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Head of School – Centro Studi Leonardo

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Leonardo School
Bergamo, BG, Italy
Date Added: Jun 27, 2023

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Head of School – Centro Studi Leonardo

We put learners and learning first. Learning is affected by both internal factors (such as emotions, motivation and general health and wellbeing) and external factors (such as environment, curriculum and relationships). The Head of School is ultimately responsible for the quality of learning within their school and influences this through leading, engaging and motivating their teaching and school support teams and working in partnership with them to harness positive factors and mitigate or overcome those that detract.


At ISP, everyone is a learner. So as one of our Heads of School, you are also a learner. Your ability to embrace and model a growth and development mindset, demonstrating a desire to learn and build on your capabilities, as well as fostering the learning and growth of your team, will be fundamental to your school’s success.


Learner (ISP definition)

The ISP learner recognises that their mindset, experiences and actions drive their learning outcomes. With this awareness, they exercise voice, choice, and ownership over their process of learning - leading their learning and the learning of others.


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 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.


About the school:

Centro Studi Leonardo da Vinci was founded more than 50 years ago. It comprises a Middle School and High School which have “paritaria” status, offering the Italian curriculum for more than 1,100 students aged 11-19. In addition to core subjects, the Middle School also offers courses such as robotics and coding. While the language of instruction is Italian, the school offers a strong English programme with exchange programmes, and this is an area they are looking forward to developing further through ISP’s ILOS. Centro Studi has an excellent reputation and its motto “La scuola che sa imparare” (the school that knows how to learn), makes it a perfect fit with ISP and our own focus on continuous learning.


The Leonardo Education Foundation, a non-profit organization, intends to promote initiatives in the sector of education, professional training and higher technical training in many fields: educational and cultural services, organization of conferences, academic research, creative content aimed at promote and develop knowledge and in-depth study of school subjects in every field and discipline, including sports. The activities of the Foundation also include the management and participation in the activities of scientific and artistic institutes, conferences, workshops, seminars as well as the development of forms of collaboration and integration with projects of other organizations aimed at the civil, cultural and social growth of the territorial area of the Lombardy Region.


Purpose of the Role:


This position is key to ensure oversight on the overall operations and administration of the school. The primary role will be to contribute to the marketing and business development of the school while ensuring that the school runs smoothly and efficiently, providing quality education and services to its students. This position includes the following responsibilities:


  • Wellbeing and safety.  You are responsible for the safety and wellbeing for all students and adults in your school.  This includes all activities, functions and policies to ensure students and adults are kept safe both physically and mentally enabling them to learn without barriers. You model and foster an open culture and inclusive atmosphere where everyone looks out for one another and focuses on learning and getting better. You work in partnership with your leadership team and colleagues to learn from their feedback and you collaborate on action plans and improvements. Your school is a welcoming, safe, supportive and inspiring space for everyone to grow and develop.


  • Learning and Embedding Quality. You empower your teachers to focus on the quality of learning in your school, working in partnership with them to ensure progress towards the 9 criteria in the ISP Learning Improvement Process. Where applicable, you use the process to support your school’s accreditation(s) and external reviews. You see the quality of learning across all 5 key pillars of the learning offering as integral to the success of your school and its position as a School of Choice within the local community. Teachers’ professional learning and development thrives under your stewardship of the school. You facilitate and engage in a professional and respectful dialogue with teachers, parents and the ISP community about learning and teaching, inspiring a shared commitment to getting better. Your teachers feel confident to have open and honest conversations about the learning of their students, their own learning and how they can get better. You regularly gather, document and analyse evidence of learning from around your school and use this to inform your decision-making process and work with your teachers to identify targets and action steps for improving learning. Parents/carers and students recognise and endorse the school for Amazing Learning.


  • Leadership and Development. You lead your school with vision, empathy and integrity. You connect, collaborate and engage with colleagues throughout the school and the wider ISP organisation intentionally and have a clear understanding of what is going on across all functions. You understand your own strengths and areas for development, knowing when to push ahead and when to seek out advice, support or mentorship. You recruit, develop and retain talent. You identify who to bring together to leverage skills and ability and you use this to build and empower high calibre senior and middle leadership teams. You are attuned to the needs of others, helping to discover, nurture and amplify employees’ strengths and inspiring your leadership team to do the same.


  • Vision and Strategy. You are fully focused on the ISP Vision of Schools of Choice. You use your own insight and knowledge and seek others’ input to understand what this means within your local context.  You create and lead on this strategy in partnership with your senior leadership team and ISP.  You align with and model the ISP Purpose and Principles ensuring these are at the heart of your school strategy as well as visible through your daily actions and the actions of your leadership team and colleagues. You make public commitments to learning and getting better through transparency, communication and action.


  • Marketing, Admissions and Communication. You are a clear and compelling storyteller, articulating the vision and story of your school and ISP in a way that inspires parents, students and colleagues. You have a clear understanding of your school’s market, new and existing target audiences and understand how best to reach and engage with them, consistently tailoring and personalizing your message and differentiators as appropriate. You work closely with ISP regional marketing to optimise the branding of your school and communicate an inspiring vision of the offering to attract the right families and students as well as making current families ambassadors for the school. With the support of ISP regional admissions, you ensure that families have the best and most personalised experience possible during the admissions process, maintaining a high lead to enrolment conversion rate. This all translates into enrolment growth and student retention. You use parent feedback and sentiment to guide future plans and parent engagement.


  • Commercial Success and KPIs. You see the school as your business to nurture and grow. You understand your commercial responsibility for the school as Head, co-creating, owning and taking responsibility for your school delivering on its targets and KPIs (financial, learning, people, marketing, health & safety and safeguarding). You successfully lead your team and organize and manage resources to drive profitability. You specifically monitor and communicate progress towards enrolment growth and income generation KPIs, thereby facilitating the achievement of your school’s financial goals. You identify and implement new and improved ways of doing things that have a demonstrable impact on the school’s success. Through the school’s finance team, you ensure fees are paid promptly and that any debts are managed and recovered appropriately, with sensitivity to individual situations. As well as enrolment growth, you recognise the importance of student retention as a priority and this focus feeds your approach to building parent relationships. You drive the delivery of the parent and employee NPS and engagement surveys, taking action where improvement is needed and to ensure good becomes even better.


  • Partnership with ISP. You are committed to working in partnership with ISP. You understand, value and articulate ISP’s role as a trusted advisor and resource to support you in building and creating your School of Choice. You work collaboratively and effectively with your RMD and the regional functional leads. You and your school team see the school as part of ISP and articulate the wider benefits of being an ISP school to your team. You understand your collective responsibility to the school and ISP, successfully balancing the school’s interests with the ISP vision and strategy and asserting yourself confidently and with consideration and respect for others’ views.


  • Partnership with Parents, Carers and the wider community. You lead the school in the building of effective relationships. You understand our students and their families, their expectations and their future requirements and you focus on identifying opportunities to provide value to students and their families beyond their expectations. As well as the formal mechanisms, such as surveys and assessments, you foster a culture of partnership based on effective, regular direct communication and two-way feedback between teachers and parents. Together with your teaching team you help parents and carers understand the school’s shared ideas about learners and learning in ways that help them to engage confidently when talking about what their child is getting better at, what their next steps are, and how they will be supported at home. Accessible and available to parents and carers, you ensure their individual needs are understood and that they feel informed and involved as valued members of the school’s learning community. You are the face of your school to a wider community of employers, third party vendors, regulatory bodies and others and you excel in forging and developing beneficial connections.


  • Business development. You will contribute to the growth and development of the school by recurrently engaging in promotional, PR activities, networking, and events with the goal of broadening the reach and breath of the school’s brand, increasing the number of students and grow the post degree offering.


Skills, Qualification and Experience:

  • Fluent in Italian and English is a must
  • Leadership Skills: Strong leadership abilities to effectively manage and inspire staff, lead educational initiatives, and make critical decisions.
  • Communication Skills: Excellent communication skills are essential for interacting with staff, students, parents, and other stakeholders. Ability to effectively convey information, listen attentively, and resolve conflicts.
  • Organizational and Administrative Skills: Strong organizational and administrative skills to oversee various aspects of school operations, such as scheduling, budgeting, and resource management.
  • Problem-Solving Abilities: Adept at analyzing complex issues, identifying solutions, and making sound decisions to address challenges that arise in the school environment.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Building positive relationships with staff, students, parents, and community members is crucial. Be approachable, empathetic, and skilled in building collaborative partnerships.
  • Knowledge of Education Policies and Regulations: Comprehensive understanding of education policies, laws, and regulations at the local, state, and national levels to ensure compliance and make informed decisions.
  • Instructional Leadership: A strong understanding of effective instructional practices, curriculum development, and assessment strategies is important for guiding teachers and ensuring high-quality education.
  • Proven track record in business development and marketing as well as fundraising (Lombardi, central government) in the educational sector.


Educational background:


  • Bachelor's Degree in business administration and management
  • Master's Degree in educational administration, educational leadership, or MBA
  • Licensing and Certification in leadership.


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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Outcome driven. Can be counted on to find solutions. Is consistently looking to exceed goals and is focused on KPIs.
  5. Resilience. Can deal with setbacks and challenges calmly and effectively.
  6. Community Focus. Is committed to meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of our students and their families.
  7. 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.
  8. Leading & Inspiring Others. Supports, encourages and inspires students, colleagues and teams so that they give their best.
  9. Understanding People. Is a very good judge of talent, can objectively articulate the strengths and motivations of people inside or outside the organisation.
  10. Influencing & Communication. Consistently informs, influences and inspires students, parents and colleagues through timely and effective communication.
  11. Agile. Responds and adapts to changing circumstances; manages and solves problems by providing solutions in a climate of ambiguity.
  12. Strategic, Commercial & Financial Awareness. Has the ability to apply understanding of the business and industry to improve effectiveness and profitability.
  13. Planning & Decision Making. Makes decisions on the best course of action and then plans, organises, prioritises and balances resources to achieve the desired outcome.
  14. 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.


ISP Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

ISP is committed to strengthening our inclusive culture by identifying, hiring, developing, and retaining high-performing teammates regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender expression, age, disability status, neurodivergence, socio-economic background or other demographic characteristics. Candidates who share our vision and principles and are interested in contributing to the success of ISP through this role are strongly encouraged to apply.




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