Deputy Head Teacher – Link College

An introduction from our Executive Head Teacher, Vanessa Hickey

Thank you for expressing interest in this exciting role at Downs View.

I have been the Executive Head Teacher at Downs View since September 2020. It is an exciting time for the organisation as January 2021 saw the geographical merge of the Woodingdean and Hollingdean school sites and the opening of the new extended school in Woodingdean.

It is a very difficult time to recruit due to the impact of Covid 19. I would encourage anyone interested in the roles to email to arrange a phone call or visit where I can clarify the current situation for the organisation and give detail about the position.


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 came together in January 2021 at Woodingdean.

Downs View has three sites:

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

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

Downs View Life Skills College in Patcham Village. NoR 35, 19 to 25 years.

The Woodingdean site has been extended and refurbished to enable all school age (2 to 16 age pupils) to come together onto one site in January 2021. Downs View in Woodingdean will become a site able to accommodate up to 155 pupils alongside maintaining the existing Downs View colleges above.

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 multidisciplinary 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 – Deputy Head – Link College (16-19)

There are three Deputy Head roles at Downs View. This post will be based at the Link College but there are whole organisation responsibilities within the role that require close liaison with the two other deputies. We are seeking applicants with a broad range of SEND expertise and experience to fulfil this role.

The role will give the appointed postholder diverse comprehensive experience in leadership & management in a large highly successful specialist provider.  Applicants need to evidence successful teaching and leadership practise, be committed, enthusiastic but also flexible in outlook to contribute to the development of the organisation during a time of significant change.

The roles are the perfect springboard to Headship, equally they will provide an enhanced sense of autonomy and responsibility being a deputy/head of a large site as part of a close knit leadership team.

The successful applicants will be required to have a DBS check and an overseas check if applicable.  Downs View is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.

Downs View is an equal opportunities employer.  We welcome applications from all members of the community, regardless of gender, age, marital status, disability, ethnicity, religion, belief or sexual orientation.

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 Abi Hill :

Closing date: 19th April 2021

Interviews: Week commencing 26th April 2021

Vanessa Hickey
Executive Head Teacher