Lead for School Improvement

  • Salary: L24 – L28 (£74,295 – £81,942)
  • Teachers Pay and Conditions – Full Time

Are you interested in joining a Trust with a commitment to making the difference to children and young people?

Do you have an interest in school improvement, leadership capacity building, high quality education and ensuring schools can be the best they can be through effective leadership, teaching, learning, organisation, high expectations and by having a clear vision?

We are looking to recruit an experienced, dynamic and with a strong understanding of school improvement and excellent organisational and interpersonal skills.  In this role you will be a key part of a small but growing and friendly central MAT team, and have the opportunity to make a difference to the education of children and young people in our 7 diverse schools, as well as in any future schools which may join the Orchard Community Trust. You will help to support and improve the education of over 2,500 pupils/students and  over 500 members of staff.

In return, we can offer you the opportunity to join a family of schools who are committed to providing high quality education within our ethos, culture and values.  We truly believe our staff are our greatest asset in delivering that vision, and we are looking for an exceptional and motivated individual to join our central team.

The core purpose of the role is:

  • To drive school improvement by leading on effective trust-wide and individual school-based school improvement and/or teaching and learning strategies.
  • To work collaboratively to support Headteachers and Leadership teams to accurately, evaluate the quality of teaching and learning. To derive and implement appropriate support and challenge packages that lead to improved, high quality performance.
  • To model best practice as an outstanding leader, sharing this across the schools to support further improvement and development.
  • To link with the SEL to ensure consistency in school improvement across the Trust.
  • To devise, provide and deliver a range of effective , tailored and bespoke CPD programmes and training packages to schools to support school improvement and build capacity.
  • To use effective coaching strategies and techniques to support school leaders and teachers to self-improve and build their capacity to lead and/or teach effectively.
  • To provide school improvement capacity in partnership with our highly skilled school leaders to enable the OCT to expand the number of schools it has in the MAT.
  • To advise, support and appropriately challenge the OCT school and enable them to be judged as at least good at their next OfSTED inspection.

Hours of work can be flexible to meet the needs of the MAT, Trust and post holder.  Evening work is to be expected with this post and the post holder is expected to manage their hours accordingly.

We aim to appoint the post holder on Teachers Pay and Conditions.

Please lick on the following links to read/save the full information pack and application form for the position:

File Type Subject Date Posted
Orchard Community Trust – Lead for School Improvement May 24, 2021
Application Form May 24, 2021


How to Apply

Our aim is to ensure that we recruit the right person for the job. We will ensure that the selection process is fair and without discrimination for or against any candidate based on age, ethnicity, sex, marital status, or sexual orientation. The person specification sets out the criteria used to assess candidates through the selection process.

We are committed to safeguarding our pupils and will assess the candidate’s suitability for working with children as part of the selection process.  We will check the accuracy of all information and investigate any perceived anomalies. We take up references prior to interview and use these to verify the information you have given us.  Firm offers of employment are never made without satisfactory references.  All potential employees are subject to an enhanced disclosure form the Disclosure and Barring Service.


Please ensure that all parts of the application are completed. We do not accept CVs as part of the selection process. Please ensure that you demonstrate how your experience and skills make you suitable for the position. Applications can be submitted online, via email or via paper copy.

Important: Please include the following in your letter of application:

    • An illustration of how your vision for education and your understanding of school improvement will align with the OCT vision and values.
    • An outline of how your own skills, knowledge and experience, make you suitable for this important role.
    • An outline of what the main challenges of this role are likely to be and what you would consider to be the biggest challenges for the trust and why? 
    • An outline of your understanding of inclusion within the context of Orchard Community Trust.
    • Your interpretation of the journey of the Trust so far, it’s unique selling points and how you would support the next stage of growth for the Trust.
    • An explanation of your vision for a sustainable educational improvement growth model in the context of the Trust.
    • An outline of how generic Trust KPIs would be established and set out across the trust which would be equitable for all of our school settings 


We assess all applications against the person specification criteria using the evidence you provide in your application. This is done by a panel of senior staff and governors.  We carefully check all applications for anomalies.

Candidates who best meet the person specification will be invited to an interview. We will notify you by telephone with e-mail confirmation to follow. If you have not heard from us within 3 days of the shortlisting date, you have not been successful at this stage.


We request references for all candidates who are invited to interview.  Requests will be made at the same time that candidates are invited to interview.  Your first referee should be your current or last, employer.

Interview Process

The interviews will be held at the Orchard Community Trust office if possible.  The interview will consist of several tasks and activities including a formal interview.  These are designed to allow you to demonstrate your skills and abilities.  You will be asked to bring proof of qualifications and identity on the first day.

Final Selection

Following the tasks and formal interview, we will use the person specification as a guide to select the most suitable candidate for our school. We will then telephone each candidate to inform them of the outcome.  We will give brief feedback during this telephone conversation.

Offer of Employment

We will make a verbal offer of employment by telephone on the day of the interview and this will be confirmed in writing.  Any offer is made subject to:

  • References satisfactory to us
  • A satisfactory DBS check
  • Provision of proof of identity and qualifications

Probationary Period

The post is subject to a three-month probationary period.  On successful completion of probation, the post will become permanent.

Interested candidates are invited to contact Rob Johnstone, Senior Executive Leader, to arrange an informal discussion. Email rob.johnstone@orchardct.org.uk

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expect all staff to share this commitment. All posts are subject to an enhanced criminal records check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Please see our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy on the Orchard Community Trust website orchardct.org.uk


Closing Date:
Friday the 2nd July 2021 – Noon
Interview Date:
Monday the 12th July 2021 at Watermill School

Please return your completed application form via email to info@orchardct.org.uk

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