Director of Primary Education

Job Roles:
Director/Principal/Vice Principal
Organisation Type:
Academy Trust
Contract Type:
Full Time
Subject Area:
South East
Contract Term:
Salary Description:
Attractive Salary
11th Sep 2020
Start Date:
Tenax Schools Trust
Job Ref:

Director of Primary Education

For more information about this career-defining opportunity, please contact Claire Isaacs, Human Resources Director


Thank you for your interest in the post of Director of Primary Education.

This is a rare opportunity, following the promotion of the current post-holder to her first CEO post, for an ambitious and effective senior leader, with QTS and a strong primary background, to take on a crucial strategic leadership role in this highly regarded and successful Church of England Trust.

Our successful candidate will lead, support and coach a strong and committed team of Primary headteachers across schools in Kent and East Sussex and will play a lead role in the further development of the quality of education and professional development across the Trust’s primary school portfolio. The successful candidate will also have a unique opportunity to contribute to the leadership of the wider educational work of the Trust; a Trust that is well-known for the quality of its work and the significant contribution it makes to the shaping of national policy, and which benefits from strong relationships across the education sector.

The role is offered as a full-time post, part-time may be possible for the right candidate. The Trust is committed to flexible working and will always seek to accommodate the needs of employees, where possible agreeing alternative working arrangements.

Salary and benefits

An attractive salary package which reflects the scale and demands of the role
Membership of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme
Opportunities to work flexibly
Access to comprehensive professional development

About the Trust

Tenax is a Church of England academy trust located in West Kent and East Sussex. It works in partnership with the dioceses of Rochester and Chichester, but also includes schools with no faith designation.

It currently comprises 7 primary schools in full membership (one of which is a free school), and one in associate membership, alongside a large secondary school, Bennett Memorial. It is led by Mr Ian Bauckham CBE, who also holds a number of national roles in education.

The Trust also runs a SCITT, recently graded Outstanding, which is this year training more than 70 primary and secondary teachers across the wider area, and also has a large and successful Altius Teaching School which has a track record of delivering large scale school improvement work at regional level and which runs training programmes attracting large numbers of participants and well-known trainers and speakers.

Tenax aims to achieve educational excellence for all through outstanding leadership, a sequenced, knowledge-based curriculum, high quality evidence-based pedagogy, and a commitment to teacher professional development. This is complemented by an emphasis on creating schools with a strong and distinctive ethos and culture.

While our Church of England schools place particular emphasis on teaching children and young people about Christian values, beliefs and traditions, all of our schools subscribe to our underpinning educational, ethical and personal development principles. We value diversity and will preserve the distinctive local character of each school. We welcome pupils and families from all backgrounds and from all faiths and none.

Our educational philosophy derives from our founding values:
• We believe in the value and potential of every child and young person.
• We are committed to high standards of achievement and embrace a positive mind set approach that insists all students can make exceptional progress.
• We will deliver high quality teaching with a focus on achieving mastery of subjects from phonics through to the skills needed to play a musical instrument well.
• We value our staff because exceptional learning requires exceptional teachers. We provide excellent professional and career development as well as competitive employment packages. We aim to be an employer of choice
• We will provide rich additional opportunities for all to build character and develop children and young people’s moral, social and cultural awareness.

The Trust aims to maintain and further enhance its reputation for excellence in all aspects of its work.

The name ‘Tenax’ is the Latin word for ‘tenacious’ or ‘steadfast’. We chose it because we are steadfast in our belief in the value of Church of England education, and the consequent commitment to high achievement and personal growth for all young people.

For more detailed information please see our website at .

Role Description

Job Title: Director of Primary Education
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Remuneration: Competitive salary on Leadership Scale, Teachers’ terms and conditions

Job purpose

• To be accountable for the quality of education in primary schools across the Trust
• To be responsible for the management and support of primary headteachers
• To lead on Trust-wide professional development for primary schools
• To support effective local governance in primary schools
• To motivate and empower headteachers and other primary staff in their work
• To ensure that safeguarding is prioritised in Trust primary schools and that appropriate policies and practices are in place
• To contribute to the strategic leadership of the Trust
• To contribute to the training of teachers through the Trust’s SCITT
• To contribute to the Trust’s wider school improvement work through Altius and to undertake commissions to support the system more broadly as they arise

Key duties and responsibilities
• To work with Trust primary schools to develop all aspects of effective leadership and to provide support, mentoring or coaching for headteachers as required

• To lead continuous improvement in primary curriculum and pedagogy, in line with the Trust’s vision, through effective professional development and the establishment of high expectations for all pupils in all areas. This will include working with colleagues to plan and prepare curricula for Trust primary schools

• To be accountable for the quality of education, progress and educational attainment in the Trust’s primary schools and to assess and report on these to governors and trustees as required

• To advise on and support the recruitment and deployment of excellent staff for the Trust’s primary schools

• To evaluate and analyse education quality and school performance and ensure that improvement planning is well targeted and appropriately supported

• To provide intensive leadership support or provide interim leadership where this becomes necessary from time to time

• To act as an advocate for the Trust, its values and purpose, model its approaches and policies, and support Trust growth

• To develop strategic partnerships and relationships with primary schools so that the benefits of the Trust for primary schools are well understood and realised

• To support primary schools in the maintenance of positive relationships with key stakeholders, including parents, local authorities and other partners

• To line manage primary headteachers and lead their performance management in conjunction with chairs of Local Governing Bodies

• To support primary Local Governing Bodies in developing effective governance in line with the Trust’s Governance Framework

• To make a strong contribution to the initial teacher training work of the Trust, its wider teacher development work and to support the Trust in the implementation of the Early Career Framework

• To take a strong, strategic lead on the design and implementation of an outstanding programme of professional development for primary schools which reflects both the needs of schools and the Trust’s commitment to evidence-based curriculum design and pedagogy

• To ensure that primary schools are well prepared for, and supported during, external inspections, including by Ofsted and SIAMS

• Ensure that safeguarding policies and practices fully meet relevant guidelines in all Trust primary schools, that staff are appropriately trained and that schools work as required with relevant agencies to protect children

• To ensure effective use of resources for the purposes of the Trust’s objectives

This role description will be reviewed annually and may be subject to modification after consultation with the postholder. It is not intended to be a comprehensive statement but to set out the principal expectations of the Trust in relation to this role.

Key relationships
Internal Director of HR
Chief Finance Officer
Primary headteachers
Chair of Trust Education Committee
Chairs of primary Local Governing Bodies
Director of SCITT ad Teaching School
External Kent and East Sussex Local Authorities
Dioceses of Rochester and Chichester
Other trusts and educational organisations locally and nationally

Person Specification

This person specification is designed to enable potential applicants for this role to determine how fully they currently meet the requirements of the role. It will be used to shortlist applicants and as part of the selection process.

It is not necessary to meet all points listed below in order to apply – we are very keen to hear from applicants who believe they meet a majority of the ‘need to have’ points.

We are an organisation committed to developing all of our staff through Trust-wide coaching, mentoring and support arrangements and through our collaborative work with Altius. We will work with the new post holder to secure the most appropriate CPD opportunities.

Need to have:

Qualifications and Experience

• Graduate with full Qualified Teacher Status
• Evidence of excellent teaching experience
• Significant leadership experience in a primary school, or across more than one primary school
• Evidence of identifying and challenging underperformance and leading school improvement
• Ability to motivate and inspire the confidence of primary headteachers
• Experience of successful coaching or mentoring of teachers or senior staff
• Ability accurately to assess education quality and plan strategically for improvement
• Knowledge of and commitment to evidence-based curriculum and pedagogy
• Sympathetic to the Church of England ethos of the Trust
• Excellent oral and written communication abilities
• Experience of designing and leading professional development for teachers which is based on sound evidence
• Experience of working with teacher trainees
• Experience of accountability and working with governors
• Resilience and the ability to work under pressure

Additional requirements
• Full driving licence and own transport
• Knowledge of MS Office packages and good IT skills

Please tell us if:

You hold additional qualifications such as NPQH, CEPQH, NPQEL
You have experience as an Executive Headteacher, or working as an advisor or consultant in School Improvement.
You have senior leadership experience in a range of Primary settings.

Tenax Schools Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people in our school communities. We expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All posts will be subject to the necessary pre-employment checks including an Enhanced check with the Disclosure and Barring Service. All posts requiring Qualified Teacher Status will be checked with Teacher Services to confirm qualifications and check for any restrictions or sanctions.

Before applying

Potential candidates are warmly welcomed to contact the Trust to discuss the role. Please contact Claire Isaacs, Human Resources Director at In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we may not be in a position to arrange pre-application visits to schools but may be able to arrange further conversations with Trust personnel if this is helpful.

Any applicants who would appreciate an informal and confidential discussion with Ian Bauckham, CBE about the post should arrange an appointment by contacting:
Katherine Wagstaff (PA to Ian Bauckham) on 01892 774602

Such conversations are not part of the selection process for the role.


Please send your completed application form and supporting letter to Claire Isaacs, Human Resources Director at by midnight on Wednesday 23rd September. Please refer to the guidance notes for applicants.

Shortlisted candidates

Short listing will take place on Thursday 24th September after which the shortlisted candidates will be contacted. This will include a letter outlining the interview process. Interviews will take place on 28th and 29th September 2020.
Interviews may take place using a modified process, such as video conferencing, subject to Covid19 restrictions as may be in place at the time.

Offer of Employment

The successful candidate will be contacted by phone on the evening of 29th September and an offer of employment made subject to the satisfactory completion of all pre-employment checks

Guidance Notes for Applicants


Please advise us as soon as possible if you require reasonable adjustments to enable you to participate in this recruitment process. This may include alternative arrangements at the application or interview stage. Please contact Claire Isaacs, Human Resources Director at regarding such needs.

Application Form

It is imperative that the application form is completed in full and signed. Please follow the instruction to use black ink or typescript as your form will very likely be photocopied. If you are submitting your application form electronically, you will be asked to sign the form should you be invited to interview.

When submitting your application, it is important that you relate your skills, experience and abilities against the person specification, identifying against each criterion, examples of your expertise. The shortlisting panel cannot guess or make assumptions. Please make sure you complete the application form that was sent to you with the application pack as this will be the most up to date version.

Please do not attach a previously prepared CV as an alternative. It is important that we are able to compare candidates’ experience by drawing on the same range of information. Statements in support of an application will often need to be longer than the space provided on the form and these should be attached to the application on a separate sheet. Your personal statement should be not more than two sides of A4.

Letter of Application

In addition to the application form, we ask that you write a covering letter describing briefly the extent to which your experience has prepared you for the role of Director of Primary Education, what drives and motivates you as an individual, and in particular how this aligns to our vision and values.


We will take up references on shortlisted candidates. Please give your current or most recent employer as one of your referees; if you are working in a Headteacher or Local Authority Advisory post, please provide the name and address of your Director of Children’s Services, together with a second referee who should be the Chair of Governors of your current school, if applicable.
We ask that you do not include photocopies of open testimonials. We will always write to your current or previous employer for a professional judgement of your suitability for the post. If you have been employed in your present post for less than three years, the Trust may wish to seek further supporting information from your previous employer(s).


You will need to provide documentary evidence of your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and other relevant qualifications (excluding GCSE, “O” and “A” levels) at your interview.
The Trust will ask to see the original certificate, and copies will be taken for your application. If you have achieved the National Professional Qualification for Head teachers (NPQH) or any other professional qualifications e.g. National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders (NPQEL), you will be asked to provide the certificate for checking.

Medical Information and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure

Prior to appointment, you will need to complete a health statement that will be assessed by Tenax’s Schools Trust Occupational Health Team.
The Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All staff will be expected to hold or be willing to obtain an enhanced DBS disclosure issued with the Trust as the employer.
This disclosure will need to be approved by Tenax Schools Trust before we can fully confirm your appointment. Please note that having a criminal record does not automatically mean that an offer of appointment will be withdrawn.

Childcare Disqualification Regulations 2009

The post of Director of Primary Education is directly concerned with the management of early or later years’ provision, therefore the post is covered by the Childcare Disqualification Regulations 2009.

The Trust will need to ensure that they are not knowingly employing a person who is disqualified under the 2009 Regulations in connection with relevant childcare provision. Accordingly, the successful candidate will be required to demonstrate to the school, by completing a self-declaration form as part of the pre-employment checks process, that they have not been disqualified under the 2009 Regulations.

If the preferred candidate is found to be disqualified under the 2009 Regulations, the offer of employment will be subject to the application by the preferred candidate to Ofsted for a waiver and the receipt of a waiver from Ofsted.

Eligibility to Work in the UK

In line with Safer Recruitment guidance issued by the DfE and other employment related legislation, you will be required to provide evidence of your identity and eligibility to work in the UK. The evidence required is one of the following documents:

• a full British passport (current or expired) or national identity card issued by a state which is party to the Europe Economic Agreement or other passport stating your eligibility to work in the UK

• a full birth certificate issued in the UK or Republic of Ireland AND an official document showing your National Insurance number, for example, P45, P60 or a document issued by HM Revenue & Customs or another Government Department. (A document showing a temporary NI number would not be satisfactory.) 

Please note that applicants who use documents from a state which is part to the European Economic Agreement must apply to the EU Settled Status Scheme, and any appointment would be subject to Settled Status being granted. More information is available from

Download Documents

Closing Date:
Contact Details:
Tenax Schools Trust
Tel: N/A
Contact: Claire Isaac

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