Finding your International School leadership position with TIC Recruitment.

Published on 12th April, 2021 by Wendy Hartrey. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

Are you looking for a new leadership opportunity? TIC Recruitment specialises in leadership and headship vacancies. We’ve helped place countless quality candidates in top international schools. This blog shows just some of the success stories we have heard.

David Lowder is a Headteacher from the UK who has been leading international schools for 20 years.

In 2018 we helped find him a leadership position as Principal of the International School of Koje in South Korea.

David’s advice to those seeking a leadership opportunity is:

“If you are a senior leader and aiming for a position as a Principal in an international school, I would, without reservation say, ‘go for it’. You will not look back, and you will open up a plethora of unforgettable experiences for
you and your family”.

Carl Lander has worked as a school leader, school inspector, and an educational advisor around the world. Originally from Yorkshire in the UK, Carl was Head of St. John’s School in Chile. 

TIC Recruitment helped Carl to find this leadership vacancy and supported him through the process of application, interview, selection and remuneration negotiation.

Carl’s advice to senior leaders is:

“My advice would be to fully research the culture of the country and its attitude to education; not all schools are the same, not all countries are the same.  Pay attention to the leadership role you would like; founding, developing academically, developing business, or fine tuning for excellence, and look for a school that matches the role you desire.

I would recommend using TIC. They echoed my own voice and represented me well to the school.”

Derek Laidlaw is a British Headteacher. TIC helped place him in Qatar as Executive Principal at Oryx International School in Mesaimeer, on the outskirts of Doha.

“TIC’s support was invaluable - Without TIC’s involvement and support I wouldn’t have had this opportunity. The whole process was immaculately handled by Amy from start to finish, and post-appointment; exemplary practice!”




Matthew Williams is a Headteacher from the UK who has worked at a variety of international schools across the globe.

TIC helped Matthew to find his role as Head of Byron College in Athens, Greece.

Matthew’s advice is:

“The best advice I can give to Leaders is to be open minded. It’s important to recognise from the outset that you are not going to work in a British School, but a British International School. You have to consider the local working culture as it is very different to that in the UK. My advice is to embrace this and work with it to your advantage.”

“TIC Recruitment provided me with clear, concise information about Byron College. Of course, I could have worked with the school directly, but I think the process would have been much slower. I felt well informed and that TIC had a really clear picture of the school and the type of Head that Byron College were looking for. I immediately felt at ease working with Andrew and Gemma, both of whom were really supportive; it was clear that this was going to be a partnership from the beginning and this helped me immensely.”

Why use TIC Recruitment?

Our specialist leadership team are experienced in delivering end-to-end recruitment solutions for some of the world’s leading international schools. We work in close partnership with our schools and candidates to ensure positive experience from both sides.

As a candidate, we are there at every stage of the process, from the first interview through to the final on boarding. We can also help you prepare for the interview with useful advice and conduct a practice interview.

We help with any salary package negotiations and use our experience to ensure that both parties are content with the end result. Because we work with schools all over the world we are able to compare and contrast salary packages.

We visit many of the schools we work with, meaning we can offer personal accounts and advice about the school. If we have not visited the school we can draw upon our huge network of contacts around the world to get an accurate picture of the school and the current opportunity.

Many of the leadership vacancies we have ae not advertised anywhere else in the world.

About the Leadership Team

Andrew Wigford 

Managing Director

The majority of my work for TIC involves maintaining strong relationships with the international schools that we work with, including advising on strategic recruitment and staffing. I also introduce TIC and our support services to the schools that want to work with us. These responsibilities mean that I spend much of my year attending conferences and visiting international schools.

In the past couple of years I have visited schools in Malaysia, Thailand, Qatar, Dubai, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Russia, Holland, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bermuda, USA, and UK. I focus most of my recruitment time on selecting and recruiting great school leaders for international schools, and of course leading the rest of the TIC team and making sure that we keep a good work/life balance – which sometimes means a game of soft football in the office!

I also work very closely with Gemma on Leadership recruitment. I usually carry out the pre-visits and attend final interviews. I have done this in schools in Qatar, Bermuda, Portugal and Malaysia. Leadership recruitment is a very strong part of what we do and its something that I love to be involved with.

I have been involved in international education since 1989 as a Teacher, HOD, HOY, Deputy Head, and Head Teacher. I have worked as an Education Consultant, Board member, CIS Accreditation member and Director of the IPC. I founded TIC in 2005 to provide a personal, supportive recruitment service to teachers and schools – something I wish I’d been able to access when I was working at international schools.

Gemma McSweeney 

Associate Director

As Associate Director, my main responsibilities include heading up our leadership division, leading on operational strategy and managing our recruitment team. My main aim is to make sure we work together as a team, share best practice and are continuously developing our skills, particularly in areas such as safeguarding for international schools.

With over 15 years experience in developing talent acquisition and recruitment strategies I have led on our large-scale recruitment partnerships with schools or groups such as the International Schools Partnership, Brookes Education and the Harrow International Schools Group – providing in excess of 1000 teachers across the three groups.

During my time at TIC (12 years!), I’ve been lucky enough to visit some incredible international schools around the world including all Harrow International Schools, United World College South East Asia (Singapore), American School of the Hague, BIS Ho Chi Minh City, and many more. I also attend several of the major annual international school conferences such as COBIS, ECIS, BSME and FOBISIA.

I have led global searches for key Leadership roles at some of the best international schools, and pride myself on establishing long lasting relationships with our candidates and schools. 

Please contact the Leadership Team on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Wendy Hartrey