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Chief Operating Officer


About SPARK Schools

SPARK Schools is a social impact disruptor and is leading change in the education space through its network of affordable private schools. The SPARK Schools network provides transformational education innovation through Africa’s first blended learning model, which elevates student achievement and provides the tools teachers need to serve their students effectively.

The blended learning model, which combines classroom teaching and online instruction, allows teachers to anticipate student needs and equips schools to provide personalised education at an affordable cost. SPARK Schools is pioneering this transformative education model to ensure the accessibility of university and careers for all.

SPARK Schools is a high growth, mission and values-driven entrepreneurial organisation, operating 19 primary schools, one high school and serving over 14,000 families in 2022. We are looking for dynamic people to join our team.

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Purpose of Role

The Chief Operating Officer takes direct responsibility for the SPARK Schools operations portfolio while contributing to the development of SPARK’s operating model. The position requires a COO who has a proven track record of successfully running business operations in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) macro-environment.

Portfolio of Business Units:

  • Human Capital
  • Marketing and Sales
  • School Achievement (academic)
  • School Operations, including Property and Facilities Maintenance, Procurement, Health and Safety and Compliance
  • Support Office Operations

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer.


  • Oversight of the day to day operational and corresponding administrative functions of the business
  • Operationalising SPARK’s business strategy
  • Driving cost efficiencies that ensure that tuition remains affordable for SPARK Families
  • Business process analysis, design and improvement to facilitate operational excellence
  • Standardising, documenting and implementing robust procedures to underpin service delivery
  • Driving the effective implementation of SPARK’s academic model in all SPARK primary schools
  • Achieving performance outcomes through the implementation of effective talent management and performance management practices
  • Embedding and nurturing a values and performance-driven employee culture
  • Mitigating key business risks through environmental scanning and the design and implementation of operational controls
  • Identifying and negotiating key strategic partnerships to drive efficiency and economies of scale
  • Maintaining a consistently high standard of “look & feel” of all SPARK Schools
  • Developing marketing and sales capabilities to ensure the sustainable growth of the SPARK Schools network
  • Using business analytics to make key tactical decisions that drive results in a rapidly-scaling organisation
  • Reporting to board and shareholders on operational metrics and business performance

Qualifications and Criteria

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and criteria:

  • Post-graduate qualification – business, commerce, marketing, operations or other relevant fields
  • 5 to 10 years of experience in executive leadership positions
  • Significant experience leading operations in a multi-site organisation
  • Understanding of advanced business planning and regulatory issues
  • A solid grasp of data analysis and performance metrics
  • Direct skill or background in areas reporting to this post or in the education industry will be a distinct advantage

Values: Service, Persistence, Achievement, Responsibility, Kindness

Compensation: Commensurate with experience and the needs of the role.

Position Type: Permanent.

Please apply online via the Spark Schools career page:

Spark Schools, in line with POPIA (Protection of Personal Information Act) will attempt to ensure the confidentiality of all applicants for this role. All reasonable measures will be in place to protect personal information but such information will be used in the recruitment, selection, and reporting process. By submitting your application for this position, you are recognising and accepting this disclaimer.

Rosebank, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
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