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Pharo Foundation Director of Academics Job

by biasharadigest

Director of Academics Job, NGO Kenyan Jobs May 2021,

Job Title: Director of Academics

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Reporting to: Director of Education (East Africa). 

Functional Relationships: Heads of Education (Ethiopia, Somaliland and Rwanda and other relevant  countries as shall be determined), Heads of Schools (Ethiopia, Somaliland, and Rwanda and other  relevant countries as shall be determined), Head of HR (Kenya), Country Heads of Programmes (Ethiopia,  Somaliland and Rwanda) and the Finance Manager (London). 

Direct Reports: Country Heads of Academics, School Principals and School Heads.

Job Description

The Pharo Foundation (“the Foundation”) is a privately funded entrepreneurial organisation that runs  philanthropic programmes as well as for-profit Social Ventures. The Vision of the Foundation is an  economically vibrant and inclusive Africa. The Mission is to achieve the Vision by investing in the human  and physical capital of Africa, with a strong focus on job creation.  

Established in 2011 as a UK based non-profit, the Foundation has since made a strategic shift to directly  design and implement its own programmes to ensure greater engagement with communities, better  results and increased accountability. The Foundation has carried out numerous projects in East Africa,  with a focus on Ethiopia and Somaliland and is now looking to expand into Rwanda. The key strategic  pillars for the philanthropic side of the Foundation are education, health, water and agriculture. At the  end of 2019, the Foundation also started its Social Ventures franchise to prioritise sectors where the  Foundation believes a real impact can be made by establishing self- sustaining businesses, which focus on  job and economic value creation.  

Headquartered in London, the Foundation has an operational head office in Nairobi, Kenya with country  offices in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa and Assosa) and Somaliland (Hargeisa) with further expansion plans in East Africa.  

Position Summary 

The Foundation aims to provide the highest quality education to children and young adults across East  Africa and is now actively looking for a driven and passionate individual who wants to make real change  in the education sector. 

The Director of Academics position is a Senior Executive role within The Pharo Foundation that will be  entrusted with the overall responsibility of developing and managing the Foundation’s Academic curriculum and professional development to enhance academic excellence across the Pharo Schools in East Africa.  

This is a high level, well-remunerated role that will give the right candidate an excellent mix of challenge  and fulfilment. The position is based in Nairobi and will report to the Director of Education, East Africa. 

The role encompasses all aspects of the academic strategy and operations, from early childhood to  secondary school as well as higher education and vocational schools. It includes, among others, designing  curricula, overseeing academic standards, recruitment and well-being of students, academic services budgeting, policy development and controls and external relationships with community and  governmental stakeholders. The Director of Academics will play a key leadership role in designing systems that will position the ‘Pharo Schools’ brand as a centre of excellence so as to attract and retain the best  students and staff. 


Academic Development, Leadership and Learning 

Oversee the design and development of curricula, instruction and assessment programs across East  Africa. 

Take responsibility for academic quality and rigor. 

Lead in the collection, creation and revision of all academic data analysis and intervention programs. Manage the development of academic standards whilst ensuring that there is a culture of continuous  enhancement of academic excellence across all Pharo Schools. 

Assessment management: maintain academic calendars, content and school data. Position ‘Pharo Schools’ as Centres of Excellence in Education in East Africa. 

Lead the Heads of Schools across East Africa in the development of high performing schools. Interview and recruit teachers and other academic staff. 

Plan academic staff meetings, orientations, training and workshops.

Teacher Management 

Supervise teachers across all Pharo Schools to ensure the highest standards of teaching and learning  pedagogy. 

Collaborate with Pharo Schools Heads of Schools in reporting School Academic Performance. Ensure that the Heads of Schools work collaboratively to promote the Continuous Professional  Development (CPD) of teachers and their direct reports. 

Promote a culture of innovation, continuous improvement and efficiency whilst keeping abreast on  new and creative teaching methodologies to ensure best practice. 

Participate in hiring, managing and developing academic staff. 

Build the teaching of 21st century skills with a key focus on critical thinking and problem solving. Develop and implement academic enhancement programs for students.

Student Management  

Assist with student recruitment. 

Working with the Heads of Schools, participate in the development of a personal education plan for  each student. 

Promote focus on the holistic child in all Pharo Schools.

Policy Development 

Prepare and implement robust educational processes and policies to meet curriculum goals. Develop appropriate quality assurance frameworks that ensure compliance of academic regulatory  requirements. 

Oversee the academic accreditation process of Pharo Schools.

Compliance, Audit and Risk 

Ensure that all Pharo Schools comply with the Ministry of Education directives across East Africa. Protect the Pharo Schools brand from undue risk exposure and mitigate where necessary.

Stakeholder Relationships 

Ensure good working relationships with cooperation and support from governmental entities,  parents, alumni and the larger community. 

Represent the Foundation in educational forums. 


The ideal person should have a master’s degree in Education, Educational Administration,  Educational Leadership or Curriculum Development. 

S/He must possess a minimum of ten (10) years professional experience, eight (8) of these in  senior management roles in learning institutions. 

Knowledge of best practices in curriculum and assessment. 

Experience in pedagogical improvement and implementation. 

Ability to work successfully with the Head of Schools and Head Teachers in the development of K 12 curriculum. 

Ability to work with diverse curricular subject areas. 

Demonstrated experience in successfully recruiting, retaining and developing educators, staff  and administrators. 

The ability to work autonomously, have strong self-motivation and the maturity to remain  accountable for results. 

Excellent communication skills both when working with peers and colleagues, as well as when  remaining an approachable and accessible figure to direct reports.

Behavioural Competencies  

A passionate and driven individual with high social and emotional intelligence. A natural and effective leader who can manage staff in a K-12 setting across different locations. Excellent communicator with fluency in written and spoken English. 

Open minded and flexible individual. 

Creative thinker who can think outside the box. 

Respects and understands the local culture and values and yet embraces and can work within  international work ethics and standards. 

Dedicated team player with demonstrable experience in setting up good governance and processes  at scale.  

High levels of integrity, professionalism, resilience, accountability, commitment and determination. 

How to apply

Review of applications will begin as soon as they are received, and only complete applications will be  reviewed. In the event that an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, we reserve  the right to appoint before the deadline. For this reason, we encourage interested and suitably qualified  candidates to apply at the earliest possible time. Due to the high volume of applications, we regret that  we will only be able to contact short-listed candidates.  

Please send the information listed below, as a single PDF file, to the following email address:  [email protected] 

  1. A detailed CV and Cover Letter 
  2. An essay of no more than 1,000 words outlining:  

What education curricula development experience have you gained that makes you the  most qualified candidate for the role?  

What is your plan and/or experience in transforming schools into centres of academic  excellence? Kindly give examples from your experience, if any.  

  1. A one-page list of five references with current addresses, phone numbers, and email contacts.  4. State on your application where you saw the advert for this position.
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