Headteacher Island Learning Centre, Isle of Wight

A bright new future on the Isle of Wight

L18 to L24 (£71,729 - £83,081) + up to10% for the right candidate

Student working at a desk with learning resources around them

The Island Learning Centre

“The school helps pupils to successfully engage in education” Ofsted, 2023

This is a really exciting time for education on the Island, with a new Children’s Services Directorate and a new Education, Inclusion and Access, serving the Isle of Wight. The current focus is on SEND and meeting the needs of all of our children and young people.

The Island Learning Centre is an Education Centre (Pupil Referral Unit) catering for secondary aged pupils with a variety of different needs, providing specialised support for some of the most vulnerable young people on the Isle of Wight.

Our aim is to support young people to make positive change that enables them to achieve their best personally, socially and academically. An important aspect of our role is encouraging young people to gain confidence and build their aspirations.

The staff and management committee are determined that our young people, whatever their background or need, receive the best possible preparation for a fulfilling independent adult life. We aim for all our young people to either return, back to mainstream school or onward to post 16 education, training or employment.

We provide a motivating and inclusive curriculum for our young people who

  • have been permanently excluded from their mainstream school or who are at risk of permanent exclusion
  • are medically unwell or emotionally vulnerable and therefore unable to access mainstream education

Education is provided onsite as well as offsite through tutors or alternative provision. Young people receive a personalised curriculum containing a mix of academic subjects and vocational programmes.

We also provide an Outreach Service to support reintegration to mainstream schools and undertake preventative work to reduce suspensions and exclusions.

Our dedicated staff are committed to supporting young people and their families to work through challenges, build their self-esteem and become confident learners.

We pride ourselves in supporting young people to value themselves and become equipped to make a positive contribution to their community.

The Management Committee are working closely with the Local Authority to be able to support even more young people.

You could be part of these exciting developments

“We focus on where our pupils will finish, not where they start.” Ofsted, 2023

The Job

(comprehensive detail available in the Job Summary)

The Headteacher must work in accordance with the Headteacher Standards (2020) and The Seven Principles of Public Life, known as the Nolan Principles.

We are looking for a Headteacher who is

  • young person focused
  • able to create the team to drive leadership forward
  • aspiring for the highest possible standards for our young people
  • committed to a therapeutic, trauma informed approach
  • leading by example and inspiring others

This role is in alignment with national standards that underpin the core purpose and key areas of headship.

Safeguarding Responsibility

Ensuring that all young people are kept safe and that the ILC adheres to KCSiE

Financial Management Responsibility

Advising the Management Committee on the centre’s annual budget and the budget revision as appropriate.

Class with students and teachers around square table with slide on the wall of petri dish view and posters on wall

You will be keen to deliver 

Culture and ethos

  • establish the ILC’s ethos and strategic direction
  • uphold ambitious educational standards
  • promote positive and respectful relationships
  • maintain a safe and inclusive environment
  • ensure staff have access to high-quality, sustained professional development
  • support succession planning and continued school improvement
  • curriculum and teaching
  • establish and sustain high-quality, expert teaching across all subjects and phases
  • ensure a broad, structured and coherent curriculum entitlement
  • ensure all young people are taught to read through evidence-informed approaches, particularly the use of early reading schemes
  • ensure the school holds ambitious expectations for all young people with and without additional and special educational needs and disabilities
  • introduce a strengths-based assessment system

Organisational effectiveness

  • ensure the protection and safety of young people and staff
  • prioritise and allocate financial resources appropriately
  • ensure staff are deployed and managed well with attention to workload and wellbeing
  • establish and oversee systems, processes and policies
  • forge constructive relationships beyond the ILC, across the Island
  • understand and welcome effective governance through the management committee, upholding their obligation to be accountable and accept responsibility
“Staff provide interesting opportunities, such as working with artists, cooking and forestry work, which inspire pupils as they consider future careers” Ofsted, 2023
Young people wearing safety goggles making sparks in a science experiment

The person

(comprehensive detail available in the Job Summary)

We are looking for someone special who will be an advocate for all young people and an ambassador not only for the Island Learning Centre but also for our families, the Island community, other schools and agencies.

To help us achieve our goals you’ll need to demonstrate experience & evidence of being a strong teacher with senior leadership experience in an educational setting. We need a welcoming and approachable Headteacher, who is an active listener with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with all stakeholders.

Key skills

  • successful experience of trauma-informed approaches with examples
  • evidence of continued professional development
  • strong knowledge of SEND
  • excellent presentation skills, including ICT skills
  • evidence of innovation and managing change and school improvement
  • experience of successfully supporting young people on the next stage of their education/training/employment
  • experience of engaging with the continued professional development of all staff
  • experience of developing successful teams to deliver a shared vision
  • experience of leading high-quality inclusive teaching, learning and assessment
  • a good understanding of the local and national educational landscape
  • understanding of the importance of multi-agency working

Job Pack

Essential reading
Click on the titles below to download more information about this vacancy
ILC Headteacher Job summary
ILC Headteacher recruitment booklet

Supporting information
The Island Learning Centre website
The Island Learning Centre Ofsted report (PDF, 468KB)

Applications closed on Friday 28 June 2024 

There will be a 2-day interview process for all shortlisted applicants:

  • Day 1: Thurs 18 July 2024 On Site - facility tour and practical capability assessments
  • Day 2: Fri 19 July 2024 Off Site - formal interview and practical assessment

Contact recruitment@iow.gov.uk


As well as being a great place to work we also offer a competitive rewards and benefits package, including:

  • relocation package of up to £8,000 (subject to criteria)
  • home relocation scheme via Help to Buy
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC)
  • Solent ferry travel discounts
  • local and national staff discount and benefits
  • Island bus network discount
  • cycle to work scheme
  • staff parking permit scheme
  • discounted leisure and gym membership
  • access to private health care packages
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • digital learning hub
  • agile and flexible working policies
  • professional development

Island Life

Considerably lower housing costs and relocation incentives

The Island is a great place to live and work with wonderful beaches and idyllic countryside. There is something for all ages and lifestyles including fantastic outdoor pursuit such as sailing, water-sports, hiking and riding.

We have a lively social and music scene with a good range of pubs, restaurants, theatres, and a strong amateur dramatics scene.

Many famous events take place on the Island for example Cowes Week Sailing Regatta, the Isle of Wight scooter rally and the Isle of Wight music festival, teamed with our historic attractions, this makes us a major tourist destination.

The Island has many thriving industries including hospitality, engineering, boatbuilding, horticulture and agriculture.

There is easy access to Portsmouth, Southampton and the New Forest, with excellent hover, car ferry and fast passenger links to the mainland. Train connections from Southampton and Portsmouth Harbour link directly to London and further afield.

We believe that the Island is the jewel in the crown of life on the south coast.

Living on the Isle of Wight