Nothing matters more than appointing the right person to the top job

Whether you are seeking an Executive Director of a large membership organisation, Principal of one of the most famous schools in the world, Head of a small, rural prep school or Deputy Head of a very large all-through school, we approach each project with the same determination, commitment and attention to detail. We start by listening very carefully to you and understanding your school or educational organisation. This allows us to create a bespoke and targeted search strategy.

Our network across the education sector, both in the UK and globally, is unrivalled. We nurture rising stars as well as experienced, successful Heads. We know who is looking for a first headship, or a next headship, and who is not looking but could be the ideal person. Our search strategies are ambitious, far-reaching, persuasive and matched to the set of skills and talents you seek. Candidates trust us, talk readily to us and listen to us.

Please contact Claire Oulton, Head of UK Leadership Appointments, at claireoulton@rsacademics.com and Angela Short, Head of Search, at angelashort@rsacademics.com

Our services

Our Full Service covers every stage of the process and is the service clients usually use for CEO/headship appointments. It covers:

  • An initial visit and in-depth consultation with all key stakeholders
  • Drafting and designing the candidate brief and building a dedicated client page on our website with links and videos
  • An extensive and far-reaching search
  • Pre-interviewing the strongest candidates, providing detailed candidate profiles and recommending the best candidates to you
  • Assisting at Governors’ long list and short list interviews, providing questions, tasks and presentation topics designed to differentiate between the best candidates
  • Conducting personality tests, should you wish to use them, and interpreting the results of these for you
  • Advising on safeguarding
  • Gaining detailed verbal as well as written references,
  • Assisting Governors with the decision-making process
  • Providing supportive candidate stewardship throughout the process

We remain at your side at every stage. We stay very close to the candidates too, reassuring, encouraging and addressing concerns, so that there is the best possible likelihood that your chosen candidate will accept the post with delight.

An alternative service is Search, Sift and Preliminary Interviews which covers all stages up to the end of our preliminary interviews. We then recommend the strongest candidates to you.

Our approach

We put together a team of three to work on each appointment: a Senior Advisor, a Lead Search Consultant and an operations team member.

Our Senior Advisors are former heads with a distinguished track record in successful headship. Now trained in the skills of headship search and selection, they combine lived experience at top leadership levels with advanced dexterity in questioning techniques. They bring a deep understanding of the subtle nuances of leadership, a hawk-like ability to spot potential and an eagle eye for weaknesses. They appreciate that a successful school is also a successful business.

Our Search Consultants are experienced professionals trained in the science and art of search. They bring a deep understanding of schools and candidates. Our network across the education sector means our contacts reach into every independent school in the UK, many maintained schools and all the major ones internationally.

The operations team provide operations and administrative support at every stage of the process, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and efficiently.

Our team

Meet the people who make it happen

A highly experienced team who have helped appoint 400+ CEOs, Principals, Heads and Deputy Heads.

Learn more

Equality, diversity & inclusion

Promoting diversity and inclusion in schools

We encourage applications from under-represented groups for all positions advertised.

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View a small selection of our completed appointments

01.Prep & Junior Schools

  • Aldwickbury School – Head
  • Arnold House School – Head
  • Banstead Prep School – Head
  • Cheltenham College Preparatory School – Head
  • Cumnor House Sussex – Head
  • Dragon School – Head
  • Glendower – Deputy Head
  • Lanesborough School – Head
  • St Paul’s Cathedral School – Head
  • St Piran’s School – Head & Deputy Head
  • Terra Nova School – Head
  • The Cavendish School – Head
  • The Pilgrims School – Head
  • Twyford School – Head
  • Walhampton School – Head
  • Westminster Under School – Master

02.Senior Schools & Sixth Form Colleges

  • The Aldenham Foundation – CEO
  • Alleyn’s School – Head
  • Brentwood School – Deputy Head
  • Cardiff Sixth Form College – Principal
  • Cheltenham College – Head
  • Clifton College – Deputy Head
  • Dartford Grammar School – Headteacher
  • Godolphin and Latymer School – Head
  • Henrietta Barnett – Head
  • King Edward’s School, Birmingham – Chief Master
  • The King Edward VI Foundation, Birmingham – CEO
  • King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham – Principal
  • King’s College School, Wimbledon – Head
  • Latymer Upper School – Head
  • Leicester Grammar – CEO
  • London Academy of Excellence – Head
  • Marlborough College – Deputy Head & Assistant Head
  • The Mill Hill School Foundation – CEO
  • Pimlico Academy – Principal
  • Sherborne Girls – Head
  • Shiplake College – Head
  • St Edward’s Oxford – Warden
  • St Paul’s Girls’ School – Head
  • King’s School, Worcester – Head
  • Truro School – Head
  • Westminster School – Head Master
  • Woodard Academies Trust – CEO
  • Woodhouse College – Head, CEO & Principal
  • Wycombe Abbey – Head

03.All-through Schools

  • Channing School – Head
  • Claremont Fan Court School – Head
  • Exeter School – Head
  • Hampton Court House – Head
  • Manchester High School for Girls – Head
  • North London Collegiate School – Head
  • St Margaret’s School, Bushey – Head
  • St Mary’s School, Colchester – Principal
  • Silcoates School – Head
  • Stephen Perse Foundation – Principal
  • Stoke College – Principal
  • The Grange School, Cheshire – Head
  • The Yehudi Menuhin School – Head
  • Tormead School – Head
  • Wellington School – Head

Testimonial

"I wanted advice from people who really understood the educational sector, not just in a structural sense but in a psychological sense too. I am a great believer in dreams, beliefs and fears driving great people and I wanted advisors who understood the kind of dreams, the kind of beliefs and the kind of fears that outstanding school leaders, and potentially outstanding school leaders, have."

Chris Jones, Chair of Governors, St Edward’s Oxford

To discuss the needs of your school

Email Claire Oulton, Head of UK Leadership Appointments, at claireoulton@rsacademics.com, and Angela Short, Head of Search, at angelashort@rsacademics.com