Deputy Head (Academic) Dunottar School

Dunottar is a co-educational school for pupils aged 11-18 set in extensive grounds of 15 acres on the outskirts of Reigate. The school is known for its outstanding pastoral care, for enabling pupils to be the best that they can be both inside and outside the classroom, and for its holistic approach to education.

We are dynamic, innovative and creative in our approach. As a popular choice in the local area, we are experiencing rapid growth in pupil numbers (about 10% per annum). To accommodate this growth, we are currently implementing an exciting £6.7 million capital investment programme. The new Sixth Form Centre opened in the summer term 2019 providing state-of-the-art learning and social spaces for pupils. A 520 seat Assembly Hall with music and drama classrooms is scheduled for completion in November 2020.

Dunottar is a great place to work, with a team of highly professional and committed teachers and support staff. We incorporate best practice from independent schools and academies from across the United Learning Group, whilst retaining our unique, friendly ethos in Reigate where pupils are nurtured to make significant personal progress at the same time as achieving excellent academic results. United Learning is an outstanding organisation which prides itself on providing a working and learning environment which encourages ‘the best in everyone’. You will join a network of staff belonging to over 80 other schools, with opportunities to engage with fellow professionals which far exceed what one school could achieve on its own. Personal development and career opportunities are excellent.

Job Description

Purpose of the role

The Deputy Head (Academic) is a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and plays a key role in shaping and leading the academic life of Dunottar School. The role works closely with other SLT colleagues and leads the whole school teaching and learning team. The Deputy Head (Academic) is expected to be visible around the school community on a day-to-day basis.

Senior Leadership Team

Members of SLT support the Headmaster in upholding and promoting the School’s ethos and values. They have broad strategic and operational responsibilities for the leadership and management of the School and for its development. They are expected to be excellent leaders and motivators to inspire pupils and staff towards achieving the school’s strategic vision and annual performance objectives. They are also expected to have expert knowledge in their area of responsibility and to apply this knowledge to contribute to planning, policy and the wider development of school strategy and initiatives. SLT members are expected to work strategically with the LGB and United Learning, to develop their skills through ongoing CPD and to be operationally involved with daily school routines.

Members of SLT teach a reduced timetable of approximately one third and are expected to be actively involved in the co-curricular life of the School including some evenings and weekends. It is expected that the SLT will be engaged in the marketing of the school and will also work from time to time within United Learning on projects and assignments as agreed with the Headmaster.

Teaching and Learning

The Deputy Head (Academic) is responsible to the Headmaster for teaching and learning. The purpose of the role is to ensure the highest standards of teaching and learning are achieved and that excellent academic outcomes are attained. The following responsibilities come with the role:

Strategic leadership of the academic aspects of school life
Academic performance management of subject departments and pupil outcomes
Teacher recruitment, development and appraisal
Curriculum planning, development and innovation

Key Responsibilities

The key areas of responsibility which attach to the position are set out below. The list is not exhaustive, and the post holder may be expected to assume additional responsibilities as reasonably requested by the Headmaster.

Line Management

The Deputy Head (Academic) reports directly to the Headmaster and may be called upon to deputise for the Headmaster during term time or during school holidays (as arranged with the Headmaster).

The Deputy Head (Academic) has line management responsibilities for the following:

Assistant Head (Staff Development)
Assistant Head (Learning and Innovation)
Heads of Department (Maths, English, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, MFL, Art, History/Sociology, Geography, RS)
Head of Learning Support
Scholars’ Programme Leader

Strategic Leadership

Working strategically to support the strategic, academic and operational objectives of the School:

Plan, develop, implement and review the School’s academic strategy, considering the future academic needs of pupils and advising the Headmaster and SLT on matters relating to future educational priorities
Lead the Assistant Heads and Heads of Department to enable the smooth running of academic departments, effective performance management and the implementation of the School’s aims
Take responsibility for and pride in the school’s academic outcomes measured by Public Examination results and Value Added measures
Take the lead in serious disciplinary matters and other appeals, where necessary, as advised by the Headmaster
Keep abreast of national developments and Government policy in education and advise the Headmaster on how best to respond to any changes
Meet with the LGB Education Committee, providing reports and updates to Governors on academic progress and future developments
Ensure that the school is prepared for ISI inspections and lead the school’s academic response to inspections
Lead on all academic policies and procedures

Lead by example, particularly through exceptional classroom teaching
Marketing of the school, for example at events and Open Mornings
Represent the school within United Learning and external forums

Lead the development of teaching and learning resources and promote sharing of best practice through regular contributions to staff newsletters, teaching and learning forums, HOD meetings, Twilight CPD sessions and INSET.

Academic Performance Management


Raise the achievement and attainment of all pupils and ensure that they are challenged, engaged and inspired in their learning

Monitor and evaluate the academic progress of all pupils and agree strategies with the Assistant Head (Learning and Innovation), Heads of Department and Heads of Year in order to support pupil progress, including tailored intervention strategies where appropriate
Maintain an overview of predicted grades and use the data to advise SLT, parents and United Learning
Monitor the academic entry standard and adapt as required
Be a powerful advocate for stretch and challenge, ensuring excellent provision for scholars, more able, gifted and talented students, working with the Scholars’ Lead
In conjunction with the Director of Sixth Form and Heads of Department, ensure that all pupils are supported and prepared effectively for university admissions (UCAS)
Lead the programme of academic rewards and sanctions (e.g. academic distinctions, academic detentions)

Work with the Head of Learning Support to ensure that the provision for pupils with additional learning needs is in place and effective


Work with Assistant Heads and Heads of Department to set, monitor and improve standards of teaching and learning across all academic departments to ensure that the quality of teaching and learning is excellent
Plan and chair the Heads of Department meetings

In consultation with the Headmaster, oversee and support Heads of Department in the production and annual review of departmental development plans and public examination results (September), meeting with each Head of Department and to discuss progress plans

Undertake the analysis of public and internal examination results and to report to Governors and SLT on future strategies to support improvement
Work with United Learning Subject Advisors to drive up departmental performance, including subject/department reviews


Take the lead on engaging with parents in relation to academic matters, communicating with parents both individually and in general on academic matters, explaining school policies and decisions

Have oversight and management of the response to any parental complaints about teaching, addressing and resolving matters clearly and sensitively when required
Work with the Marketing and Admissions department to ensure the Parent Portal and other prospective and current parent communications are accurate, clear, timely and relevant

Be available to meet/talk to parents at the time of publication of A-Level and GCSE results

Further develop the advice we give to parents and pupils on nurturing effective study skills and learning habits.

Teacher Recruitment, Development and Appraisal

Teacher Recruitment

In conjunction with the HR Manager, lead the recruitment process for teaching staff to ensure that excellent staff are attracted to the School
Work with the Headmaster and SLT to provide a strategic overview of future staffing requirements including the identification of skills gaps for succession planning

Teacher Development

Responsible for the induction, training and ongoing professional development of the teaching staff
Support the work of the Assistant Head (Staff Development) to enhance and promote a culture of professional development and improvement amongst the teaching staff including by conducting regular lesson observations, providing constructive feedback and being a leader on pedagogy (e.g. Rosenshine) and delivering INSET/CPD sessions

Teacher Appraisal

Lead and implement the annual PDR and teacher appraisal process
Advise the Headmaster and SLT of CPD requirements and appraisal outcomes
Ensure that HoDs take responsibility for the professional development of teachers in their department

Curriculum Development

Lead the development, monitoring and evaluation of the curriculum, keeping abreast of national changes, policies and best practice
Draw up, maintain and implement an academic curriculum development plan for future years, working with the Headmaster and SLT to ensure a balance of curriculum content and structure, philosophy and cost effectiveness
Lead on academic curriculum policies including homework, marking and assessment criteria, policies and procedures
Support the work of the Assistant Head (Learning and Innovation) and take responsibility for implementing innovative and futuristic approaches to teaching and learning
Regularly review curriculum deployment to ensure that all Key Stages are challenging and rigorous and that subject specifications are appropriate and well sequenced

This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive and the post holder may perform other duties reasonably required by the Head. Dunottar School reserves the right to alter the content of this job description after consultation to reflect changes to the role or services provided, without altering the general character or level of responsibility.