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Headteacher Vacancy
The King's School

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Dear applicant,

Thank you for registering your interest in joining Pontefract Academies Trust. I hope the information provided will interest you and help you with the application process.

Pontefract Academies Trust is a cross-phase Multi Academy Trust comprising seven primaries and two 11-16 secondary schools. Currently, our schools are located within a tight geographic hub within Pontefract, with pupils drawn from the local community, including different catchment areas.

The Trust has moved forward at some pace since 2018. The turnaround in performance of all our schools and the development of a culturally aligned organisation has seen the Trust develop a strong reputation locally and regionally. The Trust has a strong and growing reputation for school improvement across the region, is financially solid and sustainable. All our schools collaborate strongly with a finely tuned school improvement model.

The Headteacher position at The King’s School is advertised at an exciting time for the Trust and the school. Our family of schools are in good shape with five of our primary schools hitting the top 1% for key stage combined outcomes and both secondary schools being in the top 15% for progress. This has not happened over night and the Trust transformation over the last five years has been due to a planned culture and change management programme. The King’s School was graded good by Ofsted in October 2022. It is in strong place as the school embarks on the next phase of its improvement journey.

So, what are we looking for in our school leaders? Firstly, we wish to appoint positive people who want to make a difference.

We wish to appoint people that understand and believe in our guiding principles and values.

Of course, it is essential that we get the right people on board – people that are not precious or territorial. We want to hear from flexible people, who with 100% backing and support, will get their hands dirty with exciting school improvement challenges.

As a Trust with a great family of schools serving Pontefract, we are proud of the work we do. The moral dimension drives us.

We also understand that there is more to do to realise our vision and we are humble enough to accept we do not always get everything right and are keen to learn and develop as an organisation. If you feel there could be a fit with us, and you are inspired to join us on our journey we would love to hear from you.

Julian Appleyard OBE





Reporting to: Director(s) of School Improvement

Salary: Leadership 28 - 32 (£91,632 - £101,066) - Starting point will be determined by the experience of the successful candidate.

Term: Permanent - Full time

School Base: The King’s School, Mill Hill Ln, Pontefract, WF8 4JF

Core Purpose

At an exciting time in the school’s history, the Headteacher will take overall responsibility for the leadership and management of every aspect of the school. They will establish a culture of outstanding teaching and learning and behaviour management, an ethos of high expectations and inclusive culture where all children thrive and are safe. The overall purpose of the post is to ensure an outstanding quality of education for all children in the school.

This is an opportunity to join one of the highest performing, true community, cross phase Multi-Academy Trust’s in the region. You will be integral to driving the school forward and delivering on our vision of providing a first-class education to all students, so that they make outstanding progress and get the chances in life they deserve.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities

To provide leadership for, and management of, all staff and children and specifically to be accountable for:

  • The quality of education of all students, including the most vulnerable, those with SEND and additional needs and the ablest.
  • Curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Staff and financially sustainable deployment of resources.
  • Personal development, behaviour and attitudes and the safeguarding of students.
  • The post holder will be expected to promote the vision and values of Pontefract Academies Trust as being enthusiastic, collaborative and forward-thinking with all internal and external stakeholders, including trustees, School Performance Review Board members, colleagues, students, parents, visitors and the local and broader community.

Why choose The King’s School?

Pontefract Academies Trust is a cross phase Multi-Academy Trust comprising of nine schools: seven primaries and two 11 – 16 secondary schools. Our schools are run for the benefit of children and young people, and we have unwavering focus on achievement which is paramount so that all our children and young people enjoy greater life chances.

The King’s School is proud to be part of Pontefract Academies Trust. As a school, we have a long history and rich heritage, which puts us at the forefront of the local educational landscape and beyond. You will join The King’s School as it takes the critical next steps of its journey to becoming outstanding. We are proud to say that we are a very good school with consistently strong outcomes, but we will always want more for our students. Our rich heritage is important to us, but not as important as where we go next, and the history we will create.

What can we offer you?

We’re passionate about employee benefits at Pontefract Academies Trust, offering the following as standard to all:

  • Excellent opportunities to develop professionally.
  • Generous employer pension (LGPS Teachers Pension and West Yorkshire Pension Fund).
  • Flexible working requests always considered.
  • Fantastic family friendly policies with a focus on employee work/life balance.
  • Cycle to work scheme.
  • Reduced gym membership at Aspire Health Facilities across the region.
  • Childcare vouchers.
  • Employee assistance programme (including physiotherapy, personal or professional concerns on legal, health, finance, wellbeing, and other matters).
  • PAT on the back scheme.
  • Life assurance of at least three times your salary.
  • Free flu vaccinations.

Key Documents


About the School

The King’s School is an 11-16 school and one of the oldest schools in Yorkshire. As such it has a long history and rich heritage. The school is a larger than average 11-16 school with a comprehensive intake and is one of two secondary schools serving Pontefract, both of which are part of Pontefract Academies Trust. The King’s School is successful, has a strong reputation locally and is oversubscribed. Academically, it is one of the highest attaining secondary schools across Wakefield.

Like all schools across Pontefract Academies Trust, The King’s School benefits from being part of a family of aligned schools and formal and informal collaboration is the norm. The Ofsted report confirms that the school has a strong foundation that can be built upon to achieve even greater success. The Trust and Executive Leadership Team are well-acquainted with the school, and the governance at both Trust and local levels is highly knowledgeable and provides robust challenge, scrutiny, and support. The King’s School curriculum is broad and balanced. The take up of pupils studying the EBacc subjects is very healthy and the provision for enrichment and extra-curricular is broad, with strong participation from pupils of all abilities and backgrounds.

The current Senior Leadership Team comprises of one Deputy Headteacher, one Associate Deputy Headteacher and four Assistant Headteachers.



Mission and Vision

  • The Trust’s Mission
    • Running top-quality, high-achieving schools that give our children and young people the chance in life they deserve.
  • The Trust’s Vision
    • Where every child and young person makes outstanding progress.

Guiding Principles

  • Achievement Without Excuses
    • We have an unwavering focus on achievement. This is paramount so that all of our children and young people enjoy greater life chances.
    • We take responsibility for ensuring that they succeed. We own our own performance and do not rest on our laurels or seek to blame others.
  • Excellence As Standard
    • We set high standards. “Good enough” is simply not. We do not accept second best from our students or ourselves.
    • The Trust aims to be a highly reliable school improvement organisation that is disciplined in its approach to improving performance. A Trust with clear plans and simple and precisely executed systems that not only develop and sustain excellent performance, but never stifle individual flair.
  • Our People Matter
    • We know that our people make a difference to the lives of our 3-16-year-olds. We want to make our schools places where great teachers want to teach, lead and build a career. Investment in the recruitment, development and retention of the best people is a top priority.
    • We aim to provide professional work environments where our people have the support and tools to do a great job and push our children and young people to scale new heights in a safe and secure environment.
  • Stronger As One
    • We take collective responsibility for each other and the results of all of our children and young people. We enjoy sharing our success as a Trust while recognising the strengths of individuals and each school. To this end, collective accountability is rooted in a “if one fails we all fail” mentality.
    • As a family of schools we collaborate with each other, challenge each other and share best practice. We do not let competition get in the way of our desire to get the best outcomes for all.
  • Students Come First
    • Our schools are run for the benefit of children and young people, not the ease of adults. Their achievement comes first and staff in schools and the central Trust office work to this end.
    • The Trust aims to keep low priority tasks away from front line teachers and leaders so that they can focus explicitly on our core business of teaching and learning.

How to apply block

How to Apply


Leadership 28 - 32 (£91,632 - £101,066) - Starting point will be determined by the experience of the successful candidate.


Closing date – Monday 29th January 2024 at 8am.

Interviews - Thursday 8th and Friday 9th February 2024.

Start date – September 2024 or ideally sooner if available.


Candidates are welcome to visit the school, and this can be organised by contacting Martin Blair at Hays Leadership Appointments.

Further Information

If you would like to have an informal and confidential discussion about the role or to discuss the application process, please contact Martin Blair at Hays Leadership Appointments.


We are an equal opportunities employer, welcoming applications from everyone. The Pontefract Academies Trust is wholly committed to ensuring children and young people are fully supported and safe. We are dedicated to the safeguarding of all children and young people whilst promoting their welfare. Any offer of employment will be subject to receipt of a satisfactory DBS Enhanced Disclosure and pre-employment checks. Shortlisted applicants will also be asked to provide a self-declaration form.

Martin Blair
Hays Leadership Appointments
Tel: 07736791138



The King's School

Mill Hill Ln