Appointments Vacancies

Founding Principal – China World Academy

Changshu, China


This is an exciting opportunity to lead a school that is aiming to break new ground in international education in China. China World Academy’s vision is to develop future leaders who are equipped and committed to finding solutions to the world’s greatest challenges through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

To meet this bold ambition, China World Academy will offer a residential high school education with an IB curriculum, a focus on STEM subjects and a values-based approach that views education as the means to a better world. The Academy will take the best of Chinese and international education and draw deeply on the experience and expertise of two partner institutions that are well established in these respective fields: Tsinghua High School and United World College Changshu China. The Academy will be located in the city of Changshu (100 km from Shanghai), which is rapidly becoming known as a centre for educational excellence and innovation.

China World Academy will cater for Years 10, 11 and 12, primarily Chinese students, with the IB Diploma Programme offered in Years 11 and 12.

While the students will benefit from the broad-based approach of the IB Diploma, influenced also by the UWC movement’s commitment to education as a means to make a global impact, they will be part of a high school with a strong emphasis on STEM subjects. Furthermore, the Academy will draw from the experience of Tsinghua High School in supporting students to think beyond the usual confines of the curriculum and to pursue their own projects and research in a way that is not usually possible in a school environment.

This is a unique opportunity for a candidate who is excited by the challenge of leading a new type of school, but drawing on the experience of established partners. The ideal candidate will be fascinated by the idea of working at the interface between Chinese and international education, experienced in the IB and in residential education, and with the intellectual capacity to give meaning to the Academy’s commitment to science, technology and entrepreneurship, to offering research and other challenging academic opportunities to high school students and to education as a transformational experience.

Position available August 2020 or sooner.

Interested candidates are invited to contact Jean Sullivan, Head of International Search, by email or telephone ( or +44 (0)7885 879887) for an initial discussion or to arrange a confidential discussion with Aaron Ashton or Keith Clark. In addition to his role as a Senior Advisor to RSAcademics, Keith is also an adviser to the UWC Changshu board and therefore has further insights into Changshu and the motivations of the founding team.

How to Apply

You should submit:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A full CV
  3. A covering letter stating:

– Your reasons for applying

– How you believe your most relevant professional experience is aligned to the needs of the role

– How you relate your personal educational philosophy to your understanding of the role.

Applications should be made electronically to RSAcademics. Please email your completed application form, CV and covering letter (as PDF files please) to Hilary Battye at

China World Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The post is subject to appropriate safeguarding checks, satisfactory references and a medical.

About this vacancy

Key Dates

  • Preliminary confidential telephone/videoconference discussions with RSAcademics - week commencing Monday 12 August
  • Second interviews via videoconference - Mid-August
  • Final round interviews in Changshu - Early September