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Head of Secondary

MTK school is located in Baku, Azerbaijan and recently moved to a start of the art campus in the heart of the country’s capital. MTK is a highly prestigious local private school that educates a predominantly local student body representing the country’s political and business elite.

At present the school is comprised of a bilingual Preschool for ages 2-5 and a three stream Primary and Secondary school for ages 5 - 18, with an international (largely Cambridge Curriculum) stream, an Azerbaijani Curriculum stream and a Russian Curriculum stream. The current pupil roll is around 600. The international stream currently accounts for around one third of the school (220 students) and this proportion will grow in the coming years. The International Stream: Secondary School currently educates around 75 students but, within 2-3 years, the successful applicant will likely preside over an English-speaking Secondary school with 200+ students. Since the Secondary school is currently small, and modelling excellent teaching is a key priority, the successful applicant will likely need to teach around 10 lessons per week though this may be adjusted as priorities change over time. A Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) specialist would be ideal, since improving this area of the Secondary School is key priority at present but any profile of teacher with the correct management and core pedagogical skills will be strongly considered.

The international streams are staffed by excellent local teachers supported by expatriate mentors; at present there is approximately one mentor for every six members of local teaching staff and the proportion of mentors will rise next year and in successive years. They are extremely eager to learn, motivated and receive a salary that is generous for the location/sector; many are effective, while others require significant support. The Secondary English and Mathematics teachers are also expatriates from the USA and UK respectively and a full list of the expatriate teacher/mentors with whom the successful candidate will collaborate is included below.

We seek a qualified and self-motivated Head of Secondary School who can be effective in an exciting but often challenging cross-cultural climate. An applicant who is highly capable and self-motivated, with excellent communication, organisation, IT and data handling skills would be an excellent fit. A strength in behaviour management would also be a huge asset. The students are kind by nature and respectful of authority, but many suffer from a weak educational heritage and a lack of intrinsic impulse control; compared to many Secondary school settings the behaviour management is not enormously challenging but, for a variety of reasons including the cultural context, students are unused to requisite structure and rigor of a successful Secondary school and, consequently, need high levels of support.

This is an exciting, creative and varied role, suited to either an experienced Head of Secondary or a deputy-head / head of a large subject department seeking the next step in their leadership career. It is an opportunity to join a great team, make a genuine difference education the upcoming elite of a young country and build an institution, participating in an ambitious change management project. The position would suit a committed, enthusiastic teaching/leadership professional possessing the correct blend of moral purpose, teaching and interpersonal and intercultural communication skills.


The successful applicant will work in close cooperation with the following expatriate colleagues already in situ:

  • Early Years Leader of Learning & Personal Development / Teacher Mentor
  • Early Years and Primary Teacher / Teacher Mentor
  • Teacher of Primary English / Teacher Mentor
  • Headteacher of the International Steam: Primary, Teacher of Primary English / Teacher Mentor
  • Teacher of Secondary English / Teacher Mentor
  • Teacher of Secondary Maths / Teacher Mentor

…as well as an expatriate Executive Principal overseeing MTK and a range of educational projects in Baku.


Start Date: Monday 7 th January 2019 if possible; Monday 4 th February is the latest possible start date


About Baku

Baku, situated on the Caspian Sea, is an eclectic, modern, vibrant city replete with all of the sights, museums, civic buildings, shopping, dining and social opportunities that one usually associates with modern, cosmopolitan capitals.  The climate is pleasant: mild in the winter and warm in the summer, although often somewhat windy.  While the evidence of Azerbaijan’s Soviet past remains clearly evident, especially in the suburbs, the centre of city is attractive and modern with tree-lined boulevards, outdoor dining and a relaxed atmosphere.  Locals welcome foreigners and, as a rule, very much enjoy meeting and chatting to people from different cultures.  Latterly, Baku has begun to establish itself as a venue for a range of prestigious international events, such as the annual Grand Prix, inaugural European Olympic Games (2015) and Eurovision (hosted by Azerbaijan in 2012 as previous winners). 

The package offered for this role is excellent and, when considered in relation to the highly affordable cost of living, it will enable appointees to enjoy all of the rich social and cultural opportunities on offer while also saving a large portion of their salary. 

Compared to other large cities (population around 4 million), Baku is extremely safe and has a secular, tolerant atmosphere where gender politics and lifestyles, while specific in their own way, are much more akin to Europe or Russia than most of the Islamic world.  All in all, Baku is a rich tapestry of European, post-Soviet and Middle Eastern culture, reflected in the architecture, cuisine, language and people.

Posted: December 2018
This is a Direct to School Job
Baku, Azerbaijan
February 2019
Fixed Term (annually renewable)
Licensed Teacher
High School
USD 4040 - 4850

Job Benefits

  • The school operates for 175 school days per year, meaning that staff work hard but also enjoy an excellent work-life balance
  • A net salary which is excellent for the location
  • A performance-related bonus (additional to basic salary) of around 20% of the annual salary, determined by appraisals.
  • An apartment located in the heart of the city centre (or a quieter location, as per preference) is provided for new arrivals; second year teachers can opt to receive a housing allowance instead of the accommodation provided
  • Comprehensive medical insurance (covering GP visits, medicine and accident and emergency cover)
  • A flight allowance including a sum for excess baggage on arrival
  • Snack breakfast and lunch provided daily, free of charge
  • Access to the school gym and swimming pool (when the latter is not in use) on work-day evenings from 17.00-19.00 and Saturday mornings

Qualifications and Requirements

Teaching Credential/License

Essential requirements:

  • Qualified Teacher Status achieved in any of the following contexts: United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa or the USA.
  • Experience of leading a large subject department or Secondary School as a Head or Deputy-Head.
  • Excellent organisation skills.
  • An ability to function in an environment where enforcing accountability is challenging; a talent for creating new, robust and effective systems.
  • A good (and ideally excellent) understanding of IT-based data and information management systems.
  • A positive work ethic and a high level of self-motivation; the willingness to act as a role-model (to students and colleagues) and mentor.
  • An excellent grasp of the teaching and learning practices suited to a modern English- medium international school (i.e. able to teach highly effective 3-part lessons but also model more independent, collaborative and technology-rich aspects of 21 st century learning; a positive ability to adapt teaching and learning to an inclusive environment where EAL and a range of abilities will be common).
  • Cultural sensitivity and intercultural communication competence - i.e. the ability to relate in a positive way and achieve positive results working with professionals who were raised in a distinctly different culture.
  • Resilience and a solution-oriented outlook; the ability to complete and finish tasks, set developmental targets for mentees and take responsibility for ensuring that these are achieved; a ‘no excuses’ approach.
  • The positivity, patience, open-mindedness and resilience necessary to thrive in an exciting but very culturally different location and a commitment to being an excellent ambassador for our school within the community.


Also desirable would be one or a number of the following:

  • Specific experience of the Cambridge Secondary Curriculum 1 and/or 2 curricula as a teacher or leader
  • Specific EAL / ESL experience or qualifications
  • Experience of mentoring colleagues / general leadership and management experience; experience of leading appraisal
  • Experience of leading professional learning communities and/or staff training
  • Experience of working in an international setting within a team that has a high proportion of host country nationals
  • Experience of living in former-Soviet countries and/or language skills (such as Azerbaijani, Russian or Turkic-group languages)
  • Applicants from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the USA preferred