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Group Head of Leadership Development

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ISP Central
London, United Kingdom
Date Added: Mar 16, 2023

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ISP Group Head of Leadership Development Role Profile



Purpose of Role


ISP is seeking to recruit an outcome driven Group Head of Leadership Development who can demonstrate a proven track record of leading-edge leadership programme design and delivery. The role is to support the growth, development and retention of key Talent worldwide.


This role will work across 9 geographic regions and will work collaboratively with central, regional and local colleagues to support their success through identifying the most appropriate leadership development to deliver our capability to meet our ambitious growth plans.


Based in Europe and reporting to the Chief Education and Innovation Officer you will manage a small team and you will be accountable for the design, implementation and evaluation of a range of leadership and management development programmes for non-school based colleagues in line with organisational needs.


You will engage with leaders and managers across our global organisation to understand their needs and develop a range of interventions to support their ongoing development.  


Your focus will be on driving an uplift in leadership capability across the organisation, supporting our Talent and Succession strategy so that we see evidence of excellence in leadership every day and in everything that we do.


About ISP

The International Schools Partnership          (ISP) is a growing group of committed colleagues, in financially responsible schools around the world, all of which aim to be the school of choice in their local area. Learning is at the heart of                 everything we do for our students, colleagues, and parents. We are committed to getting better, all of the time.      


ISP was founded by an experienced team of committed educationalists and operators who have worked together over many years. Our growing group of private schools located in the UK, the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Costa Rica, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, India and Vietnam educate children and students from 2–18 years of age. We have now expanded to 65 schools that employ over 10,000 colleagues and deliver multiple curricula to over 50,000 students located across the globe.


We believe that successful schools are the ones that put learning at the heart of everything they do, always aiming to create rounded individuals that can forge successful careers and lives, in a rapidly We believe that successful schools are the ones that put learning at the heart of everything they do, always aiming to create rounded individuals that can forge successful careers and lives, in a rapidly changing world. Our goal is to enable our schools to be the leading school of choice in their local area. At ISP we continue to engage with schools around the world that are interested in becoming part of our global group of schools and look forward to welcoming more students and colleagues to the group.



ISP Principles

Begin with our children and students. Our children and students are at the heart of what we do. Simply, their success is our success. Wellbeing and safety are both essential for learners and learning. Therefore, we are consistent in identifying potential safeguarding and Health & Safety issues and acting and following up on all concerns appropriately.


Treat everyone with care and respect. We look after one another, embrace similarities and differences and promote the well-being of self and others.


Operate effectively. We focus relentlessly on the things that are most important and will make the most difference. We apply school policies and procedures and embody the shared ideas of our community.


Are financially responsible. We make financial choices carefully based on the needs of the children, students and our schools.


Learn continuously. Getting better is what drives us. We positively engage with personal and professional development and school improvement.



ISP Group Head of Leadership Development Key Responsibilities


  • To undertake a comprehensive assessment of current capability against future requirements and design a suite of leading-edge programmes that create a clear development path from first line manager through to the executive team, so that leadership potential is developed in line with organisational need.
  • Plan and deliver leadership development activities which incorporate a variety of learning methodologies to ensure that our managers are equipped with the skills and capabilities required to embed a high-performance culture across ISP.
  • Improve understanding of our leadership capabilities at all levels across the organisation and support leaders and managers in ensuring that they demonstrate the desired skills and behaviours consistently. 
  • Assist in the development of coaching as a key leadership style by ensuring that coaching principles and skills are built into leadership and management development programmes.


  • Evaluate the impact of existing and new leadership development interventions in order to identify areas for improvement and opportunities to enhance the current offer to support leaders in achieving their full potential.
  • Develop and maintain an emphasis on amazing learning with strategic use of external partners where appropriate.
  • Create specific programmes and initiatives to support aspiring functional leaders to develop the knowledge and skills required to succeed leadership roles and fulfil their potential within ISP.  
  • Work in collaboratively with HR colleagues ensure a jointly created  high-performance learning culture throughout ISP and deliver a strategic review of the capability requirements of the business in the short and long term analysing data on engagement, turnover and internal promotions.
  • Through collaboration with internal colleagues to ensure an integrated approach across talent acquisition, employee value proposition, pupil learning philosophy, values and culture.


ISP Group Head of Leadership Development Further Responsibilities


  • Model, foster and provide strong, visible, collaborative leadership, acting as a positive role model, demonstrating high levels of integrity, transparency and personal effectiveness
  • Build on and embed the ISP Learning and People strategies to further cultivate a learning and development culture across the ISP.
  • As member of the L&I Leadership team and in collaboration with the HR team, participate fully to co-create an environment and the tools which enable our people to take ownership of their own learning and development
  • Work closely with the Learning and HR colleagues to develop a strategy that continues to grow our bench strength and supports our succession planning approach
  • Work closely with Learning, Leadership and HR leads to ensure a full understanding of their teams, roles, responsibilities and training requirements to use as the basis to develop the L&D programmes
  • Embed and build on our Learning.First. and ISP Leadership Competencies in all learning opportunities.
  • Work closely with Group Heads of People Operations and Talent to understand our future skills requirements and create programmes and plans to develop or acquire these skills
  • All Learning & Development initiatives will be integrated with other People initiatives to ensure a joined-up People approach
  • Work with the Regional Learning and HR teams to build a strong global L&D team
  • Model all ISP Leadership Competencies, as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, participating fully in strategic decisions, contributing both on your own portfolio and

also showing interest and expertise in the portfolios across Learning, Leadership and HR

  • Collaborate with Learning & HR colleagues in the identification of the ongoing development needs of Senior Leaders, Identified Talent, Designated Successors and Emerging Talent using the output of the annual evaluation and appraisal processes
  • Lead the continued development and implementation of effective People and Organisation Development strategies to positioning ISP as an Employers of Choice in K-12 education and exemplars of leadership and engagement
  • Expand offerings for Leadership Development for non-school based staff, offering to include programmes and initiatives for identified top and emerging talent in Central, Divisional and Regional roles
  • Design, lead and facilitate high-quality leadership through designing, commissioning and delivering world-class leadership development programmes and continuous educational systems for Talent
  • Creation of development pathways for identified talent, designated successors and emerging talent across Central, Divisional and Regional roles
  • Personal development plans and engagement for OMR identified talent, designated successors and emerging talent in non-school based roles
  • Ensure succession planning and talent management processes, which create a pipeline of excellent leaders, to enable employees to achieve their optimum potential, through recognising and encouraging high achievement, contributing to a performance culture.
  • Provide leadership to support organisational design and development, ensuring fit for purpose structures and skill mix and effective change management. Challenge conventional approaches to drive forward change, demonstrating a commitment to creating a learning organisation culture delivering continuous improvement.
  • Provide strong and effective leadership and collaboration across Learning & HR teams, inspiring with clear strategic vision and direction for the performance and delivery of leadership pathways, programmes and plans 
  • Provide expertise and leadership regarding the needs of all Central, Divisional and Regional talent, designated successors, and emerging talent, including expertise regarding development opportunities, plans that encourage mobility and retention.
  • Enhance the culture of staff engagement in the organisations and proactively focus interventions, through regular staff surveys, and agree plans in response to the feedback received.
  • Establish effective networks and partnerships to enable ISP to continuously improve and be well-informed by best practice across and outside of the education sector
  • Support effective workforce information systems and develop workforce intelligence to support the organisational performance management systems.
  • Define and report on a set of comprehensive key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that drive identified performance through our Organisational Management Review processes, creating robust performance management arrangements that will ensure learning and improvement of all ISP Talent.
  • Utilising the output from our 2x pa Organisational Management Review process create/start to execute immediate development support/plans for identified talent and successors.



Skills and Experience


  • International leadership development experience, ideally gained in a decentralised organisation
  • Experience of designing and implementing innovative leadership and management development programmes
  • Experience of coaching or mentoring
  • Excellent track record of delivering engaging and informative training interventions
  • Solid understanding of core leadership theories and best practice
  • Excellent organisational skills with ability to prioritise activities and co-ordinate input from internal and external partners
  • Excellent facilitation skills which encourage participation and appropriate challenge of participants
  • Strong communicator who has the confidence to operate at all levels within the organisation
  • Accurate and methodical with an excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently whilst also supporting and drawing on resources across the wider department
  • Demonstrates initiative and innovation
  • A confident presenter with experience of writing strategy documents
  • Team and Budget management 


Education and Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • Professional qualification in Management/ Leadership/HR (e.g. ILM, CMI or MBA) highly desirable.
  • Level A and B test user qualified



ISP Leadership Competencies


You consistently demonstrate and role-model the ISP Leadership Competencies in all that you do.


  1. Collaboration. Takes an active part in leading their school or region; is cooperative and a genuine team player, developing positive, supportive relationships with colleagues to solve problems and maximise opportunities.


  1. Learning & Getting Better. Continually demonstrates personal commitment and passion for learning and getting better using evidence and feedback; supporting others in their continual learning, development and growth.


  1. Innovation Leadership. Is good at creating an environment where ideas for learning initiatives and services are generated and is able to motivate and inspire others through the process of creation through to completion.


  1. Outcome driven. Can be counted on to find solutions. Is consistently looking to exceed goals and is focused on KPIs.


  1. Resilience. Can deal with setbacks and challenges calmly and effectively.


  1. Community Focus. Is committed to meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of our students and their families.


  1. Integrity & Ethical Management. Has the ability to work ethically and with integrity; helps others feel valued; upholds and models the ISP Vision, Purpose and Principles.


  1. Leading & Inspiring Others. Supports, encourages and inspires students, colleagues and teams so that they give their best.


  1. Understanding People. Is a very good judge of talent, can objectively articulate the strengths and motivations of people inside or outside the organisation.


  1. Influencing & Communication. Consistently informs, influences and inspires students, parents and colleagues through timely and effective communication.


  1. Agile. Responds and adapts to changing circumstances; manages and solves problems by providing solutions in a climate of ambiguity.


  1. Strategic, Commercial & Financial Awareness. Has the ability to apply understanding of the business and industry to improve effectiveness and profitability.


  1. Planning & Decision Making. Makes decisions on the best course of action and then plans, organises, prioritises and balances resources to achieve the desired outcome.


  1. Diversity & Equity. Has the sensitivity, awareness and skill to understand the values, behaviours, attitudes and practices across cultures that supports all children and adults to learn and work effectively.



ISP Commitment to Safeguarding Principles


ISP is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All post holders are subject to appropriate vetting procedures and satisfactory Criminal Background Checks or equivalent covering the previous 10 years’ employment history.




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