Head of Education – Biala Special School (NSW)

  • Permanent role
  • Applications close: Monday February 1, 2021 5.00pm.
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Founder & Director Executive Search

Located in the lifestyle town of Ballina on the beautiful northern NSW coast, Biala Special School is seeking an expert in Special Education, differentiation and allied services to lead the school.

Operating since 1969, Biala Special School is Ballina’s only independent Special School offering a range of specialist services and education to students with disabilities from four years through to transition beyond school. As a small, independent school providing services for people living with intellectual and physical disability, including autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, the curriculum skilfully weaves academic knowledge, community access and life skills into everyday learning activities. Students are encouraged to follow their curiosity and given the opportunity to pursue their own interests. They learn to work both independently and cooperatively with others.

The School encompasses the Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, Lismore, Woodburn and Ballina areas. Four classrooms are based on age, needs and ability. There is a modified curriculum that matches the needs and capabilities of students to provide the best opportunities for all students to succeed and progress. Learning tasks are structured to promote academic skills in ways that are engaging, relevant to the students, adaptable to a pupil’s individual learning style and just plain fun to do. All students within each classroom work on Individual Educational Programs. They also combine for activities such as hydrotherapy, shopping, cooking, library visits and horse riding. These activities are integrated with the Literacy and Numeracy Key Learning Areas and also incorporate into other Key Learning Areas such as HSIE, PDHPE, Science, Art and Music.

Biala Special School empowers students with complex learning disabilities to recognise and optimise their full potential. They celebrate diversity and strive to instil respect, independence and self confidence in every one of the students. Each child has the support and encouragement to become his or her own unique self.

The Role
With a negotiated commencement date in 2021, the Head of Education plays a key role in the learning and culture of the School. They must be a passionate advocate for special education and diverse pathways, able to lead a team and develop collaborative practices that lead to positive student outcomes. The Head of Education has expertise in student-centred learning with a strong sense of innovation, growth and positivity and is committed to the development of self and others with capacity to celebrate and inspire staff and students. With a solutions-focused approach and a growth mindset, the Head of Education is able to lead the operational management of the school effectively in a diverse environment, have strong networks and is able to build positive relationships across the school.

The Head of Education will be an influential, positive, creative and visible leader. They will be able to inspire and motivate staff and students to take risks with their learning and find their pathway through, and beyond the School. The capacity to build strong relationships, communicate effectively and lead in challenging contexts, is central to this role. The successful candidate will preferably hold additional Special Education qualifications and be a relational and collaborative leader able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of curriculum, assessment and student welfare with the ability to lead and design quality, inclusive teaching and differentiated learning programs
  • An outstanding ability to impart educational leaderships skills through visible, accessible and effective communication
  • Exceptional inter-personal skills to foster an inclusive, supportive and nurturing school culture
  • Five years professional service in a special education school/program or in a similar situation working with students having special education needs
  • Recognised tertiary teaching qualifications
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and build relationships and trust with staff, students, parents and the broader Biala community.

Biala Special School is committed to child safety. As such, the successful applicant will be expected to satisfy child protection screening, and adhere to the School’s Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct. These documents may be downloaded from the School’s website.

Biala Special School has engaged Hutton Consulting Australia to assist with the search and selection process for this position. All candidates will require an application pack from us.


For a confidential discussion regarding the application process and to obtain further details please contact the lead consultant Amanda Samson on 0433 356 911 or amanda.samson@hutton.education or Fiona Hutton on fiona@hutton.education

Applications close on Monday February 1, 2021 5.00pm.