Deputy Head/Head of School/College Vacancies

An introduction from the new Executive Headteacher Designate, Vanessa Hickey

Thank you for expressing interest in this exciting role at Downs View.  It is an exciting time for me as I will take up the role of Executive Head Teacher for Downs View in September.

It is exciting for the organisation as September 2020 sees the geographical merge of the Woodingdean and Hollingdean school sites and the opening of the new extended school in Woodingdean.

I would encourage anyone interested in the roles to email to arrange a phone call where I can clarify the current situation for the organisation and the position (s) which are available moving forward.


Following a review of the special school and special facility provision across the city, three hubs have been created; two around SEND (learning difficulties, autism, complex needs) and one around SEMH from a total of 6 special schools.

In the East of the city, Downs View School & Link College (broadly SLD, PMLD, ASC) merged with the Cedar Centre (complex needs) to form a generic school to serve half the city. The school has been operating on 2 sites but will come together in September 2020 at Woodingdean.

From September Downs View will have three sites:

Downs View School Woodingdean in Warren Road.  NoR 155, 2 to 16 years 

Downs View Link College in Surrenden. NoR 46, 16 to 19 years 

Downs View Life Skills College in Patcham Village. NoR35, 19 to 25 years 

Currently the Woodingdean site is being extended and refurbished to enable all school age (2 to 16 age pupils) to come together onto one site in September 2020.  Downs View in Woodingdean will become a site able to accommodate up to 155 pupils alongside maintaining the existing Downs View colleges above.  Though both the SEND ‘Hubs’ are designated from age 2, we currently only have pupils from Year R and up.

Downs View Life Skills College is a Charitable Trust but it is fully embedded into the life of Downs View as an organisation overall.

The integrated element the city wants to create means that health professionals (fundamentally therapists) will spend more time on site to enable even more effective multi-disciplinary working and training with therapists working alongside staff and especially more focused work with parents and carers.

The second element is that we will be developing extended services to better support families through operating new after school, weekend and holiday clubs and support services based on site(s) and in the community.

The third element is family support.  Downs View has a proven track record of working with parents in a pilot project to support behaviour management at home.  This will become a feature of the new ‘hubs’ where identified school staff work at home with families.

As you can see from the above, there is significant expansion as well as change, which means that the successful candidates will have enormous opportunities for professional growth and development within the context of an outstanding supportive special school.

The post(s)

There are two posts;

First Deputy Head/Head of School – Woodingdean School Site (2 – 16) – NoR 155 pupils

The person appointed to this role will also deputise for the Executive Headteacher in their absence as well as playing a key role in partnership with the Executive Headteacher. There is another Deputy Headteacher on this site.

Deputy Head/Head of College – (16-19) (NoR 45)

We are seeking applicants with a broad range of SEND expertise and experience to fulfil these two roles.  Applicants, in their application form, should state which post or posts they wish to be considered for.  Both positions will be interviewed together and at interview and through discussion with the candidates we will determine which position will be offered to each candidate.

I realise that this requires a degree of flexibility and open-mindedness on the part of applicants however the opportunities for professional development and growth within an innovative and outstanding organisation are enormous.

I also realise that it will be much more effective to explain in person during a pre-phone call how I see the Downs View landscape progressing over the coming years.

I do hope that you are minded to telephone to talk to me about this outstanding opportunity. To arrange a call, please email

How to apply

Interested candidates need to complete the application form shown at the bottom of this page.

For further information/queries regarding Downs View or teaching or application pack, please contact Adrian Carver :

Closing date: 4th May

Interviews: 11th/12th May

Adrian Carver – Executive Headteacher

Vanessa Hickey – Executive Headteacher Designate (September 2020)