Head of Secondary - Shanghai HD Bilingual School - China

HD Shanghai-Songjiang is located in the City’s Songjiang district, widely regarded as the cultural root of the city of Shanghai itself.  The School opened in August 2015, and will eventually grow to accommodate 1800 students aged 3-18.  Work is currently under way on a new development phase, which will see the introduction of specialist upper-secondary teaching spaces and facilities, as well as boarding houses.  Established on an impressive and imaginative campus, the School offers an outstanding bilingual education that blends the best of British with the best of Chinese. The curriculum allows students to access a broad and balanced learning experience – one in which tradition meets creativity, and East meets West.

HD Shanghai-Songjiang not only benefits from being part of the successful network of HD Schools in China (HD Ningbo, HD Beijing & HD Qingdao), but also from its strong relationship with Hurtwood House, our partner school in the UK.  HD Shanghai-Songjiang draws on Hurtwood’s experience and expertise at providing an all-round education.  Children not only achieve excellent academic results but also develop interests and skills to prepare them for the challenges of life beyond school.  With this in mind, the curriculum at HD Shanghai-Songjiang offers a broad range of opportunities designed to develop intellectual growth, physical and emotional health, artistic endeavours, creativity and service to others.

The School is committed to fostering genuinely bilingual and bicultural students, enabling them to gain competency in Mandarin and English, as well as preparing them culturally for life in an increasingly interconnected world.  The curriculum is taught using a dual-language immersion approach – students benefit from lessons delivered by native speakers of English and Chinese.  As well as supporting students to become bilingual, the low pupil to teacher ratio enables HD Shanghai-Songjiang to deliver a highly personalised approach to learning.  Further details of the unique HD Schools ethos are provided in the supporting document attached.

The Head of Secondary, HD Shanghai-Songjiang will be directly responsible, alongside their Chinese counterpart, for all aspects of running the School from Grade 7 (age 12) through to Grade 12 (age 17).  The successful candidate will report through the Head of School/Chief Academic Director’s Office to the Board and Chairman of the HD Schools.

We are seeking an individual who can articulate and develop the vision, ethos and values of HD Shanghai-Songjiang by inspiring and empowering staff, students and parents within the community.

Key Responsibilities:

Leadership and Management

  • To implement the School’s vision and aims with conviction and clarity and in doing so foster a strong and supportive school community
  • To embed a school-wide commitment to high standards and success for all pupils
  • To develop and oversee the pastoral life of HD Shanghai-Songjiang, ensuring that pupils and staff are cared for, supported and nurtured
  • To be responsible for establishing and maintaining good discipline
  • To deploy resources effectively and efficiently to ensure high standards in the day-to-day running of HD Shanghai-Songjiang
  • To work closely and collaboratively with Chinese colleagues, both academic and bursarial, setting an example for other international staff
  • To lead, motivate and challenge staff to be reflective practitioners committed to continuous improvement and developing teaching and learning strategies
  • To ensure robust administrative and support structures are in place to enable operational matters to be dealt with efficiently and effectively
  • To ensure that staff roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and communicated, and to ensure that appraisals are carried out regularly and professionally

Teaching and Learning

  • To develop and maintain an outstanding learning environment that enables all pupils to fulfil their potential
  • To ensure the highest standards of pupil safety and welfare at all times
  • To enrich all pupils’ experiences through an extensive co-curricular programme
  • To assess, monitor and evaluate teaching standards in order to continuously improve practice and maintain first-class learning throughout the School
  • To ensure that teachers use appropriate methods of assessment and data to enhance pupil progress
  • To ensure pupils receive the best possible preparation for significant external examinations in Grade 10 and 12
  • To work with Chinese colleagues on creating opportunities to link Chinese and international curriculum streams in a sensitive and meaningful manner
  • To ensure pupils receive excellent support and advice when applying to international universities

Stakeholder Relationships

  • To ensure that strong partnerships are built and maintained with existing, prospective and former parents
  • To be highly visible and take personal responsibility for attending school events and activities
  • To develop and maintain links with the broader community to extend learning opportunities


  • To work with the Head of School and the Board of HD Schools to develop a programme of continuous improvement and plan for the School’s future development
  • To work with the Head of School and the Board of HD Schools to set the annual budget, making sure that money is deployed in a way that takes into account the School’s strategic vision and priorities
  • To ensure that the School’s budget targets are met, that funds are expended wisely and productively and that the School’s finances remain in good order
  • To remain alert and responsive to the local and wider external environment, adapting plans and strategies in response where necessary

Recruitment and Public Relations

  • To lead parent engagement, marketing and PR activities to ensure that enrolment targets are met
  • To take a lead role in the admissions process to ensure that enrolment targets are met
  • To take full responsibility for the recruitment of staff, making sure that the school has a high-quality leadership and teaching team committed to the School’s ethos, values and standards
  • To ensure that all recruitment is carried out in line with the highest possible standards for safer recruitment
Posted: December 2017
This is a Direct to School Job
Shanghai , China
August 2018
Gr. 9, Gr. 10, Gr. 11, Gr. 12

Qualifications & Requirements


Experience and Knowledge

  • A proven track record of successful whole-school leadership at the Senior Leadership or Management Level (required)
  • Experience (required) with respect to
  • Leading and managing staff
  • Curriculum development
  • The management of change
  • Excellent working knowledge of the UK National Curriculum (required)
  • High levels of subject knowledge (required)
  • At least eight years of relevant teaching experience (desirable)
  • Experience of working with children who have English as a Second Language (desirable)
  • Experience of working in the independent sector (desirable)
  • Experience of working in the international sector (desirable)
  • A good degree from an established university
  • PGCE or QTS

Personal Qualities

  • Proven leadership qualities, with ability to command respect from students, staff and parents alike
  • Excellent administrative and organisational abilities
  • Outstanding communication skills
  • Ability to understand the needs, challenges and opportunities of an international school community
  • Ability to stretch the most able, whilst also ensuring the curriculum is accessible to all
  • Ability to inspire children with a love of learning
  • Willingness to contribute to all aspects of school life
  • Strong personal-relations and team-working skills
  • Ability to use ICT to enhance leaning
  • Energy, charisma and dynamism with the vision and drive to create productive learning environments and excellent outcomes for all children
  • Rigorous can-do attitude, positive team player with a sense of humour