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King James's School Headteacher


Welcome, and thank you for your interest in our Headteacher opportunity

Dear Applicant,

I would like to extend a warm welcome from all Governors, staff and students of King James’s School. I am delighted you have shown interest in becoming the next Headteacher of King James’s School, North Yorkshire, following the retirement of our long-serving Headteacher. We hope the information provided captures the breadth of opportunity and encourages you to apply for this excellent opportunity with our school. You can talk confidentially with Julie Crichton who is our Recruitment Partner supporting the recruitment process.

Our friendly and well-loved secondary school is situated in the beautiful town of Knaresborough, extending across the river Nidd into the Starbeck and Forest Moor areas of Harrogate. Encompassing a large and extensive rural catchment to the east, including the villages of Tockwith and Long Marston and towards Poppleton on the edge of York. Pupils out of catchment come from Starbeck and some villages east towards Boroughbridge and south towards Wetherby. At King James’s our community is our strength, and we aim to ensure that every student is challenged and supported to achieve their full potential.

The school has made tremendous progress towards our vision of excellence over the years. The establishment of a Federation with Boroughbridge High School in January 2021 represented an exciting opportunity to build upon these solid foundations. We want a leader who is dedicated to making a difference, who will continue enhancing our teaching and learning, enriching the personal development of our young people, and ensuring everyone - staff, governors, and students - promotes and enables the vision for our school and our Federation. We need someone whose instinct is to collaborate and to work with others. Someone who recognises and grows the skills of all staff and will build on their achievements.

It is important to all at King James’s School that our new Headteacher has a friendly, outgoing personality with a positive outlook, has respect for difference and is passionate and committed to enabling learners to aim high. We are looking for a visionary leader who can get the best out of their team in a time of huge challenge and change. The person must be a team player who is keen to work within a federation that prioritises the improvement of teaching and learning across both schools.

Our school is extremely well supported by our Governing Board and fantastic staff team; both are passionate about the development of our school and the aspirations of our school and students. We as governors work collaboratively and constructively with both our Headteachers. We are united in our commitment to the school and the responsibility we share for its long-term success. This really is a tremendous opportunity for whoever is successful in becoming our new Headteacher.

For an informal, confidential conversation about the role please call Julie Crichton on 07816251317 or email Julie has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role.

You are warmly invited to visit us before applying and we hope you get a palpable sense of the special atmosphere of the school. Please see the advert for more contact details and you are encouraged to explore the school website to get a feel for our school and the culture.

On behalf of the Governing Body, thank you again for your interest in King James’s School and we look forward to receiving your application.

Yours faithfully,

Malcolm Dawson OBE

Chair of Governors


Learn more about our Headteacher opportunity

King James’s, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
Post: Headteacher
Number on Roll: 1625
Commencing: April 2023
Salary: L33 £97,256 – L39 £112,601 - (Up to £8k relocation support)
Contract Term: Permanent

King James’s School is part of a Federation with Boroughbridge High School which was formally established in January 2021. Formation of the Federation was the culmination of a period of over four years during which the two schools had worked increasingly closely. The partnership between the schools has enabled richer CPD through joint events, along with sharing of learning and expertise across the staff teams. 

Our school is situated in the stunning market town of Knaresborough. The town is well connected to the A1 corridor and with easy reach of the Harrogate, York and Leeds 

The schools and the Governing Body are committed to further embedding the partnership and are exploring opportunities to develop the Federation further, potentially by extending the partnership to other local schools. 

Following the retirement of our current Headteacher, this is an exciting opportunity to lead a large, successful, oversubscribed North Yorkshire school. You will have the opportunity to develop and implement effective strategies, raise standards and continue to improve student attainment and progress. With a meticulous eye for detail, you must be able to support the diverse needs of students and the provision that each individual requires, whilst maintaining the ability to balance budgetary constraints.  

About You 

The successful applicant must be able to demonstrate a proven record of success working with secondary age students, have recent and substantial school leadership experience, either as an existing Headteacher, Assistant Head or Deputy Head, and be committed to providing the students with a high-quality education and environment. You must exhibit confidence, empathy and a clear focus on continuing to build a healthy workplace culture to benefit the wellbeing of staff and students. 

You will:  

  • Be a committed leader with excellent interpersonal skills who can motivate and manage all stakeholders, effectively shaping and delivering the strategic plan. 
  • Be dedicated to helping students develop into confident, sensitive and responsible adults who are able to play an active part in society.  
  • Be a collaborative leader, keen to engage actively in partnership with the Headteacher of Boroughbridge High School in developing cross-federation initiatives that deliver real benefits for students, staff and the wider community. also  
  • Be outward looking, seeking opportunities to learn from and work with others. 
  • Demonstrate excellent leadership skills with the ability to challenge robustly and constructively. 
  • Be someone who recognises the importance of maintaining the school’s existing values, while instilling their own leadership and identity. 
  • Be an outstanding teaching practitioner able to set and achieve ambitious goals and continually seek to raise standards and promote our vision, values and aims in a way that is relevant and inspiring to all. 
  • Be able to provide excellent staff leadership and management. 
  • Have well-developed IT skills and an understanding of the evolving role of technology in education 
  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of the significance and importance of consistent data monitoring. 
  • Consider and shape how we can adapt our practices innovatively to promote and enhance the wellbeing of our staff team. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the social, emotional, physical and educational needs of young people, and ensure that the school provides a rounded provision to nurture them. 
  • Show practical knowledge and experience in raising standards. 
  • Be a strategic thinker able to plan in the long, medium and short term. 
  • Be able to review our financial resources and look at how we invest in our school, and in the outcomes and life chances of students. 
  • Have a continuing drive to reflect, learn and strive for positive development, for yourself, your staff team, the students and our school as a whole. 
  • Be someone who is capable of and confident in making difficult decisions and ask challenging questions in order to seek the best possible outcome for our school as a whole. 

We can offer you: 

  • An excellent opportunity to provide strategic leadership and direction whilst building upon the high standards already in place.  
  • An opportunity to see the huge potential that exists and the time to make our schools outstanding in secondary education. 
  • A happy, caring and supportive school, with well-behaved students who respect each other and have a thirst for learning. 
  • A Governing Body that is committed to providing support on all matters, including more sensitive or difficult issues - this includes the wellbeing of all staff members – and who are experienced, committed and passionate about our school and ensuring our students reach their potential.  
  • Support from the Governing Board, our dedicated staff team, the Boroughbridge High School Headteacher and from the Yorkshire Schools Alliance. 
  • An ambitious curriculum, which aims to give every student a love for learning and enriching opportunities. 

If you feel ready to be our next Headteacher and you can bring your experience, enthusiasm, commitment and energy to deliver our vision of excellence for our passionate students and motivated staff, we would love to hear from you. 

For an informal, confidential conversation about the role please call Julie Crichton on 07816251317 or email Julie has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role. 

Key dates: 

  • School Visits by appointment only: To arrange a school visit by appointment please contact Julie Crichton
  • Application closing date: Midnight, Sunday 4th December  
  • Shortlisting:  Thursday 8th December  
  • Interviews: Monday 9th – Tuesday 10th January 

When applying please take into account the following: 

Supporting Documents  

Job Description  

Person Specification  

Supporting Information 

The supporting information section of your application should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification (see campaign site). This will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested.  


When completing your application, please provide two employment referees.  


We are committed to meeting the needs of our diverse community and aim to have a workforce reflecting this diversity. We are also committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. We expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  

This post is subject to satisfactory references and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service criminal records check for work with children. An online search may be undertaken as part of the recruitment process on information available in the public domain. Candidates should disclose anything that may be relevant in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education. 

The Council advertise vacancies on behalf of schools and external organisations (third parties) in North Yorkshire. The Council are not responsible for the recruitment/employment practices of third parties and accept no liability in relation to the vacancy and any subsequent recruitment/employment processes.