Schools and Colleges

Schools and Colleges

We work in the education sector purely and simply because we are passionate about it. Schools and Colleges have the potential to change lives and to develop the next generation of leaders in Civil Society. However we also appreciate that Schools and Colleges face an increasing number of challenges. Independent schools are now confronted with stiff competition, as well as intense pressure to justify their charitable status whilst coping with parental expectations and affordability. State-run schools and Further Education colleges face constrained budgets and a constantly shifting policy landscape. Meanwhile all schools and colleges must balance a focus on academic outcomes with the need to turn out well-rounded students.

Society has worked with international schools and colleges from Mozambique to South Korea, including IB World Schools, proprietorial schools, franchised campuses of established UK institutions, and innovative pathway providers. We are familiar with both day schools and boarding schools, and have a sound understanding of issues related to safeguarding in both environments. Our team has broad experience within the education sector, with colleagues having worked in student recruitment, overseas teaching and as school governors. Although we frequently advise on Head appointments, we also handle searches for Deputies, Senior and Junior School Principals, Heads of Department, Bursars, Development Directors, and key functional leads for areas like HR and IT. 

Recent Case Study

Bill O'Hearn

Society handled the appointment of William J. O’Hearn III (Bill) as Head of the Aga Academy in Mombasa, Kenya.

The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa Academy is one of a network of schools being established across Africa, South and Central Asia, under the auspices of the Aga Khan Development Network. His Highness the Aga Khan’s vision is to create a global learning community where exceptional young people from any background can develop the capacity to become future leaders of civil society.

Society’s proactive search for the new Head focused on the existing leaders of full-continuum IB World Schools around the globe. Due to the heavily networked nature of this community, we also made extensive use of advice and recommendations. The resultant field of candidates came from all over the world, including Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

When Society first approached him, Bill O’Hearn was Head of Beijing City International School (BCIS), a coeducational day school in the People’s Republic of China. BCIS has 760 students and teaches the IB Primary Years Programme, the IB Middle Years Programme and the IB Diploma Programme. Bill was also Superintendent of YueCheng Education, which offers Continuing Professional Development classes and workshops for teachers across Beijing. Bill has a BA in History from Hamilton College (US) and a Masters in the Teaching of Reading from Fitchburg State College (US). He has been an administrator in high schools (School One, St Andrew's School, Ross School) and elementary schools (Eliot Montessori School) since 1981. Bill is married to Andrea O'Hearn, administrator university counsellor. They have three older sons living in the US and a daughter who graduated from BCIS in 2015.

Karim Alidina, Head of Human Resources for the Academies Network commented:

“Simon Lucas, Conor Wilson and the team have been pivotal in the success of this search. Their tenacity, and excellent understanding of what would be the successful qualities that we require for a Head of the Aga Khan Academy resulted in a very strong pool of candidates that we could review, and we are very pleased and excited about the appointment of Bill into this position. The partnership we have with Society is built upon trust and having aligned values as mission-centric organisations.”

Other Sample Appointments

Contact Our Team

Our work in the Schools and Colleges sector is led by Conor Wilson.  He can be contacted on


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