Applications are invited for a Head Teacher/Primary Education Advisor to provide continuing support to the staff and pupils at St Mary's School.

See also:

Vacancy for Head Teacher/Primary Education Advisor

St Mary's School logo, Tristan da Cunha

This is a unique opportunity to live and work overseas in a small community school, framing and leading the future of education on Tristan da Cunha.

St Mary’s School caters for all the island children - approximately 25 ranging in age from 3 to 16. It is staffed by local and expatriate teachers. The school currently has an expatriate Head Teacher and one expatriate teacher; a UK Maths and Science specialist in the secondary school. The school currently offers 6 IGCSE subject options to our secondary students (Cambridge Exam Board).

Tristan da Cunha crest
NI-CO logo

The school is looking to employ a Head Teacher, who will also have responsibility as a Primary Education Adviser. The current Head Teacher is leaving at the end of her contract in February 2023, and she has introduced a number of measures to support the children’s education. We particularly want someone who can continue her work in shaping the future of education policy and delivery on the island for the near future. This will mean assessing what is possible and, taking into account the future needs and sustainability of the island, helping young people to get the education they need to underpin the skills of the future. The Head Teacher is also in charge of the creche – most children go to the creche after 6 months.

Tristan da Cunha is a UK Overseas Territory, approximately 1750 miles south-west of Cape Town and is only accessible by boat. On average it takes 7 days to travel the distance from Cape Town. It is a beautiful small island, home to many endemic species of birdlife, and is active in conserving its unique environment. It is at the centre of the largest Marine Protected Zone in the Atlantic Ocean. This post offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a real difference to the community, and to live and work in a place that most can only dream of.

Essential Criteria

The successful candidate will

  • have UK QTS or equivalent
  • have at least 5 years post qualification experience of teaching
  • have experience in providing leadership, and setting goals and priorities for groups of teachers
  • have experience of supporting other teachers (eg trainee/student teachers, newly Qualified teachers, teachers returning to teaching, trainee teaching assistants, etc)
  • have experience leading training sessions on a wide range of topics
  • be confident across the full Primary and Early Years age range
  • be a passionate and committed teacher

Scope of the job:

Provide guidance and leadership for the school as a whole, and teaching at primary and secondary school level in English.

The Head Teacher will

  • provide strategic leadership and guidance for St Mary’s School
  • support local teachers in developing subject knowledge and confidence in teaching
  • work closely with the Administrator and the Education Committee to make improvements in teaching and learning
  • be willing to undertake teaching across the full range, especially at the primary level
  • work actively with allother teachers, being sensitive to the culture of the school and community

It would be an advantage if candidates have experience of:

  • delivering school leadership with school development
  • working in small schools in remote areas with small communities
  • supporting children and young people identified as having SEND, and be willing to support staff in providing for such children and young people

We can offer you

  • an attractive salary as part of a two-year contract
  • free housing for you and your dependents
  • places at school for any accompanying children
  • an incredible environment to live and work in
  • supportive colleagues and enthusiastic children
  • medical cover, including on-island treatment and evacuation to Cape Town
  • return flights, including mid-contract leave

Outside school, there are opportunities to get involved in island community life. The community are open and friendly and willing to help each other. The island provides unique opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to study the native wildlife and environment. Sitting on a beach in the summer time with seals and penguins is a perfect tonic to working life! The opportunity to visit the outer islands is one expatriates and locals both enjoy, as well as the chance to climb up to Base above the settlement for magnificent views.

We look forward to hearing from candidates who meet the requirements and have an interest in contributing to our island and school.

For further information pleasecontact Jean Caldwell, NI-CO Project Manager ( To apply please send a copy of your CV and a letter of application detailing your suitability for the post to the same email address. There is also more information on Tristan at

Closing Date:

No later than 5pm on Friday, 13th January 2023.