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 personalized 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, 1 high school and serving over 14,000 families in 2022. We are looking for dynamic people to join our team.
High School Academic Manager
Purpose of Role:
The High School Academic Manager oversees the schools’ instructional and stakeholder experience outcomes. The role of the Academic Manager is to manage, coach, and support the Principals, emphasising excellence in scholar achievement, school culture, professional and leadership development, and staff, parent, and scholar experience. The academic manager is also responsible for the professional development of educators and instructional leaders network-wide. This role equips school leaders and educators to drive excellence and consistency in data-driven instruction through the implementation of SPARK’s personalised learning model.
The High School Academic Manager works closely with the functional teams in SPARK Support, SPARK Schools’ central office, to ensure excellent service to the schools and network-wide alignment in decision-making and execution.
Reports To: Head of Product: High Schools
- Manage and Coach Principals
- Work with and through Principals and school leadership teams to drive scholar achievement and productive, positive school cultures.
- Use a regular coaching cycle to build strong relationships with Principals that enable the leaders to meet their performance targets and model effective coaching to their own school leadership team.
- Use research-based coaching practices in coaching leaders and work with the Head of School Achievement to codify SPARK Schools coaching and management practices.
- Use leadership tools and surveys to assess leader strengths and areas of growth best.
- Use scholar achievement and stakeholder experience data to determine goals with each leader and monitor progress toward goals.
- Hold Principals to academic, professional, ethical, and other performance standards.
Implement network-wide professional development.
- Use scholar achievement data to identify network-wide and school-specific focus areas for professional development in partnership with instructional leaders and the School Achievement team.
- Scope and plan centralised agendas and objectives for pre-service professional development, weekly professional development, and termly Data Days.
- Provide training to instructional leaders and the School Achievement team on the “See It, Name It, Do It” (SINIDI) framework of professional development facilitation for consistency in training delivery.
- Monitor the effectiveness and impact of professional development programs and prepare reports and recommendations related to outcomes and proposed improvements or action steps.
- Where relevant, identify external suppliers or resources for professional development, evaluate their effectiveness, and initiate partnerships in line with SPARK’s business practices and budgets.
- Develop Assistant Principals as instructional coaches alongside Principals.
- Advise Principals as they coach and develop their school leadership team and Trailblazers (prospective school leaders) to ensure the strength of SPARK Schools’ internal leadership pipeline.
- Assume Accountability for Scholar Achievement and Stakeholder Experience
- Maintain a regular schedule of school visits to monitor and evaluate instruction and employees, parent, and scholar experience, as well as identify the highest leverage region-wide and school-specific action steps for implementation.
- Collaborate with fellow School Achievement Managers to develop and implement standards, assessment, and performance metrics for instruction and stakeholder experience.
- Ensure alignment of cultural and instructional practices across the network, in line with SPARK Schools practices, policies, and core values.
- Serve as a primary liaison between teams in SPARK Support and school leadership, to ensure clear and distinct lines of communication and accountability.
- Participate actively in staff development opportunities as a member of the SPARK Schools team.
- Conduct self in a professional manner at all SPARK Schools events and to all stakeholders.
- Enforce compliance with ethical standards guided by the company values and mission.
- Update job knowledge by participating in conferences and educational opportunities, reading professional publications, maintaining personal networks, and participating in professional organizations.
Qualifications and Criteria:
The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and criteria:
- B.Ed. or PGCE – Senior/FET Phase
- SACE accreditation
- At least 3-5 years of experience leading leaders and/or a team of leaders in school management and instruction with proven record of high achievement
- Experience and practice with labour law
- Critical thinking skills applied to strategic planning, data analysis, collaborative problem-solving, and confident decision-making.
- Professional, clear, and concise written and verbal communication, which can be tailored by the audience and brief.
- Ability and willingness to take initiative, in order to drive one’s own development and team leadership in a fast-paced environment;
- Calm and resilience to lead self and others through challenges;
- Strong organisational skills that allow a detail-oriented approach, while maintaining a “big picture” view.
- Ability to consolidate feedback in order to clearly communicate highest leverage action steps.
Values: Service, Persistence, Achievement, Responsibility, Kindness