Headteacher – Cambridge Mathematics School


Please apply using this headteacher application form (not the standard form linked below)

You can download the full Headteacher application pack here.

Welcome from Lucy Scott, CEO of Eastern Learning Alliance

Thank you for showing an interest in working for Eastern Learning Alliance (ELA).  ELA  was formed in September 2020 merging two well-respected Trusts; The Morris Education Trust and Cambridgeshire Educational Trust to create a new Trust of four secondary schools, one primary and two sports centres located in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.  Additionally we opened The Cavendish School, a Special School for children with autism, in September 2021.  Our driving goal is to improve the quality and richness of the education that we offer to our young people, to continue to provide a community focus whilst benefiting from a collaborative educational environment across the Trust to share best practice, career development and CPD opportunities.  The Trust has ambitious plans to form a group of schools providing outstanding education for all local children. 

I am very proud to be part of this new venture to provide education for children with exceptional ability and potential in Mathematics.

I very much hope that after reading all the information on our Trust and this exciting new role as Headteacher of the Cambridge Maths School you will make an application.   In the pages that follow, you should hopefully have all the information you need to inform your application.  Of course there may be further information you feel you need and we would welcome contact from you. We will also welcome visits to ELA from any prospective applicant and these can be booked via Jenna Bickley, jbickley@tmet.org.uk .

Lucy Scott
CEO, Eastern Learning Alliance

Welcome from Ryan Kelsall, Deputy CEO of Eastern Learning Alliance

Thank you for your interest in the post of Headteacher at Cambridge Maths School (or CMS as it tends to be known). I very much hope that from reading all the details, you would like to apply for the role, which we believe will offer a great opportunity for a school leader looking to have a real and unique impact. In return you will be strongly supported by a multi-academy trust that has as its core vision the drive to ‘build a better world through education and to enable all students to achieve their full potential’.

In 2016 we read about the outstanding education being provided by the recently opened Kings and Exeter Maths schools. We researched further and were tremendously impressed with the vision of the maths schools, which had developing access to high quality mathematics teaching to all leaners, at its heart. We visited the schools and decided that we should be part of the ambitious project.

The free school model allowed us to develop our own, unique, interpretation of the maths school values. We used our extensive community networks to discuss and collaborate with colleagues at University of Cambridge and agreed a plan that would result in the successful application to open a maths school that would be led by the multi-academy trust and supported by our partners at University of Cambridge.

Ryan Kelsall

Deputy CEO, Eastern Learning Alliance

Welcome from Anne Constantine, ELA Trustee and Chair of CMS Steering Group

We are delighted that you are considering applying for the post of Headteacher at the Cambridge Maths School.  The role requires an education leader with vision, creativity, passion and authenticity.  You will be inspiring generations of students who love maths and leading a team of teachers who understand how to channel enthusiasm and prior knowledge into an ever deeper connection with mathematics and its application to other disciplines, exploring, creating and innovating.  Under your leadership students will excel and develop into confident and determined individuals with a breadth and depth of knowledge, understanding and skill that will launch them into successful university and scientific/professional careers.

We could not be more enthusiastic about the opening of our school here in Cambridge.  Our partner is the University of Cambridge and three senior members of the university have been working alongside the Trust executive, trustees, a business leader and the Director of Cambridge Mathematics, to design and plan the school which will open in 2023.  Skills in the mathematical sciences are the bedrock of many business sectors in our city and essential for many future jobs throughout the country.  Students attending our Trust schools perform very well in mathematics at GCSE and we expect a high level of internal progression into the Maths School as well as drawing in enthusiastic and talented mathematicians from across the sub-region.

The role of headteacher at CMS is a unique opportunity to lead this new school from its opening to brand new purpose-built accommodation and the formation of a new school community within one of the most successful and innovative multi-academy trusts in the country. The Trust’s commitment to outstanding education is the reason its schools are communities in which children and young people thrive.  It is also the reason that this new school will have the best possible start.  The successful candidate for Headteacher will be working in an environment where excellence is always the aspiration and will be supported by a culture and practice of continual learning, evaluation and improvement.

We look forward to receiving your application.

Anne Constantine

Trustee and Chair of the CMS Steering Group

Welcome from Graham Virgo, University of Cambridge Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education

The University of Cambridge is proud both to support and to promote the Cambridge Maths School. The University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, the Chair of the Faculty of Mathematics and a representative of the Colleges have been involved in the planning for the school and will continue to be involved in supporting the School as it develops. The strong links between the Cambridge Maths School and the University of Cambridge means that University expertise  in the teaching of Mathematics and in widening participation in the study of mathematics will help to ensure that the Cambridge Maths School will be a centre for exceptional teaching of Maths and other subjects in the Eastern region and beyond. The University’s commitment to the success of the School will ensure that the links between the School and the University will remain strong.

Professor Graham Virgo QC (Hon)

Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Cambridge.

About The Cambridge Maths School

As a school that is yet to open, we appreciate that there is not as much to see or read about the school as there would be for one that is open and bustling. On the one hand that can be unnerving because you are looking for information about the place where you will work. On the other hand, it is very exciting because that place of work is yours to create and mold!

Maths schools are specialist schools for the most mathematically able 16- to 19-year-olds. The schools help to prepare students for success in mathematics-related disciplines at top universities, and then to pursue mathematically intensive careers. They offer both an outstanding opportunity for mathematically able students who attend the schools but also have a board remit for outreach activities. Maths schools are also centres of excellence in raising attainment, supporting and influencing the teaching of mathematics in their surrounding area.

Cambridge Maths School will be led by the ELA multi-academy trust and supported by our partners at the University of Cambridge. We will open our outreach programme in the spring of 2022, and then welcome our first cohort of students in September 2023. Find out more at our website

About the Eastern Learning Alliance

The Eastern Learning Alliance (ELA) was formed in 2020 following the merger of Cambridgeshire Educational Trust (CET) and Morris Education Trust (MET), creating a strong local multi-phase/setting MAT rich in our distinctive values. Naturally we want our new Headteacher at CMS to share those and wish to play a leading part in ELA’s development.

In developing the relationship between the Trust and individual academies, we wanted to ensure the right blend of responsibility and accountability. Our Scheme of Delegation encapsulates this. In summary, we want to ensure our Heads are free from as much ‘distraction’ to enable them to focus on the core business of running a great and successful school. Your key relationship will be with the Deputy CEO (your line-manager) and the Chair of the Local Governing Body (LGB) who is very much your ‘critical friend’ and there as local support.

ELA Active

Our schools are proud of their community work. This includes on-site sports/leisure provision, adult learning and lettings which bring in many varied groups across the year. We recognise that the ‘non-school’ elements of the village college are no less important than the ‘school’ and require their own leadership and management. Therefore the Trustees have created a subsidiary company (which is still part of ELA) called ‘ELA Active’ to oversee and operate the ‘non-school’ elements.  To ensure this works well, an agreement is put in place to manage the facilities best for the benefit of both ‘school’ and ‘non-school’. As Head, you will be instrumental in shaping this agreement.

What we can offer you

You will be joining a relatively new MAT at an exciting stage of its growth and development. We are passionate about the environment we create and how we look after our staff.

As a newly appointed Headteacher, we can provide you with:

  • direct support of your work by Ryan Kelsall, Deputy CEO of Eastern Learning Alliance (ELA)
  • a significant budget to recruit and develop your team at CMS and the opportunity to shape and model an outstanding curriculum
  • The opportunity to join and engage with the UK Maths School Network
  • support on school improvement from our Trust educational team
  • bespoke professional development linked to your identified needs
  • preferential rates for access to the excellent sports/leisure facilities within our Trust


Job Description


Post: Headteacher

Salary: Competitive Leadership salary

Responsible to: The Deputy CEO, Trustees and the Local Governing Body

Primary Purpose of the Role

  1. To provide exceptional and outstanding leadership and management of the Cambridge Maths School
  2. To be responsible for the oversight, internal organisation, management and control of the school
  3. To maintain and develop the distinct ethos of the school and provide moral leadership within the school
  4. To build a collaborative learning culture within the school to ensure that every child reaches their full potential in all areas of their development and makes excellent progress
  5. To work with the necessary ability, vision, energy and enthusiasm, and as a skilled negotiator, with all, putting the needs of the children first
  6. With the Deputy CEO and other Trust Leaders, to respond dynamically as appropriate to key national policies and initiatives
  7. To promote and safeguard the welfare of children and young persons for whom the school is responsible and those with whom they come into contact
  8. To be responsible of the allocated budget and resources (including staffing) of the school, identifying relevant needs and actioning these as determined by the Scheme of Delegation and, with the Deputy CEO, CEO and CFO, conduct staff appointments

Shaping the Future

  • Working with the Deputy CEO, Senior Leadership Team and local governors to create a powerful vision for the school that is aligned to the vision, values strategic priorities, aims and objectives of the Trust
  • Ensure that the vision is clearly articulated, shared, understood and acted upon effectively by all within the school
  • Work within the school to translate the vision into agreed objectives and operational plans which will promote and accelerate school improvement and team ownership
  • Demonstrate CMS’s vision and values in everyday work and practice and motivate and work with others to create a shared collaborative culture and positive climate
  • Ensure creativity, innovation and the use of appropriate new technologies to achieve excellence
  • In liaison with the Deputy CEO, determine clear evidence-based improvement plans for the development of the school and ensure key issues are addressed effectively
  • In collaboration with the Deputy CEO and other Heads, contribute to the development and growth of ELA and the trusts teaching school.

Leading Teaching, Learning and Managing the Organisation with continual Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Lead by example, providing inspiration and motivation
  • Achieve the priorities and objectives set by the Trust for the school and demonstrate and articulate high expectations in reaching these
  • Ensure every individual child has access to high quality teaching and learning
  • Ensure a continuous and consistent focus on students’ achievement and personal development, using relevant data and benchmarks to monitor progress
  • Challenge under-performance at all levels and ensure effective corrective action and follow-up
  • Maintain and promote the highest standards of student behaviour, discipline and attendance within the school
  • Manage delegated financial and human resources effectively and efficiently to achieve educational goals and priorities
  • Ensure that the management systems work effectively in line with legal and Trust requirements
  • Manage and organise the school environment efficiently and effectively to ensure that it meets the needs of the curriculum and all health and safety regulations

Developing Self and Working with Others

  • Treat people fairly, equitably and with dignity and respect to create and maintain a positive trusting culture that exhibits ‘Humans first, professional second’ (Myatt, 2016)
  • Build a collaborative learning culture within the school and actively engage with other schools to develop effective learning communities, particularly through the Morris Teaching School Alliance
  • Maintain the agreed strategies and procedures for staff recruitment, induction, professional development and performance review and liaise with the Deputy CEO about the management of relevant associate staff
  • Ensure effective planning, allocation, support and evaluation of work undertaken by teams and individuals, with clear delegation of tasks and devolution of responsibilities
  • Acknowledge the responsibilities and celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams
  • Report to the Deputy CEO on the professional development of senior and middle leaders and the development of associate staff working at CMS
  • Develop and maintain a culture of high expectations for self and others and taking appropriate action when performance is unsatisfactory
  • Regularly review own practice, set personal targets and take responsibility for own personal development by participating positively in arrangements made for the appraisal of ‘Headteacher’ performance
  • Manage own workload and that of others to allow an appropriate work/life balance

Security Accountability

  • Develop an inclusive and inspirational ethos within the school (aligned with that of the Trust) that enables everyone to work collaboratively, share knowledge and understanding, celebrate success and accept responsibility for outcomes
  • Ensure individual staff accountabilities are clearly defined, understood and agreed and are subject to rigorous review and evaluation, in keeping with Trust performance management and appraisal procedures and policies
  • Work with the Deputy CEO (and through him to the Trustees), providing information, objective advice and support, to enable the school to meet its statutory responsibilities
  • Develop and maintain suitable quality assurance systems, including internal reviews, self-evaluation and performance management
  • Present a coherent, understandable and accurate account of the school’s performance to a range of audiences including the CEO, Trustees, local governors, staff, parents and carers and students


Strengthening Community

  • Ensure the school supports fully the distinct ethos of CMS and Trust through all activities within the school
  • Collaborate with other schools in order to share expertise and bring positive benefits to the school and the community it serves
  • Collaborate at both strategic and operational levels with parents, carers and across multiple agencies for the well-being of all children

The Headteacher will undertake any other duties which from time to time may be required and be relevant and commensurate with the post, as deemed necessary by the Trust, including working with and in other schools in ELA.

Working to: Deputy CEO (and Trustees) and the Local Governing Body

Responsible for: Senior Leadership Team of CMS

Working with: CEO, CFO, Local Governing Body, teaching and relevant associate staff of CMS


This Job Description is as currently applies and will be reviewed regularly.  The post-holder may be required to undertake other tasks that can be reasonably assigned to, including development activities, which are within capability and pay-scale.

Person Specification

Job Title:

Eastern Learning Alliance: Headteacher – Cambridge Maths School

Reports to:

Deputy Chief Executive Officer




Qualifications/ Training

Qualified teacher status.

A good honours degree or equivalent

Evidence of recent and relevant training and development at headship level, in preparation for headship, or at senior leadership level.

NPQH or other school leadership accredited training.

Additional Ofsted training

/ experience.


Successful, significant and substantial senior leadership within a school.

A proven track record of delivering school improvement.

An outstanding maths teacher with a proven track record of delivering results, achieving high standards and the ability to demonstrate and inspire outstanding teaching/classroom practice.

Experience of successfully building effective teams and in performance management by monitoring, evaluating and delegating effectively.

Implementing effective and inclusive systems to support students’ well-being, positive behaviour and achievement for pupils.

Proven success in budget and resource management, ensuring value for money to support the best educational outcomes.

Leadership experience in an outstanding or good special school.

Experience as a headteacher


(Ability to)

Knowledge of current child protection guidance, safeguarding, and health and safety requirements.

In depth knowledge and understanding of education policies and issues, particularly relating to Maths Schools and maths provision.

Ability to formulate and implement effective and efficient strategies that improve teaching and learning in a sustained way and challenge underachievement.

Ability to communicate effectively with all members of the school and wider community.

Clear and successful decision making skills and a proven track record of problem solving and conflict resolution.


Personal Qualities

Empathy with the ethos and values of ELA and CMS

Commitment to young people’s wellbeing, safeguarding and development.

Dedicated to continuous school improvement.

Self-knowledge and a commitment to continual professional development of self and all the school’s employees.

Presence and visibility as a leader, demonstrating optimism and managerial courage with a well-developed sense of proportion.

Role model of best practice, with a professional manner that motivates others and inspires confidence, trust and respect.

Commitment to working collaboratively with the Trust and embedding the Trust ethos and values in the school.


Our Trust is committed to equal opportunities, to safeguarding and the promotion of the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.  All staff are expected to chare this commitment and undergo the appropriate checks.  All positions within the Trust are subject to enhanced DBS checks and satisfactory references.  Only applications submitted on using the ELA application form will be accepted.  We do not accept applications by CV. 

Interviews and application process


These will take place at Chesterton Community College during the week commencing 10th of January 2022 and will include a range of activities and interviews. It is expected that interviews will take place over a period of two days.  At the end of the first day, the panel will meet to consider the day and to make a cut down to two or three candidates who will return for the second.

If you would like to apply, please complete the application form and a letter (not more than 2 sides of A4) outlining:

  • your reasons for applying
  • what you will bring to the role
  • what your style and approach will be as CMS’s new Headteacher
  • why you believe you might be suited to this particular challenge/opportunity.

Applications close at 9am on Tuesday 4th January 2022

Please ensure your form and letter is returned to Jenna Bickley, Business Support Manager for ELA: jbickley@tela.org.uk .   

Headteacher – Cambridge Mathematics School

Eastern Learning Alliance





Closing Date

4th January 2022

Start Date


Interview Date

w/c 10th January 2022

Advert Posted

3 weeks ago

If you’d like more information about this role, please contact jbickley@tela.org.uk.