Location: Saxmundham, Sussex
Salary: Up to £42,000 (D.O.E)
Start Date: ASAP
Who we are
Compass Community School Aylward Park is a part of a passionate, well respected and forward-thinking family of schools throughout the country.
We are an independent specialist school providing high-quality, therapeutic and child-centred education for pupils aged from 11 to 17 years in Saxmundham, Suffolk. Our children come from a wide range of backgrounds but all have Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH), and many will also have other Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) such as Autism, ADHD, and communication difficulties. Many will have suffered significant trauma and adverse childhood experiences and have social care involvement.
We are part of a strong, supportive network, both locally and nationally, which is committed to providing a safe and inclusive learning environment where everyone is valued and encouraged to reach their full potential, regardless of their starting points or barriers to learning. Aspirations for both students and staff are incredibly high.
The work we do is both varied and challenging and, as a trauma and attachment informed organisation, all staff are provided with extensive therapeutic training and support. Our closely triangulated approach places the child at the centre of decision making, ensuring that education and therapy professionals, parents/carers, local authority teams and, most importantly, our students can work together to secure outstanding outcomes for all.
We place as much importance on academic and vocational excellence as we do on personal growth, resilience, self-regulation, and personal and character development.
Motivate – Educate – Inspire
Compass Community Schools motivate children and young people to engage with education
and overcome barriers to learning. Our vision is to inspire learners to make positive life
choices and to provide pupils with a therapeutic education which enables them to make the
most of their life chances.
A passion to include everyone
A desire to treat everyone equally
An ability to respect difference and diversity
To celebrate all achievement
A commitment to healthy, open and respectful relationships
A deep sense of purpose that things can change and be transformed for the better
A sense of perseverance to keep going for as long as it takes
An acceptance that failure is not the opposite of success, it is a part of success
We are a small and specialist school and the way in which the Head of School goes about their day will, in many ways, define its outcomes, its successes and its character. As such Compass Education is looking for a practitioner who shares our vision and can embody our ethos in every decision they make and every conversation they have, be that with students, parents or professionals.
The staffing structure around our family of schools means that Head Teachers are well supported, allowing them to focus on what is really important. Regional Executive Head Teachers will support decision making and problem solving, admin and compliance teams are available to keep things running smoothly, a dedicated Head of Teaching Learning and Curriculum will help you to drive the quality of education. You will work closely with a team of school leaders in similar settings across the region and the country, alongside a specialist Regional SENCO.
You also have high-quality resources at your fingertips including robust and meaningful schemes of work and, most importantly, an enthusiastic and driven community of professionals to lean on including a responsive and experienced SLT, SENCOs, programme psychologists, therapeutic professionals and pastoral leads.
Compass Community Schools inspire children, creating a sense of awe and wonder and making subjects and lessons real and relevant to them. They facilitate exciting and engaging learning opportunities which challenge and push students whether they are working on the very basics or they have a special talent or passion for the subject at hand.
We maintain high aspirations for our children regardless of their learning journey and don’t underestimate the importance of qualifications to provide our children with life chances and opportunities.
Central to this is knowing the child, building professional, nurturing and positive relationships and motivating teachers, support staff and students so that they can wring every last drop of from the curriculum and opportunities we offer.
Cultural capital is essential to how we make the world make sense for our children. The inventive use of trips, speakers, visitors and activities beyond the classroom are central to this but understanding one’s place in society cannot be forged by museums and theatres alone. Our children need to have a grasp of the cultural touchstones that are a common language in the world today: What is it like to sit in an exam hall? Where is Lyon? Who was Anne Frank? How do you open a bank account? What do David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg have in common? What do I need to do next? How can I solve this?
Compass Heads of School know that our schools do not operate in isolation and they know how important it is to work with professionals from other agencies to influence lasting change.
Managing all of this means that you will have boundless enthusiasm, a commitment to doing the right thing for as long as it takes and the leadership to take your team along for the journey.
The Right Person
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
A proven record of good or outstanding teaching practice.
An excellent, efficient and emotionally intelligent communicator.
A strong desire to work inclusively within an emotionally literate environment, supporting children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
Experience of crisis-management/managing challenging behaviours and working with children with SEMH difficulties.
A non-judgemental approach to behaviour management.
The ambition to progress professionally within an expanding, child-centred national organisation
Experience and skill in working with complex multi-agency professional networks
Experience of effective working with hard-to-reach or disengaged families
Proven experience of implementing a creative and academically engaging curriculum which meets the needs of individual pupils, whilst maintaining high standards of education
The desire to be engaged in all aspects of school life from the academic to the pastoral, as well as the leisure and extra-curricular.
The ability to teach and work with pupils presenting with a wide range of emotional and attachment-based needs
A passion for making a difference to the education and lives of young people within the school and in building positive and supportive relationships
Emotional resilience and be motivated by challenge
The ability to be reflective, dynamic and creative in their practice and be willing to work within the Compass Community values and ethos.
We have a strong safeguarding culture and expect applicants to be committed to the safeguarding of children and eager to continually develop their practice in this area. An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate is required prior to commencement of this post.
Benefits and Rewards
Being a part of a progressive and forward-thinking organisation which puts children first.
A responsive, flexible and highly specialised SLT
Annual performance reviews with opportunity for development and salary increase
Extensive and meaningful induction
Staff laptop and mobile phone
Subject knowledge enhancement opportunities
Extensive training and professional qualification opportunities
Full school holidays
Small class sizes with specialist TA support
The chance to be part of an expanding, national organisation that recognises skill, effort and potential and grows its own leadership teams
Enhanced occupational sickness scheme
Specialist, approachable and responsive SLT
Regular therapeutic and supportive supervision
Employee benefit service with access to wellbeing services, salary sacrifice schemes, high street vouchers, money off eating-out and takeaways
This role is subject to an enhanced DBS check.
Compass Community Schools are committed to safeguarding children and young people and we expect everyone who works in our school to share this commitment, including proprietors, governors and visitors.
Adults in our school take all welfare concerns seriously and encourage children and young people to talk to us about anything that worries them. We have an established culture of vigilance to protect children from harm.
All children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through various teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. Children are taught to recognise when they are at risk and how to get help when they need it.
We will always act in the best interest of the child.