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Bird's eye view of St Andrew the Apostle Greek Orthodox School buildings and pitch.

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Image showing relative positions of main building, sports pitches and front entrance from Brunswick Park Road.

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We were invited to submit a proposal outlining how we could assist on the appointment of a new headteacher to St Andrew the Apostle SchoolSt Andrew the Apostle is an inclusive, friendly and welcoming 11-18 faith school located in Barnet serving students of all faiths and beliefs, with half of the places reserved for Greek Orthodox students.  The school opened in 2013 as the UK’s first state-funded Greek Orthodox school with just Year 7, built on a successful partnership forged between the Greek Orthodox Church, the Classical Education Trust and its academy sponsor, Russell Education Trust (RET).


RET were seeking a dedicated and inspiring professional to lead St Andrew the Apostle School through the next phase of its development. The Trust were looking for a candidate with an exceptional track record of school leadership, a commitment to the academic success of every student, and the determination and resilience needed to fulfil the demands of the role.  They would also need to have the ability to support the inclusive and Christian ethos of the school, be receptive to the strong bonds between the Greek Orthodox Church, the School, and the wider community, and be able to deliver on moving the school from its current temporary split site to its permanent purpose-built new home.


St Andrew the Apostle is a wonderful place to work, characterised not only by high academic standards but also by the strength of the leadership team and the staff.  The school has an enviably high level of subject expertise among its staff. They have helped shape and deliver a broad and balanced, traditional but contemporary curriculum that aims to develop their students intellectually, socially, culturally, spiritually and morally.  The appointment of a new Head was a unique and exciting opportunity for a new leader to influence the design and deliver an outstanding educational vison.


After a consultation to draft an advert, review and update the job description and person specification and create a job pack, Candidate is Key embarked on a Search and Managed Response campaign, which ran for eight weeks beginning in March (four weeks advertising and six weeks search) before being paused due to a significant increase in Covid-19 infections across the country.  We re-started the advertising campaign after a short break (although the search never stopped) with improved results.


We were proactive in contacting more than 120 candidates as either a source of information able to recommend suitable candidates or as a potential candidate having established this from our thorough research.  We also managed interest from 20 potential applicants who had seen the advert.

  • 148 brochure views

  •    10 applications

  •      7 prospective candidate school visits

  •      4 candidates shortlisted

  •       1 candidate appointed


Russell Education Trust engaged Candidate is Key for the recruitment to this post for a number of reasons. In general, the recruitment issue we knew we would face as the country’s only maintained Greek Orthodox secondary school was that potential candidates would make assumptions about our selection criteria and priorities. While we were clear that we needed a committed Christian, the particular denomination of candidates was not as important to us as the right vision for a Christian school and being a gifted school leader. Using a search service such as Candidate is Key was therefore an essential complement to all the usual marketing methods. Candidate is Key secured the commission because I was convinced, after speaking to Michael, that he would be able to represent us to candidates clearly and honestly and that quality of service was integral to his approach.


We were not disappointed! Michael worked hard to approach candidates, answer their questions and establish firm applications. Instead of hard selling the post to get a large number of applications submitted, Michael made sure that those we got came from candidates who were properly briefed and committed to leading our school. As a result, all of those we interviewed had come through his process and were real appointable candidates. Quality over quantity, especially for this role, was essential. Candidate is Key delivered and we would use them again in a heartbeat!

Colin Mackinlay

Chief Executive Officer

Russell Education Trust