- Exciting opportunity to lead one of the world’s great Jewish day schools
- 1,400 students and 430 staff across three campuses with first-class facilities
- Top-performing academic results across general and Jewish studies
- Co-educational with Modern Orthodox Zionist ethos
- Well-resourced, and financially and educationally sustainable
Founded in 1949, Mount Scopus Memorial College (‘Scopus’ or ‘College’) is an independent, co-educational, inclusive Modern Orthodox Zionist Jewish day school in Melbourne, Australia. It provides the highest standard of secular and Jewish education from Early Learning Centres (‘ELCs’) to Year 12 (the final year of schooling).
Scopus is the oldest—and largest—Jewish day school in Melbourne, attracting students from all sectors of the Jewish community (‘Community’) in the Australian city with a Jewish population of ~50,000, the largest in Australia. The College has over 1,400 students; total staff of ~430, and extensive first-class facilities across its three campuses.
The College was founded with the vision of building a school where all Jewish children “could attend to learn of their heritage, be proud Jews and dedicated supporters of Israel whilst understanding their role in Australian society”.
Scopus’s values are:
- excellence in learning;
- holistic development;
- Jewish identity, and
- community & service.
Curriculum and Yiddishkeit
Scopus offers a dual curriculum of general and Jewish studies and encourages students to explore, discover and choose their own Jewish identity. The College is shomer shabbat; keeps all Jewish holidays, and is strictly kosher. Students have at least some Jewish-related studies through to and including Year 12.
Within its Modern Orthodox framework, Scopus caters to a broad range of families, as reflected in its admissions policy.
Scopus is synonymous with high academic standards. The College’s students excel in the Victorian Certificate of Education (‘VCE’) external examinations—the primary credential available to secondary school students completing Years 11 and 12 in the Australian state of Victoria—the predominant choice for those wishing to pursue tertiary education. The College consistently ranks for its VCE results amongst the top 10 out of ~590 secondary schools in the State.
The Principal (or ‘Head of School’ in American nomenclature or ‘Headteacher’ in the United Kingdom) is the College’s most senior executive and is thus responsible—under the oversight and governance of an unpaid Executive—for its overall strategy and operations across ELC through Year 12 at all three campuses. The role is responsible for designing, implementing and managing the delivery of the College strategy, including—but not limited to—Jewish and secular education; enriching relationships with students, their parents and the wider community; wellbeing for all students and staff; people leadership; risk management, and stewardship of the operations and finances.
The priorities for the role include:
- delivering the highest quality education for students;
- honouring and embedding Jewish learning, tradition, history, ethics, values and culture;
- providing the highest levels of pastoral care and student wellbeing & safety;
- enhancing the College’s brand, culture and reputation;
- defining and implementing the College’s strategy;
- identifying and leveraging innovation in education;
- balancing financial & educational sustainability;
- providing significant leadership to and leading a high-performing leadership team;
- supporting Project Generation—the proposition to relocate the high school campus to the heart of the Community;
- forming positive relationships with parents, and
- fostering relationships with alumni and the Scopus family & championing philanthropy.
The incumbent Principal, Rabbi James Kennard, joined Scopus in 2007. After a successful 17 years at the College, R. Kennard has resigned from the role and will complete his tenure at the end of the school year in December 2023 with plans for making Aliyah. Accordingly, the Executive wishes to identify and appoint a new Principal to join the College (ideally) on or before the start of the new school year in January 2024.
The ideal Principal will be a world-class educator with demonstrated experience in a large school setting. They will have substantial experience and capability in Jewish education, gained in a Jewish day school environment. They are likely to currently be employed as the head or second-in-command of another leading Jewish school, having had experience across the broad range of relevant functions including teaching & learning; team leadership & management; student & parent engagement; facilities management, and budgeting & finance.
They must be passionate about secular and Jewish education with an established track-record of pedagogical thought-leadership across—ideally—the student lifecycle from ELC to Year 12 and beyond. This includes a continued focus on the latest advances in teaching and technology. They must also be energised by engaging with—and relating to—children of all ages, and seek to continue to play an active, visible and assertive role with staff, students and parents.
The Principal will be Jewish and Zionist, ideally practising Modern Orthodoxy or—at least—with a Modern Orthodox ethos, similar to the College’s. They must also be comfortable with the College’s admissions policy and approach to diversity, equity and belonging, including for female participation and LGBTIQA+ students, teachers & staff.
The successful candidate need not be an Australian resident, but it will help if they have worked in the local market and understand the VCE system, or have complementary experience in a similar cultural and regulatory environment. Certainly, the new Principal will be able to develop a strong understanding of the Community and possess personal values that are aligned with the College’s values. They will be a keen and active participant in the College and broader Community, and will uphold and support the College ethos and mission.
Academic qualifications from a well-regarded institution are required and higher degrees are desirable. It is not necessary for the Principal to have received smicha.
This is an exciting role for an experienced Jewish educator to lead one of the world’s great Jewish day schools on its continuing journey.
For a copy of the Role specification, please contact Helen Johnson at Challis & Company, the consultants advising the Executive, on +61 2 8039 2223 or at [email protected]. Challis & Company is simultaneously conducting an executive search.
To apply, please email your curriculum vitae to [email protected]. Applications close on Wednesday, 5 April 2023.