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Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey starts search for new £118k-a-year principal


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The search has started to find a new £100,000-plus head for one of Kent's largest schools.

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey has posted its advert for a principal to replace Tina Lee who stepped down in the summer.

Tina Lee, quit as principal of the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey in summer 2021
Tina Lee, quit as principal of the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey in summer 2021

Candidates have until noon on Friday, November 19 to apply. The start date is "as soon as possible" although insiders acknowledge it could take "several months" to fill the vacancy.

A spokesman said: "We’re certainly looking for great candidates locally."

One of the complaints about past heads is that none of them committed to living on or near Sheppey.

Miss Lee commuted every day from her home in Brighton and her predecessor John Cavadino continued to live near Croydon. None have stayed much longer than two years.

The advert asks for a "visionary education leader" and says: "We are looking to recruit an exceptional principal who has the skills, knowledge, experiences and understanding to unleash the potential at our secondary academy in Kent and help change the lives of our young people and their community."

The Rev Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis at the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, Minster campus
The Rev Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis at the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, Minster campus

Tellingly, it adds: "We need a leader who is here from the long haul."

High-profile Oasis founder the Rev Steve Chalke admits he has spent more time at the two-site campus than at any other of his 52 academies in a battle to turn it into a 'good' school.

It is still ranked as 'requires improvement' by Ofsted after several attempts to turn it around.

Education on Sheppey has suffered for many years as parents have shunned the Island's only secondary school, and its predecessors, to send their children to Sittingbourne 10 miles away.

Currently, more than 1,200 pupils commute off the Island.

'Whilst the Academy possesses strengths, we are looking for a passionate and driven individual to improve our school rapidly.'

But in recent times, staff believe they have seen improvements at the Sheppey comprehensive.

In September it chalked up its biggest number of new pupils for years and now has a roll of 1,500, although that is still short of its original 2,200 capacity.

The advert goes on: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an exceptional practitioner to join one of the largest and highly successful MATs (multi-academy trusts) as principal, leading our curriculum development and those who deliver it, empowering them to raise attainment and standards."

It adds: "Whilst the Academy possesses strengths, we are looking for a passionate and driven individual to improve our school rapidly, especially given the way the community had been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic."

Oasis took over the school, which has sites in Sheerness and Minster, in January 2014.

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey Minster campus
Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey Minster campus
Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, Sheerness
Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, Sheerness

The advert says: "Both locations boast coastal views, affordable housing and transport networks from London and Kent."

The job, described as "challenging but rewarding" comes with a salary of £102,159 to £118,370.

* Boris Johnson is paid £161,401 made up of £79,496 for his role as Prime Minister and an additional £81,932 for being an MP.

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

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