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Head Teacher / Head of School Kirk Hallam Community Academy

Kirk Hallam Community Academy, part of the Nova Education Trust, seeks to appoint their next Head Teacher / Head of School to provide creative and innovative leadership for their brilliant 11-18 school in the heart of East Derbyshire.

  • Location: Kirk Hallam, Ilkeston, Derbyshire
  • Salary: Competitive and negotiable upon experience

About the Role

Kirk Hallam Community Academy’s Governors and the Nova Education Trust are seeking an ambitious and inspirational school leader to build on the strong foundations of our school that is deeply rooted in its local community and lead continued improvements as our next Head Teacher / Head of School.

Since joining the Nova Education Trust, our school has been on a journey of improvement, with progress to be proud of. When walking around our school, you will be welcomed by polite and happy children and young people – connected and committed to their learning and taught by an expert team of teachers and support staff.

Behaviour at our school is exemplary and attendance is excellent. We have developed robust policies and processes resulting in high-quality teaching and learning and invested a great deal in ensuring our pastoral services are proactive and meet the needs of every child and young adult who learns with us. We are clear that for children to progress well into adulthood, they require access to wider opportunities and to engage with society as a whole – and we are proud of the lengths we go to offer these extra-curricular and enriching opportunities. But we also need to do more.

With a great deal of work having already been undertaken to move the school into a stronger, more focused and resilient position –with healthy finances and the ability to invest in areas that will have a great deal of impact on the quality of our pupil and student experience – we are poised to develop the next set of plans with our new Head Teacher / Head of School.

With the support of the Executive Headteacher (Secondary), Sandy Paley, and wider services available through the Trust, we require our next Head Teacher/ Head of School to develop school-based plans that enable innovation in the classroom and encourage children and young adults to love their learning.

We would like you to develop structures for high-quality teaching and learning with a focus on sharing best practise, whilst also developing a culture where people feel supported to improve.

We are looking to develop a responsive curriculum offer and expect some change under your leadership, with the need for enrichment and wider opportunities for learning to take place outside of the classroom to be a key feature of this. We know that with exciting change comes a need to enhance opportunities for staff, and through your ambitious and dynamic senior leadership team at Kirk Hallam you will create space for staff to develop themselves through undertaking research, training and study, external peer review opportunities and a comprehensive programme of CPD.

As a rural community secondary and sixth form school, proud of our comprehensive offer, our next Head Teacher / Head of School will be expected to forge links across the local area with primary partners and community groups. We are community in name and need to be more focused on community in our nature.

Who we are looking for

Since qualifying as a secondary school teacher, we need you to have demonstrated a passion and commitment to school leadership and improvement with measurable outcomes including improved Ofsted ratings. Complimenting this passion for high-quality, innovative and responsive teaching and learning will be your experience in leading improvements to curriculum development, teaching and learning, pastoral support and enrichment across a whole school. We welcome your ability to evidence the positive impact that your leadership has had on the experience of children, young people, staff and community members.

You will be aware of good practise pedagogy, have experience of drawing on evidenced-based research and devising strategies for improvement in your school. Whilst the Trust will provide you with a supportive framework to work within, you will be the Head of Kirk Hallam Community Academy and, as such, we will expect you to inspire an already connected and committed staff team to deliver further improvements so that children and young people at your school love coming to school and are excited about learning. You will take full ownership of the school budget and the allocation of resources, and so it is important to us that you have experience of managing expenditure well with the added vantage of devising strategies to market and promote a school previously – leading to an increase in pupil and student numbers.

Your experience of senior leadership will be welcomed by us, as will your knowledge of school-based strategic and curriculum planning. You will be accustomed to interpreting data and using it to inform governors, the Trust’s executive, and staff members to enhance exceptional performance and support under performance.

Whilst this is an essential skill, we ask that you are data focused but driven by the needs of the children and young people at Kirk Hallam.

As the lead ambassador of your school, you will instil trust with parents, carers and the local community, whilst also building excellent relations across your school with staff and children through being an honest and consistent communicator.

We see this as an ideal opportunity for an aspirant Deputy Head with an incredible track record of success who is eager to apply their prior experience gained to their first headship.

We also encourage applications from existing Headteachers and Head of Schools looking to enhance their skills within a values-led, collegiate, and successful multi-academy trust serving the cities of Nottingham and Leicester, and across the wider East Midlands region.

Our mission at the Nova Education Trust is to create tranformational schools that belong to their communities and where all pupils and staff achieve more than they thought possible. If you can help us achieve this, we look forward to working with you.


Closing date: 12 pm, Wednesday 5th January 2022

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Sally Lawson Ritchie | sally@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 158 737

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364 033


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Sally Lawson-Ritchie

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Welcome from Ashfaq Rahman, CEO of the Nova Education Trust

Dear candidate,

Thank you for your interest in becoming the Head of Kirk Hallam Community Academy, part of the Nova Education Trust. I hope that you will find this information useful in helping you to complete your application.

Since taking up the role of CEO I have become even more mindful of the role that a multi-academy trust plays in ensuring that as an organisation we foster and nurture a great working environment across our family of schools and our central team. My executive colleagues and I are committed to building an organisation that works with each and every member of staff as a key stakeholder working in an organisation that puts learners first.  This commitment and strong belief underpin our desire to become the local Trust of choice:  a community in which staff feel valued, nurtured and supported to be the very best versions of themselves. We know that employees deeply care about issues such as cultural inclusivity, sustainability and a healthy work–life balance and so do we.

All of our schools have learned and subsequently adapted their thinking, to be more flexible and creative following the recent experiences of the pandemic. This flexibility in many situations has been positive and productive for the trust, our staff and our external stakeholders and going forward we are committed to using technology to establish and embed a more flexible and balanced approach to support positive life changes for teaching, support and operational staff.

We know those who choose to work in education care about building vibrant, child-centred learning communities which are committed to excellence, where pupils and staff know they are valued as individuals and are empowered to succeed.  Our work in supporting, shaping and educating young people is important and meaningful and that work builds supportive relationships and a sense of community.   The ‘why’ of why we get up and come to work in the morning is quite clearly our pupils. Every single trust employee is part of creating the right environment for our young people to flourish. It is high quality, committed staff that make the difference in our sector, no matter what the job role.

We have a strong focus on providing all staff, teaching and non-teaching, with high quality CPD opportunities. We have fantastic practice both operationally and educationally happening within our schools, and we work hard to share that best practice and adapt it to work in our individual communities. We are not a trust that imposes a ‘done to’ model into each of our schools. Instead, we are about sharing those key ingredients of brilliant practice so that leaders can personalise that practice to enrich their own environments and communities.

We are looking for an exceptional individual, an aspirational and intelligent leader who has the imagination, passion and experience to support and challenge us to even greater things in the service of our young people.   A leader who shares our values;

  • Leads by example: with honesty, integrity, humility, and professionalism.
  • Is trustworthy loyal to others: we are committed to demonstrating a selfless commitment in all that we do.
  • Is innovative: we remain open to learning from others.
  • Believes that we all learn together: in our vibrant, creative, diverse and inclusive family of schools.
  • Is highly ambitious with a selflessness commitment and generosity to others: supporting our staff and students to believe that through hard work, all can succeed and grow.

We hope, very much, that you choose to join the leadership of our incredible organisation.

Ashfaq Rahman

Chief Executive Officer

Welcome from Melanie Lawson, Chair of Kirk Hallam Community Academy local Governing Body

Dear Candidate,

On behalf of the Kirk Hallam Community Academy’s Local Governing Body, I welcome your interest in becoming our next Head Teacher/ Head of School and working with us and your senior leadership team to further progress our aspirations for the benefit of our pupils, students and whole community.

Our school is deeply connected to the local area and proud of our comprehensive offer that enables our pupils and students to have a choice about their options after school and sixth form. We have experienced a number of changes and challenges throughout the past few years, though through the support offered by the Nova Education Trust, combined with the dedication and commitment of governors and staff, we truly believe we have a bright future ahead of us.

A school environment must enable children and young people to feel inspired and recognise their true potential. We have a moral duty to encourage our pupils and students to gain new experiences alongside new learning, to prepare them for the future. Through your leadership of Kirk Hallam, and with the support of a dynamic senior leadership team who are completely committed to ensuring the success of our school, we have high hopes and ambitions to see through this final stage of change and develop a school community that prioritises both children’s love of learning alongside high expectations around behaviour and standards.

If you have experience of successfully leading a school, and can recognise the benefits available through being part of a wider multi-academy trust system, then we very much welcome your interest.

I hope to meet with you soon.

Mel Lawson

Chair of the Local Governing Body

Welcome To Kirk Hallam Community Academy

Our place in the community

Kirk Hallam Community Academy is a medium-sized 11–18 school situated in the Erewash district of Derbyshire, admitting pupils into Year 7 from 15 local primary schools. We are proud to be part of the Nova Education Trust and benefit from the support of colleagues from across the organisation, though have autonomy to make the very best decisions for our community which allows us to be responsive to their needs.

We provide a broad range of learning and enrichment opportunities that not only develop the academic capacity of our children and young adults, but also nurture their personal growth. We are proud to be an inclusive and open learning community characterised by the pursuit of the highest standards of achievement in all its forms.

We work together, with our local community, to inspire our children and young adults to develop the skills, confidence and initiative to play an active and positive role in wider society.

We are committed to the raising of standards through the improvement of teaching and learning, by providing opportunities and support for the personal and professional development of all our staff, and developing management and leadership skills across all our teams.

Kirk Hallam Community Academy is a supportive, happy and safe environment for pupils at the school, placed at the heart of our community.

Our curriculum focus

Our curriculum reflects the high aspirations we have for our children and young adults, and their life choices and chances.

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum through Key Stage 3 that allows our children to experience practical and creative subjects that complement academic subjects within our core curriculum. This helps pupils to make informed decisions regarding Key Stage 4 options and allows us to formally recognise achievement in a wide range of subjects.

In Key Stage 4, children study both English Language and Literature, Maths and Science, and will participate in Core PE and our personal development curriculum. They also select options from humanities, languages, creative and performance subjects and from design and technology. In Key Stage 5, students select from a wide range of academic and vocational pathways aligned with our Key Stage 4 curriculum and post-16 options.

At Kirk Hallam Community Academy we are committed to recognising achievement in all its forms.

We believe academic achievement should provide children and young adults with a passport to a bright and exciting future – this belief is central to everything we do as a school.

We are committed to offering a wide range of experiences for everyone who learns with us, which includes the development of our on-site farm in partnership with the Rare Breeds Trust, as well as a wide range of enrichment activities that take place including school music and drama productions, clubs including gardening, science and creative writing, and a wide range of sports clubs and fixtures. There are also activities which take place off-site, such as The Duke of Edinburgh Awards, National Space Centre visits, Toyota Team Challenge and theatre productions. In addition, pupils also participate in residential trips at home and abroad, which have included visits to Lea Green, France, Germany and Japan.

We believe in the importance of independence and resilience, and Kirk Hallam’s provision is designed with the development of these personal development qualities in mind, ensuring that every child and young adult who does their very best is rewarded.

Kirk Hallam Community Academy and the Nova Education Trust are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references.

About Nova Education Trust

We are dedicated to providing opportunity for all through high quality education provision. We are focused on delivering the highest levels of attainment for every child in our care. We are committed to being a socially responsible employer and community partner.

As the trust has developed, we have distilled our actions into four simple, but powerful, words: Work Hard; Be Kind

As Nova leaders we share the same mission values and ambitions. We all understand the purpose, process and principles to which we align. The principles of alignment relate to our 5-step improvement model and the journey to truly inspirational. As well as aligning around what we believe creates transformational schools, we are also committed to celebrating the diversity in all of our schools; this is what makes our Trust such a vibrant and dynamic organisation to work for. Diversity is very important to us both in the value of individual diversity and in the composition and iteration of culture in our schools.

Through being clear about our principles of alignment whilst valuing diversity, we can secure collective efficacy, and all can belong. Collective efficacy is important to us. It is not just what we align on, it is how we align, and this relates to our values. We strongly believe that through working together, coaching for excellence and having confidence in ‘Team Nova’, we will have greater success.

This belief is heartfelt, and evidence informed. As such, we enjoy collaborative planning and practice in and for itself, however, we also know that working together as an effective team is the way that we will secure the best outcomes for our children and young people

Futher Informaiton

Leadership Structure Chart

The provision of equality of opportunity and respect for the needs and rights of the individual are fundamental to the values of the trust. KHCA fulfils its general and specific duties in relation to equality of opportunity and actively demonstrates due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities, in all strands as identified in the Equality Act 2010.

We offer the following amenities:

  • Our buildings and facilities have step-free access
  • Accessibility dogs are always welcome on our premises
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats if needed
  • We would be happy to source a sign language interpreter if required
  • We provide a flexible working environment, including locations

If you have any further needs around accessibility, please get in touch with the advising consultants for a confidential chat on how we can best fulfill your needs.

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Job Description and Person Specification and complete this Equality Monitoring Survey.

    To formally apply, please complete the Nova Education Trust Application Form. Within your personal statement please ensure you clearly outline your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application form is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Head – Kirk Hallam Community School” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Sally Lawson Ritchie | sally@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07904 158 737

    Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364 033

    Applications sent directly to the school may not be considered.

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


    Closing date: 12 pm, Wednesday 5th January 2022

    Candidates informed of outcome: Thursday 13th January 2021

    First Stage Interviews: Wednesday 19th January 2022

    Second Stage Interviews: Wednesday 26th January 2022


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring 

    Peridot and the Nova Education Trust are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring survey.

    The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018.

    The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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