March 24, 2021

We’re recruiting!

VNET CIC is looking for a dynamic and enthusiastic individual to be a Principal Consultant.

We are at an important stage of our development and we have set out our strategic priorities for the coming years in order to support our vision for every school in our network to become an excellent school. We are therefore seeking to appoint a Principal Consultant to join our team. This is a role which will be part of the central VNET team, working closely with school leaders to maximise the benefit of their membership and improve their schools. 

You will be an exceptional Primary Phase leader who has a proven track record of successful school improvement at headteacher/principal level – ideally in at least two Primary schools.  A key part of the role will be to work closely with our member primary schools, our subject specialist associates and leadership consultants. You will therefore be someone who is able to build relationships quickly across and within schools. Experience as a Primary Phase system leader is essential. 

You will be someone who has successful experience in all areas of school improvement.   Most importantly, you will be someone who can support our vision and ethos but challenge us in our thinking as we embark on the next stage of our journey.

You will be joining a small and highly professional team. Each member of the team works to support the member schools in delivering their strategic objectives.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a progressive school improvement network where you will be a key leader on the strategies to support member schools in their school improvement. In conjunction with the directors and other associates, you will contribute to educational improvement by supporting, advising and challenging schools and partners to achieve the highest standards.

 The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Be a Principal Consultant and link person to a number of member schools
  • Undertake consultancy/ advisory work in schools and with other partners within the network and, from time to time, in other authorities and MATs
  • Contribute to the work of the Senior Associate Team leading on specific thematic areas
  • Prepare and deliver training and attend relevant forums at a local and national level
  • Advise and assist the work of our associate team
  • Contribute as appropriate to local and national developments
  • Contribute to the development of school-to-school support in the network by helping to identify innovative and effective practice and supporting collaboration between schools
  • Contribute to brokering school support and co-ordinate support to meet the needs of schools
  • Contribute as required to all aspects of driving improvement in schools
  • Keep up to date with best practices in education and identify emerging trends and improvement opportunities
  • Be familiar with the Ofsted framework and related legislation and guidance.

We can offer you:

  • The opportunity to develop your skills as a leader and consultant whilst giving back your accumulated knowledge and wisdom to other school leaders
  • Flexible working to allow you to maintain time off in school holidays
  • The chance to work in a genuine social enterprise with a team of like-minded professionals who are committed to the education and support of young people and their schools.
  • Opportunity to work in a beautiful part of the country!

 We are prepared to consider a secondment for a practising headteacher for a period of up to two years or permanent appointments.

VNET is fully committed to equality of opportunity and diversity and we warmly welcome applications from all suitably qualified candidates. We welcome applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, disability, or age. All applications will be considered solely on merit and we would consider full-time/flexible/part time working as part of our aim to be an employer of choice.

VNET is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and successful candidates will be subject to an Enhanced DBS check.

For an informal discussion about this exciting opportunity please contact VNET’s Director of Education, Sonia Innes:

Please send completed CV and letter of application to: 




Full Time / Part Time, Permanent


Norfolk with options for home working as well as visits to member schools.


Variable hours up to 40 hours/week; occasional weekend working to support conferences or other events.

The employee is entitled to the following paid holiday:

All Bank and other Public Holidays, and unlimited holidays above statutory minimum provided such periods are agreed with the employee’s manager. The nature of the company’s business means that the employee should plan most holidays to be taken during school holiday periods.

Start date

September 2021


The Company will contribute an employer contribution of 3% of basic salary to an approved pension scheme for the employee under the auto-enrolment duty. The employee is required to contribute a minimum of 5% of basic salary to the approved pension scheme.


Not suitable for newly qualified teachers (NQT)

Apply by:

Friday 16 April 2021

Job posted: 

Wednesday 24 March 2021

Interviews to be held:

Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 April 2021


Principal Consultant – Person Specification






Qualified Teacher Status


Evidence of continuous learning and commitment to future professional development

Achieved NPQH

Post-graduate degree

Coaching Qualification and/or experience


Demonstrable and successful strategic leadership within a school or school improvement organisation as a headteacher or principal to achieve excellent outcomes for pupils

Experience of monitoring and improving quality of education

In-depth experience of all primary phases including EYFS

Successful experience of curriculum design

Demonstrable experience as a System Leader of school-to-school support and improvement

Experience of designing and delivering training for a variety of stakeholders

Experience of designing and delivering training for other organisations

Experience of headship in more than one school

Experience of headship in more than one Local Authority or MAT

Experience as an inspector for Ofsted or equivalent training

Experience of serving in a governance capacity

Experience of working in the corporate education or charity/non-profit sector

Knowledge and understanding

Up-to-date knowledge in subject, national policy, pedagogy, classroom management strategies, inspection frameworks and statutory requirements

Clear understanding of the current education landscape

An understanding of how to build strong partnerships, maintaining relationships and co-producing solutions to challenges across a diverse set of stakeholders

Proven ability to effectively use school performance data, intelligence and evidence to accurately identify trends, create meaningful insight, recommendations and to inform decision making

Strong and detailed knowledge and understanding of strategies to enhance school improvement

Proven experience of good working relationships with stakeholders

Involvement in influential local and national education organisations

Successful implementation and wide ranging knowledge of digital learning platforms and pedagogies

Personal Qualities

Belief in and commitment to the overarching values of VNET and ability to articulate the vision to a wide range of audiences

Personal determination, drive, energy and ambition to support schools in delivering excellent outcomes for children using a strength-based approach

Demonstrates an open and approachable interpersonal style

Excellent organisational skills including: time management, creative-thinking, problem-solving and multitasking

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills that are open, honest, persuasive and pragmatic, including excellent negotiation and influencing skills.

Excellent team working and relationship management; able to build effective working relationships at all levels, reinforcing partnerships

Able to use a range of digital hardware or software to support your work effectively i.e. Microsoft or Google software

Able to work flexibly and independently with limited management oversight

Highly effective and credible leader, who inspires the respect and support of others and has an open and approachable interpersonal style


Committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children

Current driving licence and access to a vehicle


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