Chief Operating Officer – Rugby School

Rugby, Warwickshire

The deadline for applications has passed.

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The Governors and Head Master seek to appoint a highly motivated, financially astute and commercially driven Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Founded in 1567, Rugby School is one of the UK’s oldest and most famous co-educational boarding schools. Located in the centre of the market town of Rugby in Warwickshire, the school provides an exceptional educational environment for some 860 students aged 13 to 18. Rugby School is a complex and historic organisation which is fast becoming a leading global educator with a growing family of schools overseas, partnerships delivering online learning and a recent merger with a leading prep school, Bilton Grange, which is situated 3.5 miles away on its own 90-acre site.

The COO will be joining an ambitious and highly successful organisation as it sets out on the next stage of its development. With responsibility for finance, estates, IT, HR, domestic operations and commercial enterprises, candidates will be able to demonstrate proven ability in executive leadership, strategic planning and operational delivery within large complex environments.

Reporting to the Head Master, the COO will lead a diverse support team of 550 staff and as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team, will seek out and drive forward opportunities to broaden Rugby’s horizons and extend its reach. They will be a dynamic and collaborative senior leader, a strategic thinker with strong financial and commercial acumen and the ability to empower and develop others to ensure the continued success of Rugby School. An excellent communicator, the COO will strive for excellence and operate at pace.

Prior experience in the education sector is not a prerequisite and applications are encouraged from candidates with commercial, charitable, private-sector and public-sector backgrounds. The successful candidate will, however, demonstrate empathy with independent education and commitment to Rugby’s philosophy of education.

A highly attractive remuneration package, including accommodation and fee remission, will be available for the successful candidate.

Interested candidates are invited to contact RSAcademics to arrange an informal and confidential discussion about the role: 

Nina Lambert, Head of Bursar Search:

The closing date for applications is 10.00am on Monday 13th May 2024. 

Applications should be made electronically to RSAcademics. To submit your application please click on “Apply Now” on the right side of this page and upload your documents according to the instructions provided. 

You should submit:  

  • A completed application form
  • A covering letter addressed to the Head Master, Mr Gareth Parker-Jones. The letter should be a maximum of two pages and should explain your reasons for applying and outline your suitability for the role. 

If you have any questions about uploading your application documents, please contact Jonathan Barnes, Head of Operations (Leadership Appointments), at Jonathan can also be reached by calling our Head Office on +44 (0)1858 383163.   

Rugby School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

This post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975, 2013 and 2020. 

The safeguarding responsibilities of the role are indicated in the candidate information. 

RSAcademics is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and to promoting diversity and inclusion in schools. 

Key Dates

Closing date for applications

13/05/2024 10.00am

Preliminary interviews will take place with RSAcademics via Microsoft Teams on 17th and 20th May 2024.

Longlist interviews will take place at Rugby School on Wednesday 12th June 2024

Shortlist interviews will take place at Rugby School on Thursday 20 June 2024