Appointments Vacancies

Principal – Rhodes International School, Suzhou, China

Suzhou, China


Available in August 2020 (or sooner)

This is a fascinating opportunity to assume the leadership of a new IB Diploma school in the city of Suzhou, which has long been known as an important centre of education in China.

The Rhodes International School opened in 2019 with a pilot cohort of twenty students. It is a ‘school within a school’, located within the well-established Suzhou International Foreign Language School. It shares some facilities with SIFLS and benefits from being within a community of almost 4,000 students, but it has its own distinct premises on the campus and the Principal answers directly to the owner and board of the two schools.

The school is a three-year residential school. The first cohort of students is following a foundation programme, with the full IB Diploma Programme commencing in August 2020. At capacity, Rhodes will have 350-400 students, the majority of them Chinese nationals recruited from throughout China, but with the expectation that the school will over time also become an option for some expatriate families living in Suzhou. The intention of the school is to prepare its students for entry to good universities worldwide but also to look beyond examinations success in equipping students for their futures in China and internationally.

In some ways similar to a Founding Principal role, but with the start-up phase already accomplished, the challenge will be to build on the work to establish the pilot year and to transform Rhodes into a fully operational, thriving international school with a clear sense of purpose and a commitment to excellence.

The position will require a resourceful and creative individual with a strong track record of leadership in a school, preferably as a Head, the experience and commitment to develop a clear vision, the instinct to lead the educational and leadership aspects of developing a new school, and a first-class ability to inspire students, colleagues and parents. A deep understanding of and commitment to the IB will be essential, especially in the context of an international high school for Chinese students.

This opportunity offers considerable potential to make an impact and to establish a new international school in the historic and cosmopolitan city of Suzhou. The ‘school within a school’ character and the commitment and investment of the owner add to the sense of this being a great opportunity for the right candidate.

Full candidate information will be available in early January.

Interested candidates are asked to contact the Head of International Search, Jean Sullivan. Keith Clark, Senior Advisor will also be pleased to have a conversation with potential candidates.

Jean Sullivan: | +44 (0)7885 879887

Keith |+44 (0)7941 018042

The closing date for applications is Friday 31st January 2020 at 10.00am (GMT), although it is anticipated that candidates in China are likely to want to apply before the Chinese New Year.

You should submit:

  • A completed application form (available with the candidate information in early January)
  • A full CV
  • A covering letter addressed to Mr Baodong Shi, Chair, Suzhou International Foreign Language School and Rhodes International School. The letter should explain your reasons for applying and the relevance of your experience to the post.

Applications should be made electronically to RSAcademics. Please send your completed application form and covering letter (both as PDF files please) to the Project Coordinator (Leadership Appointments), Alison Hooper, at Alison can also be contacted by calling our Head Office on +44 (0)1858 383163.

Rhodes International School 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.


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About this vacancy

Key Dates

  • Closing date for applications 31 January 2020 10:00am GMT