of vulnerable children, this is your chance to make a real and lasting difference.

About you

Our next Head will have:

  • Extensive experience as a current School Leader within a Special Educational Needs setting with experience of successfully managing teams and managing change
  • A natural and genuine ability to lead and manage all stakeholders with strong values of respect, empathy, fairness, openness, and honesty
  • The proven ability to think strategically and the vision and commitment to build on the existing exciting developments within the school and to forge new paths
  • Dynamic and inspirational leadership to challenge, motivate and empower staff and all other key stakeholders including the children, parents, and carers
  • An in-depth knowledge and empathetic understanding of how children and young people with complex needs learn and make outstanding progress
  • The ability and enthusiasm to enable a learning environment that promotes high aspirations for pupils plus values and builds upon their emergent capabilities
  • Extensive understanding, experience, and a record of accomplishment of success in managing all aspects of safeguarding children and staff

In return we offer:

  • The opportunity to develop your career in a successful and thriving school
  • Strong partnership with a knowledgeable and supportive board of Governors, all of whom are committed to your ongoing professional development
  • A highly-skilled, professional, and motivated staff team
  • Parents and carers who welcome partnership and share our high expectations
  • Collaborative working practice with a wide range of stakeholders
  • An innovative, bespoke curriculum that equips our children and young people with the skills they need to become successful adults.

It is likely that the successful candidate will already be a Head Teacher, or an exceptional Deputy Head, with a successful, hands-on, leadership role. We are interested in applications from those with significant experience in a Special School, who have a good understanding of how children with a wide range of special educational needs learn, and the challenges they face.

Closing Date: 21st February 2021

Shortlisting Date: Week commencing 22nd February 2021
Interview Date: Week beginning 8th March 2021

Application process

Apply online - Supporting statement questions are attached along with the JD & PS and other necessary documents

For more information please visit the school website:

Visits to the school are welcome but due to the current situation we would ask you to have a Lateral Flow Test. This could be done at the school if required on the day of the visit - without a LFT any visits will be outside the school day. If you would like to arrange a visit please contact Debbie Foolkes via the email address below.

Additional information

Applicants for this public-facing post will need to demonstrate the ability to converse, and provide effective help or advice, fluently in spoken English.

CVs will not be accepted for any posts based in schools.

The school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff to share this commitment. This post meets the definition of ‘Regulated Activity’ as defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

Because of the nature of this job, it will be necessary for an enhanced DBS check to be undertaken. This post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore applicants are required to declare all unspent cautions and convictions; and also any adult cautions (simple or conditional), and spent convictions that are not protected as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2020). A person’s criminal record will not in itself prevent a person from being appointed to this post. Applicants will not be refused posts because of offences which are not relevant to, and do not place them at or make them a risk in, the role for which they are applying. However in the event of the employment being taken up, any failure to disclose such offence, as detailed above, will result in dismissal or disciplinary action by the Authority.