Head of Leadership Recruitment, Corrina O’Beirne

The sector’s recruitment experts - helping you to identify and appoint your next leader.

"Our work is characterised by the focus we bring, our sector-specific reach and our ability to connect directly with the very best leaders."

Corrina O’Beirne
Head of Leadership Recruitment


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Known for our honesty, judgement and personable approach – we’ve guided hundreds of education organisations through exec level appointments. With particularly deep expertise in managing executive search campaigns for Headteachers, CEOs, CFOs, Chief Operating Officers, Regional Directors and improvement advisors - we’re a trusted partner to some of the most high-profile organisations nationally. Our clients include the country’s largest and most high-profile MATs, but also smaller trusts and Local Authorities.

Recruiting your next leader

We help you understand the talent market, your place within it and how to attract and appoint the very best people

How can we get started?

Fruit bowl

Understanding your context, needs and timelines

We’d always suggest taking the time for a detailed briefing meeting (in person or online) to unpick the details and understand what you’re trying to achieve. Our knowledge of the market will enable you to appraise your expectations against the current talent landscape and we’ll make recommendations on approaches or alterations as applicable.


Build your campaign

This is your process, so it’s critical that you remain connected and understand where we are at any given point. That said, you’ve likely got myriad other priorities, so we’ll always aim to lift the weight from your shoulders. Building on our brief we’ll develop a project plan and attraction strategy – and conduct some initial market testing to sense-check our combined thinking.


We get to work

Having produced a professionally designed recruitment pack (including JD&PS) and supporting recruitment website, we’ll take your role to market - directly engaging with high performing leaders across the region. We’ll ensure you know what is happening at every stage (with written and verbal updates) and ensure candidates have an exceptional experience throughout.


Stay with you right through to appointment

We will produce an initial overview of applications and provide supporting information to ensure your process is as rigorous as it is robust. Working with your inhouse HR (where applicable) we’ll ensure your process runs smoothly and provide additional support around assessment, DE&I and process management as required.

Frequently asked questions

Why have we struggled to appoint a headteacher?

If you have struggled to appoint a headteacher, it’s most likely a reflection of the market and not your school or trust. The leadership landscape is tough and fiercely competitive. We work with the largest trusts in the country to develop their headteacher recruitment strategies – and in honesty, they even struggle from time to time. We bring a vast amount of knowledge and practical expertise around developing employer value propositions and working with organisations to become the employer of choice locally or regionally. There are some very simple (and low/no cost) changes that you can implement that can have a massive benefit to your campaigns. We love discussing how you can tweak or overhaul your existing strategies, so click here to get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

Do you conduct search/headhunting for CEOs and Heads?

We’ve led senior level recruitment for MATs, LAs and schools for over two decades and have developed a deep understanding of the market and attraction strategies. ‘Headhunting’ is a term that has many connotations – not all positive. Within the education sector, we don’t have the luxury of limitless salaries to draw a leader from one organisation to another. Our campaigns focus on values alignment, articulating vision and mission and ensuring that we actively engage with brilliant leaders that are likely too busy in their own organisation to think about their own career pathway. Through this carefully curated approach, utilising our networks and credibility, we’re able to bring exceptional leaders together with brilliant organisations. It’s why we’re trusted by the largest organisations in the country to advise and partner them on their top talent agenda.

What happens when a headteacher resigns?

When a headteacher resigns it is important you are clear on how manage a smooth departure and appointment of your new headteacher. We’ve recruited hundreds of headteachers into schools of all phases and contexts. Every school is unique and therefore each campaign is different, but there are undoubtedly some hallmarks of a fantastic headship process. If you’d like a proposal and outline costs, please let us know by clicking here.

How much does it cost to use a recruiter to help our trust or school?

Using a recruiter to support your trust or school doesn’t need to be expensive. We work with organisations large and small to recruit at all leadership levels from CEO through to Deputy and Vice Principals. Any organisation you partner should be keen to understand what you’re trying to achieve and the budget you’ve got to work with. From there, we’d suggest a range of approaches and provide advice on how to secure best value. If you’d like a proposal and outline costs, please let us know by clicking here.

Do your recruitment campaigns ever fail?

Whilst we can control the vast majority of variables in a headteacher recruitment campaign, people are people – and ultimately subject to acting in unexpected ways. That said, it’s fairly unusual. Last year, around 87% of the campaigns we supported appointed first time. If candidates are making us aware of barriers during a process, we’d work creatively with you to try to overcome them – and we’re brave enough to ask challenging questions if we don’t feel we’re quite hitting the mark around (for example) salary expectations and market expectations. We’ll be an honest partner throughout - and if things don’t go to plan, we’ll keep working with you to ensure you find the successful solution you need.

Want to know more?

Speak to a member of the team to discuss how we can partner your organisation.