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Chief Operating Officer, The Haberdashers' Elstree Schools

The Board of Governors and Heads wish to appoint a Chief Operating Officer (COO) to succeed David Thompson, who is retiring after 14 years of outstanding service to the Elstree community. The Haberdashers’ Schools are two of the leading academic schools in the country and between them employ over 650 staff, have annual revenues in excess of £50m and educate 2,600 pupils. They occupy a shared campus of over 100 acres, located within easy reach of central London, St Albans and Rickmansworth.


The COO plays a critical leadership role within these Schools. Working with the two Heads, the COO oversees the implementation of the Schools’ strategy, whilst also providing overarching leadership to the sizeable team of support staff, whose functional responsibilities include finance, HR, IT, operations, estates management and capital development. The COO works closely with the two Heads as an equal but a core part of their role is to act as a business partner and honest broker to them both and, in doing so, facilitate the delivery of their long term and short term aims, whilst also ensuring the combined vision for the two Schools is also delivered.


The COO will join at a time of significant long-term change and ambition to be at the forefront of educational innovation. Clear and ambitious strategic priorities have been set and the COO will play a critical role in supporting the delivery of this strategy, including through major HR and digitisation agendas. They will also contribute to the shaping and development of future strategic planning.


Strong candidates for the role are likely to have operated at a senior level within a small to medium sized organisation or business unit and will be comfortable with complexity and matrix management. They will be comfortable operating at both a strategic and operational level and have the financial literacy required to provide sound financial stewardship to the two Schools. The COO must have excellent influencing skills and be an outstanding relationship builder and communicator, and will also demonstrate a genuine interest in the education of children and young people.



Candidate Pack


To apply, please send a cover letter and CV to The closing date for applications is 12 noon on the 12th of May 2022.


Early applications encouraged.


Strong candidates will be invited to have a further discussion with Minerva to discuss the role in more detail, ahead of shortlisting which will take place in during w/c 16th of May. It is our intention to let candidates know the outcome of their application by no later than w/c 23rd of May.  


Shortlisted candidates will be offered the chance to have informal discussions during w/c 30th of May.


Final interviews are planned for w/c 7th of June 2022.


Please note that candidates will be asked to complete an application form as part of the interview process.