What's it like to teach at Hartsdown Academy?
Hartsdown is a beautifully inclusive school and I am immensely proud of the care the school takes over every single child - many of whom come from extremely challenging backgrounds. 27% of our students are EAL, with 10% Roma. Margate has become a bridge head for eastern European immigration and Hartsdown has specialised in integrating unaccompanied asylum seeking minors. 57% of our students are disadvantaged / pupil premium - the school serves two of the most deprived wards in the UK, Margate Central and Cliftonville West.
What's does our Science Department need?
Hartsdown Academy needs a Department Head to rebuild its Science Department. Results are well below expectations and teaching has been poor. As a result, the attitude of students towards the subject has diminished, resulting in disappointing behaviour for learning. The Department effectively requires special measures - a committed, ambitious and talented senior leader, with the freedom to innovate and take some risks where necessary - but with a mandate to place science back at the heart of school life, where it deserves to be.
What are we looking for in you?
I'm looking to find someone who shares our belief that this isn't good enough and that an effective education in an outstanding school is the key to giving children the life chances they deserve and need in order to make a contribution to society. Margate is on the margins of English society, both culturally and economically - as well as geographically. We are determined that our students should grow up believing that they have as much ownership of society as anyone else and that their school, Hartsdown Academy, will provide them with this entitlement through a fantastic education - including science. In fact, our students are very able and increasingly, given the constantly improving local primary schools, they have the basic tools to make rapid progress.
Who are we supported by?
Hartsdown Academy is a part of a local trust, Coastal Academies Trust, which includes a grammar school, two other local secondaries and a primary, in Cliftonville, which has just been found by Ofsted to be outstanding. We share collective responsibility for each other, sharing practice and sharing challenge. We have agreed that whether we flourish or suffer as schools, we will do so together. This means that whatever experience and expertise we have, we will share. For a senior leader on the road to headship, this is a fantastic advantage. You will have my complete support and commitment, as well as that of my colleagues at Hartsdown - but also the combined expertise, experience and support of senior leaders across the Trust, with plenty of opportunity to share ideas, experiment and take risks together to improve the quality of education we offer.
What is the area like?
There are some advantages to working in an area of deprivation. Thanet is a beautiful coastal area, with miles and miles of sandy, blue flag beaches. Housing is cheap and the architecture is spectacular, with Regency, Edwardian and Victorian houses across the three towns of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate. The Turner Contemporary Gallery is part of a scheme to make Margate an artisanal centre, with all sorts of interesting and quirky businesses being set up locally. Thanet is 'shabby chic' and increasingly regarded by the young London intelligentsia as the cool place to be. It's a fantastic place to bring up a family, close to London and to the continent, affordable and interesting - but also at the cutting edge of education, because this is where the nation has to get its education policy right if we are to transform the UK into a more equal society.
So - this is a tough job! You will have to work very hard and be very resilient if you are going to be successful in turning around the Science Department at Hartsdown Academy. I will also expect you to be a core part of the leadership team, sharing collective responsibility for the whole school. However, if you have the ambition, the talent and the commitment, then there could be no better professional opportunity than this. If you are successful, then you will be a part of a team that makes this school outstanding and you will have acquired the experience, expertise and the right to be a Headteacher.
Don't take our word for it? Find out for yourself.
If this is of interest to you, please feel very free to contact me and to visit the school prior to applying. Check me out and see whether what I have written is true. If you would like, you can also meet with the Executive Head of the Trust, Paul Luxmoore. We will take you very seriously - because we want you to take us seriously too.
For more information about working with us and to obtain an application pack please contact our recruitment partner, Hazel Baxter at Hays Education on or
- Secondary Education
- Science Teacher
- Head of Department
- Key Stage 3
- Key Stage 4
- Teacher of Science
- Head of Science