Academicis Client Testimonials

Louise Lee, CEO Synergy MAT

When recruiting for a Head of School at one of our large secondaries, we not only wanted the best candidate for the role, but we also wanted to ensure that we had a robust and seamless process. Academicis took time to understand the context of both our school and MAT as well as ensuring that we had a strong field of good appointable candidates. Geoff visited the school, met with me and he took the time to listen. We were able to appoint a first-class candidate who commented on the professionalism of both Academicis and the MAT. I wouldn’t hesitate to use the company again with any of our senior appointments

MAY 2024

Anne Hudson, Foundation HR Director, United Westminster & Grey Coat Foundation

Thank so much for the excellent work carried out by Academicis.  I was pleased with pace, the quality of candidates, the professionalism around the applicant pack, the search and shortlisting.  Rebecca provided great support and advice throughout. All this enabled a good appointment to be made.

MAY 2024

Natasha Green, newly appointed Deputy Headteacher

I would like to thank Academicis for their support and guidance throughout my application for deputy headship. Caroline offered excellent advice and was highly organised in providing detailed information at every step of the way. She was positive, passionate and enthusiastic, showing a real understanding of the specific school’s needs and requirements, and was diligent to detail. Through her support, I felt more confident and able to be myself at interview. I would also like to thank Anna, whose professional calm throughout the process, was greatly appreciated. She was always available and proactive in making the process run smoothly and efficiently. Academicis offered a rigorous application process, which was supportive and focussed on an excellent understanding of both the school and the candidate, making the successful outcome even more meaningful.

APRIL 2024

Chris Hodges, Headteacher

A week after our Deputy Head interviews I finally have a  moments peace to send a quick thank you to your team for all the support we received. We had a very good response to our advert with 18 applicants and we shortlisted 5 very strong candidates. We successfully appointed and are all delighted with the outcome. I wanted to particularly offer my thanks to Anna. The whole panel greatly enjoyed working with Anna and we really benefitted from her knowledge and guidance. Anna proved immensely helpful on the day ensuring the schedule ran smoothly, spent a very long day (into the evening) with us and offered an invaluable, impartial perspective. Her insights, suggestions and the questions she posed us really helped us come to a  clear decision. She added great value and I would be happy to offer a reference  to other schools who are considering appointing Academicis.

APRIL 2024

Craig Morrison, Chief Executive

Academicis were involved in my own appointment as CEO, so I’ve seen first-hand the strength of what they do to support candidates at every stage.

I’ve since used Academicis for several high profile senior roles in our trust, including a Director of Education and Principal of our largest school. My contacts at Academicis are very responsive and always at the end of the phone to answer my queries and they regularly give me updates as we go through the process of preparing our advert and pack, the searches for candidates, and the interview and appointment processes.

The really excellent thing is that we have built up a very strong relationship and Academicis have supported me more broadly and been a sounding board as we have rebranded the trust; they are definitely on the journey with us. I think that the results of the recruitment work have improved as Academicis have got to know us better: they can speak to candidates with a deep knowledge of what we are about and what we’re looking to achieve.


Martin Brown, CEO

Academicis have provided an excellent service in our recent recruitment of Principals for our secondary and primary schools. Academicis always take the time and trouble to understand the exact context of any appointment to ensure that candidates are well matched to the individual setting and our trust. They have managed to generate strong fields of candidates for all of our posts. The personal service and commitment we have received from Richard and his team has been outstanding. Geoff Morris always keeps us well informed about progress and he develops personal relationships with candidates to ensure they remain committed to applying and attending interviews. His advice and guidance is always exceptionally helpful, not only bringing a wealth of experience from recruiting around the country but often a fresh outlook on potential candidates. He always ensures that processes are rigorous, well planned and executed fairly and professionally. I have no hesitation in recommending Academicis as they provide a cost effective, value for money and reliable service that has delivered successful appointments for all four of our recent Principal vacancies.


Chris Hattam, Headteacher, Westbourne School

It was suggested to me by a good friend to engage with Academicis in the recruitment process for a Bursar for our school. Having endured a poor experience with a different agent I was sceptical at the outset. How wrong I was! It is not often that the founder of the business will drive to meet you to explain what his company will do for you and to listen to exactly the service you require. Richard met with a Governor and me to listen to exactly what we required. He was confident, eloquent, knowledgeable and immediately gained our trust.Shortly after we were introduced to Neil who guided us through the process. Communication was regular, full and informative with Neil clearly having been given the brief by Richard. Working to deadlines and making the process as easy as possible for us it was clear that Neil had utilised a network as well as the standard recruitment tools. As a result we short listed and then interviewed excellent candidates, finally appointing a Bursar we believe will be crucial to the future of the school.

I could not recommend Academicis more highly.

JULY 2023

Gareth Burton, Principal

We found the professionalism and support offered by Academicis to be exemplary. The advice and guidance that was provided throughout the process was extremely helpful and led to a successful appointment which I am sure we would not have otherwise have achieved

APRIL 2024

Joanne Harper, Chief Education Officer

We invested a lot of time looking for the right company to work with to recruit for the pivotal new role of Chief Education Officer for our Trust and were certainly not disappointed in our choice of Academicis.

 From the outset, the team invested time with us to fully understand what the role of Chief Education Officer entailed for us as a Trust. They helped us to produce an in-depth job description and person spec to ensure that we received the quality applications that we were looking for.

Caroline expertly guided us through the shortlisting and assessment day, helping us shortlist four outstanding candidates for a challenging day that fully tested their knowledge and expertise, and we have secured the services of a fantastic candidate who will be a true asset to taking the Trust on the next part of its journey.

We would not have achieved this without the fantastic support and guidance of Academicis, Caroline and her team.

APRIL 2024

Jenny Jenkins, Chair, Diocese of St Albans MAT

We chose Academicis to help us find a permanent CEO for our rapidly growing MAT.  They were excellent value for money, and ran an efficient, transparent and fair recruitment process throughout.  Richard and Caroline, our account manager, both instinctively understood the characteristics of Church of England schools, and the challenges of becoming a medium-sized MAT.  We had an excellent number of applicants from a nationwide search, resulting in a strong short list of four, and a successful appointment after two days of interviews. I’m very happy to recommend Academicis in their ability to find senior-level candidates in this sector.


Mr R Denial, Executive Headteacher

When I was appointed Executive Headteacher, it was Academicis that led the recruitment process.  Since my appointment, I have used them on two occasions – for a Deputy Headteacher and a Secondary Headteacher appointment.  They took time to understand ‘you’, your school, your vision and what it is that you were specifically looking for. The people from Academicis that I have now worked with made absolutely sure that they knew me and how I wanted to work, but also the school and what professional characteristics were needed.  Their approach alleviated any issues: fielding calls, supporting candidates and organising visits and follow up conversations.  At the end of the process, I received a full candidate pack and report which was extremely helpful to myself and the selection panel – and this led to two very successful and smooth interviews for incredibly important appointments . I have no hesitation in recommending Academicis and I will continue to use them in the future.

SEPT 2023

Rose Turner, Chair of Governors, Villiers High School

I was appointed as Chair of Governors in January 2023 and you can imagine how I felt when our amazing headteacher announced she was leaving the school the same month. We wanted to go nationally to get the best possible field of candidates and after contacting 3 agencies selected Academicis. This search firm provided excellent value for money and were very quick to respond to any queries we had about the process. We needed to with some urgency in order to appoint ready for the 2023/24 academic year. Ross was our account manager. He understood our values and what we were looking for in a new headteacher. He responded to all queries by return (even during the weekends). We had an excellent response and after shortlisting decided upon 5 possible candidates. Ross attended all interviews and ensured that the 2-day process went smoothly. The feedback we received from unsuccessful candidates was extremely good in that they felt valued and that the process was challenging but fair. I have no hesitation in recommending Academicis to other schools.

JUNE 2023

Paul Walsh, Headteacher, The Park School, Woking, Surrey – Weydon Multi Academy Trust

The need to recruit a new headteacher when we were already busy recruiting other staff due to expansion was a daunting prospect! From the beginning we knew that professional help was a necessity and having received a recommendation from a local school contacted Academicis.

Academicis were invaluable in recruiting our Deputy Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher.  They helped craft an excellent recruitment pack and resources.  The initial meetings were key in helping identify what the school needed from these key posts.  They then supported us in managing the full process of recruitment both of which were successful in recruiting excellent staff.

JUNE 2023

Ann Sharp, Chair, Senior Lead for HR

The need to recruit a new headteacher when we were already busy recruiting other staff due to expansion was a daunting prospect! From the beginning we knew that professional help was a necessity and having received a recommendation from a local school contacted Academicis.

Ross was a pleasure to work with, highly professional and extremely knowledgeable about the recruitment process. As a result of his hard work and clear understanding of the calibre of candidate we were looking for, 6 strong applicants were shortlisted. The interview days were planned and organised meticulously, with a wide range of stakeholders involved in the selection process. We were extremely happy with the support given by Ross throughout and with the result of his hard work. The school is very much looking forward to working with the successful candidate.

Thank you!

MAY 2023

Dr Natasha Hutcheson, Chair, Synergy Multi Academy Trust

Recruiting a new CEO to our Trust felt like a daunting task, and after initial discussion, we decided to seek support. Meeting with Academicis made it clear they were the right organisation to work with. Academicis quickly understood the shape of our Trust and the kind of CEO we were looking for, and successfully widened our pool of potential candidates.

Throughout the process, I worked closely with Caroline. Her insight was invaluable during the search period, and in particular, her support during the two days of interviews was excellent. I would highly recommend Academicis, the search for our new CEO was a successful and smooth process. Thank you, Caroline.

MAY 2023

Steven Alderson, Chair of Board of Trustees, Waveney Valley Academy Trust

When the Trust Board made the decision to recruit a new CEO the initial idea was for us to run the campaign internally. However following an introduction to Academicis and an initial discussion about the service they provide, it became clear that we would struggle to find the quality of candidates Academicis could bring to our attention. Their knowledge of the CEO recruitment process and their contacts in this area soon convinced us that the choice of using Academicis had been the perfect solution for our search. We had an unprecedented number of applicants and a very high quality field, concluding in a rigorous interview process, supported by Geoff and his team and we have appointed what we believe to be an excellent candidate. I would very much recommend their service.

MARCH 2023

Education RecruitmentCynthia Simmonds,
Chair of Trustees, St Edward’s Church of England Academy

I am writing to say that it was a pleasure to work with Academicis once again – and to thank you for your help in recruiting our new Principal.  Laura was an extremely good representative for you – personable, professional and collaborative and our Recruitment Panel very much enjoyed working with her.

I am sure that our paths will cross again in the future and once again, many thanks for your help and support throughout what was a demanding and crucial time for our Trustees in terms of the strategic direction of the Academy.


Dr Ian Young,
Chief Executive Officer

Following a compelling conversation with Richard Lucas about ways in which Academicis could support our recruitment for two senior posts, we decided to take the plunge with them. I am so pleased that we did, as they provided us with very strong fields for both posts (CFOO and Deputy Head) and we are delighted with the appointments we have made.

The added value they brought was clear throughout the processes, from the creation of high quality applicant packs, to approaching people we don’t believe we would have reached through our own adverts


Mark (Successful Principal Candidate)

Dear Caroline, I wanted to write to you to express my thanks to Vonya for her work with me recently in the application and recruitment process for the role of Principal.  Over the course of the process her support, care and communication was exemplary and I truly believe she went above and beyond what I could have expected, even offering to keep her phone on and be available for me over the weekend prior to interview.

I have strongly advocated that my current employer that they engage a recruitment consultant to fill my role when I move to my new role and have recommended Academicis due to my experience with Vonya.


Hywel Jones, CEO, BCAT

Academicis were able to generate a very strong field for our Headteacher role at Wixams Tree Primary. Importantly, we were able to recruit a candidate with the professional knowledge, skills and track record to further improve our school. Neil and Ross are a delight to work with, got to grips with the candidate brief and skill set needed. Communication has been excellent and has made the process very straightforward. I fully recommend Academicis for when you need a thorough executive search.

JUNE 2023


Following an initial round, using traditional adverts, to recruit for a MAT CEO we only received one competent application.  We then commissioned Academicis to undertake a search and selection process on the Trust’s behalf.  We gave them a short timeframe to get going due to the pressing need to have someone start in post in September.  They promised to provide 2, if not 3, shortlisted candidates within our timeframes – and they did.  The selection panel was very impressed with the calibre of the candidates they interviewed, and was delighted to offer the role to one of them. I would recommend Academicis to anyone entertaining the need to appoint a new CEO.

MAY 2023

Alexander Clark BEd (Hons), MA, FCCT, Executive Head Teacher, Walsh Memorial C of E Junior School

Academicis were able to find the Walsh schools a head teacher in just four weeks! An interesting opportunity arose at the end of March for two Church of England schools to have a joint head teacher. With the deadline for notice looming, the governing board approached Academicis, who were happy to accept the challenge. Even with the two-week Easter holiday, suitable candidates were encouraged to apply and an experienced head teacher was successfully recruited within the time available, to take up post from September. The governors would have been unable to undertake this exercise without the support of the consultant, who guided them throughout the process in an efficient and sensitive manner. This included communication with candidates and referees, and providing support during and post-interview – a great time-saver for the governing board.

MAY 2023

Prof Michael Green, Director of Projects, Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust

Academicis recently supported our Trust to appoint a new principal for our recently opened special school for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs.  The support and level of service provided by both Geoff and Kerri was exemplary. They took the time to understand our needs and the type of candidate we were looking for. Recruitment at this level, with the specific skills and experience we wanted was always going to present a challenge. Academicis rose to that challenge, ensuring that there was not only strong interest in the role but also a strong field of candidates to shortlist from. At all times both Geoff and/or Kerri were always on hand, providing sage advice. Their support with the selection process was also invaluable and helped to ensure that our selection day ran seamlessly.

I cannot thank them enough for their work in helping us to find the right person for this important role. We are delighted with our appointment. I would highly recommend their services to other schools and trusts.

MARCH 2023

Neil Miller, Deputy CEO, London South East Academies Trust

Recruitment for a Deputy Head of School position had been a significant challenge for one of our schools and as result we decided to look for external support to conduct a focused recruitment campaign.

Academicis have been industrious in their approach and always available to support in every aspect of the recruitment process. Charlotte and Vonya have been instrumental in engaging different, high quality prospective applicants and following a rigorous selection process, we were able to appointment a highly skilled senior leader who will support our school improvement journey.

Due to the success of this initial appointment, we have employed Academicis once again to support with recruiting to other key positions. We want the very best for our children and school and we feel Academicis have the ability to source the calibre of staff required to achieve this.

In this challenging times of recruitment for all roles in schools, I would highly recommend Academicis to support.


Richard Williams,
Chief Executive Officer, The Blessed Peter Snow Academy Trust

I first met Richard and the Academicis team about four years ago as I started as CEO with a small Catholic Trust in the Midlands. I inherited the engagement but was immediately impressed by the professionalism, the level of genuine interest in our Trust and the Headteacher appointment, the thoroughness of the search, ongoing communications and the preparations for the interview day. Most importantly we appointed a candidate who we were very happy with. I am now with a much larger Trust in the North of England and it was simply ‘no brainer’ for me to call Richard again as I needed help in appointing to a challenging school that needed a particular type of leader with the correct experience. Richard and his team were once again were fabulous and once again delivered a field of strong candidates out of which we have appointed an outstanding Catholic Leader. Once again, thank you Academics. I not only recommend them to you, but encourage you to seek them out.


John Winter, Chief Executive Officer, Weydon Multi Academy Trust

We recently decided to use Academicis for our appointments for two Principals and a Deputy Principal. It was a very good decision.

Not only were we able to fill the roles with outstanding candidates but we had a large very highly capable field to choose from.  They organised everything from application, adverts etc to the interview day itself.

They are highly professional and tailored the appointment process to our needs. It took the whole process off my ‘worry list’.

I highly recommend their services as a better more appropriate way of recruiting in this post Covid era.


Rob Brown, Chair of the Board of Trustees,   Quantock Education Trust

Having run our own campaign for a new CEO which resulted in us being unable to appoint, we asked Academicis to support us with the repeat campaign.  Their involvement in everything from creating an excellent offer document, through to managing the logistics of the interview days, took away a lot of the administrative activities and helped with a very smooth process.  However, the real value that they added was in the size and quality of the candidates that applied.  Through their extensive networks and proactive candidate management, we ended with a very strong field to choose from and are delighted with the appointment that we made.

JULY 2022

Beverley Eaglesfield, CEO of Trinitas Academy Trust & Jan Stoddard, HR Director of Trinitas Academy Trust

We recently worked with Academicis to recruit for the role of Principal at Christ Church (Erith) C of E Primary School and we are delighted to have successfully appointed to this high profile post.

We worked with Charlotte who helped to ensure that there was strong interest in the post with high calibre candidates.

The selection process was very well organised and Charlotte was able to offer lots of advice and ideas about what should be included in the exercises and interviews.  Her calm presence over the two days of interviews was very welcome.

Thank you for helping us to find the right person for this key role.

APRIL 2022

Catherine Mosdell – Chair of Governors
Harlington School

Thank you to everyone at Academicis for your advice, support and guidance throughout our recent recruitment for a new Headteacher. Our current, very successful Headteacher is retiring at the end of the year after being in post for twelve years therefore we knew we were searching for that unique someone who would carry on our legacy and continue to develop the school. Given the longevity of our current Headteacher, as Governors, we had very little experience in recruitment at this level. Ross was always at the end of the phone, responded quickly to queries, calmed my nerves and gave me the reassurances and confidence to ensure a successful recruitment campaign.
From the outset Ross and Richard worked with us to understand the school priorities and, whilst being supportive, did not try to impose their own views on us. As a result of their pro-active due diligence, we attracted a very strong field of applicants from which we appointed a forward thinking, innovative Headteacher who, we are confident, will lead the school to ever greater success.

Ross helped us hone our recruitment pack to ensure the details accurately described our school and priorities; he also made sure the process ran according to the agreed schedule. Academicis really came into its own during the leadup to the application deadline answering queries from the candidates, arranging the school visits and preparing the short-listing documents etc. This part of the process is so time-consuming for schools therefore it was such a relief to know Ross was working diligently behind the scenes on our behalf. Ross was also present in school throughout the two interview days to ensure the process ran smoothly thus allowing Governors to concentrate on the candidates and the process itself. The feedback we had from the candidates was very positive.

I have no hesitation in recommending Academicis to any school beginning the search for a Headteacher or senior leader.

FEB 2022

Andrew Moss – Chair of Governors

Academicis were a fantastic support to JFS during a series of recruitment to bring senior expertise into a large and complex education setting.  As well as bolstering the leadership team, Academicis undertook a wider strategic review to enable us to conduct a successful search for a new permanent Headteacher following a failed OFSTED inspection.  Richard and Caroline were able to communicate the wider ambition and vision to candidates to ensure that prospects looked beyond the newspaper headlines. They ran a hugely robust and thorough process and were trusted advisors to the governing body.  We wouldn’t hesitate to work with Academicis again.

FEB 2022

Dr Gregory Thwaites – Chair of Governors
Broomfield School

We were very happy with the service Academicis provided and the outcome of our recruitment process. They helped to secure strong interest in the post, intermediated between them and busy school staff and governors to arrange pre-application visits and calls, helped us to narrow this field down in the shortlisting, and organised an efficient selection centre. They were responsive to our needs throughout, and provided valuable advice, whilst not exerting any undue influence on the outcome. I would recommend them to other Governing Bodies seeking to hire a new Head Teacher

JAN 2022

Tim Bridger – Chair
Alumnis Multi-Academy Trust

Working with Richard and the team at Academicis to recruit leaders within our Trust has been a pleasure. They took the time to understand our Trust and our ambitions, and to get alongside us in our planning for the future. The result of taking that time and care is that the candidates are matched according to our vision and values, and know from the outset what we want to achieve and what we need them to be. Nothing is too much trouble, and queries are always answered promptly and in depth. As Chair I have learnt so much about my role through being part of the recruitment process and through conversations with Richard. And most importantly we have been excited to appoint amazing candidates – leaders who care about our children, share our values, and want to make a difference to our communities. The Academicis difference is the care and attention to detail in everything. That has enabled us to find the people our Trust needs to transform lives through education.

JULY 2021

Dave Dearsley – Head Teacher
Churchward SEN School

As a special school for students with a range of complex needs it can a challenge for prospective candidates to fully understand the nature of the work we do.  Richard and his team spent a long time getting to know the school, the students and myself as Head Teacher.  I felt they made it a priority to understand our school and our ethos as well as the challenges we faced as a school so they could communicate effectively on our behalf.

Throughout the process I was well informed and always felt like the appointment was as important to Richard as it was the school.  As a result we were able to appoint an outstanding candidate who I am positive will bring added energy, experience and knowledge to our SLT.

APRIL 2021

James Ayton – Executive Principal
Nene and Ramnoth School, Elliot Foundation

Academicis helped us to find and appoint our Vice Principal. Throughout the process the team listened closely to our needs and responded quickly as these evolved. At all stages they communicated brilliantly, keeping us informed of the work they were undertaking across their wider network to attract a strong field.

Ultimately, we were able to interview five very strong candidates, and with their support, appointed successfully. Their due diligence at the early stages and throughout ensured that our team has benefited and grown, and I will work with Academicis again for my next leadership appointment.

APRIL 2021

Peter Sakal, Chair of Governors
Gosfield School, Essex

Academicis assisted us to appoint our Head of Prep and more recently, our new Whole School Principal.

Academicis came to our attention through an online search engine when we were looking to appoint our Head of Prep. Having been disappointed with the response from traditional advertising channels, we interviewed several Executive Search agencies. We found Academicis to be grounded, friendly and professional which made us feel comfortable that they could work with the numerous and varied stakeholders involved in the recruitment process.

The process was seamless from start to finish. We were not only guided through every stage but provided with all of the timetables and paperwork that were required for every task in the two day process. Of critical importance was the candidate field which was excellent and adhered very closely to our brief of what an ideal candidate would look like. So much so that it was a significant task to arrive at a short list but having done so, we could not have been happier with the high calibre of candidate that entered the process. Our eventual appointee matched our criteria perfectly.

Naturally, when the need to recruit a new Whole School Principal arose, we did not hesitate to appoint Academicis to the task and they have once again lead us to an outstanding outcome.

We feel sure that Academicis’ personal approach, attention to detail and candidate fields are unlikely to be matched by some of the larger search agencies we interviewed. We cannot recommend Academicis highly enough.

APRIL 2021

Tony Myers – Chair,
Hope Learning Trust York


Trustees of Hope Learning Trust York selected Academicis to support the recruitment of a CEO to replace the current CEO who retires in August 2020. From first contact, Richard and Caroline demonstrated their relationship-building approach to understanding Hope’s vision, values, ethos and the sort of leadership qualities being sought. Appropriate advice was offered sensitively and our feedback was welcomed. Search for, and liaison with, potential applicants and candidates was handled efficiently and confidentially. Selection day activities were proposed, and flexibly adjusted to incorporate our suggestions – the practical arrangements were thorough and well organised. I believe we have a high-quality outcome at excellent value for money, and recommend others to consider Academicis when recruiting at this level.

The Reverend Duncan Strathie – Chair of Governors
Moseley C of E Primary School

As a single form entry Voluntary Aided C of E primary school we felt we lacked the educational expertise within the governing board to undertake the daunting process of recruiting and appointing a new Headteacher. Under guidance from our Diocesan Education Department we were encouraged to think of using a recruitment agency and Academicis were mentioned as having helped to deliver good outcomes in a couple of local schools recently. We made contact and a meeting was swiftly arranged.

From the outset it was clear that Academicis understood our position well and were well placed to offer the support we needed. They were confident that from their network of contacts, that they would be able to deliver a number of high calibre candidates. The speed and professionalism with which the vacancy pack was drawn up were impressive and throughout the process communication was excellent – someone from Academicis was always available when needed. In the end we had seven applications and were able to shortlist the top three applicants. The advice given by Academicis from working with and understanding the circumstances of each applicants’ situation was extremely helpful.

Academicis took care of all the statutory paperwork and made the phone calls advising candidates of the outcome. They also organised and directed the whole day interview programme with a keen attention to detail and a helpful range of tests for the applicants which aided us in our evaluations. Their staff interacted well with the children, governors and staff at school and put the candidates at ease. After the decision was made, they took care of all the documents that were needed and made the whole process very easy. We felt that the service they offered gave excellent value for money and were very glad that we had sought their support.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Academicis to other schools.

Business Manger

Secondary School North West London

I had not previously heard of Academicis and only came across the company as a result of a Google search. After obtaining quotes from other recruitment companies (including some of the big names) the Governors decided to appoint Academicis to run the campaign to recruit our new Executive Head.

My initial conversation with Richard and all subsequent communication with Caroline was reassuring and professional at all times. The Recruitment Pack was put together swiftly and our feedback was taken on board and amendments made until all parties were satisfied with the final product. Richard and his team started the process of their ‘search’ without delay and a strong field of candidates were put forward.

With so many stakeholders involved in the process and the added complications of arranging socially distanced school visits and remote interviews it had the potential to be an extremely challenging process. However, myself and the Governors were kept updated at all times and it was made to be as stress-free as possible. Each step was explained fully and the remote interviews across various panels on day 1 ran seamlessly with no technical hitches whatsoever. I found all the staff I had liaised with to be highly efficient and organised throughout.

A fixed fee was agreed from the outset and Academicis’ advertised high success rate in recruiting successfully on the first round certainly rang true for us. We hope to not have to recruit at senior level again for quite some time, but would not hesitate to use Academicis again in the future when the time comes.

MARCH 2021

Claire Willerton, Chief Education Officer, Voyage Education Partnership

We initially used Academicis in July 2021, to recruit a Headteacher to a challenging area for recruitment within Lincolnshire for a January 2022 start.  This came about by chance initially.  As a newly launched Trust in May 2021, we had had a flurry of contact from recruitment companies and contacted a few. My first positive impressions of Richard and Geoff were gained from the initial meeting where they spent respectful time to understand the values of the Trust before exploring what we needed from a headteacher at the specific academy.  Their professionalism, clarity and simplicity around their processes shone above other organisations I had used in the past. They then took time to visit the academy and see first hand what the learners required from a Headteacher as well as the academy context.  The engagement of Charlotte Cuthbert following this exploration by Richard and Geoff, meant that our vision and values for the post were communicated exactly and both Charlotte’s and Geoff’s engagement with potential candidates were authentic and on point.  Following successful recruitment and continued positive relationships,  we engaged Academicis on two, almost simultaneous, assignments for a further 2 headteachers successfully recruiting again in a very professional, thorough and quality process.

I would be more than happy to engage Academicis again and would recommend them to any Trust or school seeking to appoint a high calibre candidate.

JULY 2022

Nick Wellington, Chair of Governors, Ravenswood Community Primary School

Following an initial lack of applications and interest in the role of Headteacher at our school, we employed Academicis to run our second recruitment process for HT.  Having not worked with recruitment consultants in a school setting before, there was a feeling of stepping into the unknown. However, Academicis were very professional at all times and guided us through the process. They took the time to get to understand the school and what kind of candidate the Governing Body were looking for and were able to provide us with a strong list of suitable applicants from which we were able to appoint.

We would not hesitate to use Academicis services again.

MAY 2022

Anthony Abrahams – Chair of Trustees

‘BCAT selected Academicis to assist in the recruitment of a CEO. From the initial proposal to securing the CEO Academicis were professional, contactable and efficient. In a difficult market they were able to bring a varied panel of candidates who were all appointable, allowing us to select the individual to suit our particular circumstances.  The whole process culminating in two days of intensive interviews and panels was well managed, interesting and smoothly organised. A big thank you to Richard Lucas and his splendid team’

MARCH 2022

Mike Kemlo – Director of Infrastructure & Finance / School Business Manager
Bradstow School

After an unsuccessful first round of advertising, we were concerned that we wouldn’t find the ideal principal for our unique residential special school & children’s homes. When deciding to utilise an agency to support us with the role Academicis were swift in responding, getting to understand our requirements and support the recruitment process professionally. A number of interesting introductions were made and found us a fantastic candidate to appoint to the role.

MARCH 2022

Keith Deane – Chair of Governors
Sir William Ramsay School

We engaged Academicis on two, almost simultaneous, assignments for a Headteacher and Deputy Head. Our first positive impressions of Richard and his team were gained from our search firm selection process, where their professionalism and clarity of the engagement process stood out compared to their competitors. Our first impressions and selection of Academicis were vindicated by two successful appointments, both of which ran in accordance with tight timetables.

We were particularly impressed by the dedication, commitment and focus of Charlotte Cuthbert, who provided a very high level of service and accommodated a fairly exacting selection panel. Charlotte was successful at promoting our vision and values to candidates, resulting in two strong candidate pools, and nothing was too much trouble for her, particularly on the interview days. When we raised concerns these were dealt with promptly and efficiently.

I would be more than happy to engage Academicis again and would recommend them to any school seeking to appoint a high calibre candidate.

MAR 2022

Michelle Gabriel - Director of People 
Washwood Heath Multi Academy Trust

We recently worked with Academicis on the head hunting aspect of our recruitment campaign for our new CEO.  Richard and Caroline held a very informative meeting with myself and key trustees at the outset to ensure they properly understood our strategic goals, challenges and the attributes needed for our future leader.  This enabled them to signpost the panel to a number of strong applicants, whom they nurtured to ensure that tailored applications were received and shortlisted by our trustee recruitment panel. We would definitely consider working with these colleagues again in the future if we needed to headhunt for a senior post.

FEB 2022

Michael Cowland – Chief Executive Officer
The Diocese of Coventry Multi Academy Trust

We recently worked with Academicis on the recruitment for a newly created Deputy CEO post for our growing trust. Richard and Caroline took the time to understand our trust, listened to our priorities and helped us to run an excellent recruitment campaign, which included an extremely challenging assessment day. Despite the short timescales, we have found and offered the post to an outstanding candidate, who I will be delighted to welcome to the team in September. I feel sure that we will work with Academicis again.

APRIL 2021

Successful Executive Head and CEO candidate

As someone who was looking for a very specific long term career role (one that could deliver the right location, challenge, variety, culture and ethos, be outward looking and with supportive, engaged and ambitious Trustees) I could well have been the most demanding candidate a search firm might encounter. I was waiting for a role which would enable me to utilise all the skills acquired over sixteen years of Headship / Exec. Headship and MAT CEO roles and was contacted by Academicis who, not only were leading the search for a brilliant role which ticked all the boxes on paper, but who had noticed that I might be a good fit to approach as an applicant. Academicis know the market exceptionally well and their intelligence in tapping into an extensive national network of excellent leaders from a hugely diverse range of educational contexts really is first class.

From the first point of contact with details about the Trust and scope of the role, through to a pre-application meeting with the Chair of Trustees who was exceptionally well informed and knowledgeable, to the excellent support and feedback throughout the application and stages of selection process from Caroline and Richard of Academicis, the time and care invested in me was exceptional. The insight, honesty and experience of Academicis was invaluable and the various tasks, panels and scenarios which Academicis devised in consultation with the Trustees and which were entirely suited to a CEO level post, enabled both them and me to really explore the role and possibilities in a way that I felt valued, and which was engaging and inspiring in equal measure.

The whole experience was very ‘human’ and I was more than delighted to be successful in securing the role. With the addition of a brand-new secondary school coming into fruition in the next three years which I will have the privilege of bringing into being, Academicis will be my first port of call in supporting with senior leadership staffing at both school and central Trust level.

MARCH 2021

Jan Steel – Director of HR
The Active Learning Trust

I have great pleasure in recommending the recruitment services for our recent leadership vacancy.

Thank you to Richard, Ross, and the team at Academicis for your valuable support. This was not an easy post to fill and was based in an area notorious for its struggle to achieve our recruitment objectives, but with your perseverance and understanding we found a strong field and made a successful appointment.

Looking back over the process, what really stands out for me was your ability to absorb the brief and take time (and ask sensible questions!) about what our Trust were trying to achieve and the sort of appointee we were looking for. It is those little practical things that really matter too -, such as you never failed to pick up the phone and you never failed to respond to an enquiry or a question.

That certainty of where things are at, gave us ongoing visibility of the process which was of great practical support.

You have become a trusted partner in our Trust’s recruitment, and I would not hesitate to use your services again in the future.

APRIL 2021

Emma Wigmore, CEO
Vine Schools Trust

Dear Richard and Emma

I’d like to thank you both for your support and guidance throughout our work to recruit a new Director of Finance and Operations for the Trust. I am delighted with the successful candidate and we already have a starting date!

Throughout the process you have both been enthusiastic, supportive and informative. I have appreciated the close communication that you have had with my team and the warm working relationship you have built with us. From the beginning of our search for a DFO I felt confident that you had our best interests in heart, you have adapted to each challenge we found along the way and this has resulted in us finding the perfect match for our Trust.

Thank you again for helping us to find the right person for this key role,


Chief Executive Officer
APRIL 2021

Adam Jezard – Chair of Trustees
Charters School

Academicis have recently supported the school with Headteacher recruitment. The Academicis team worked closely with Trustees throughout the process and were always on hand when needed. During the process they were responsive, resourceful and demonstrated a good understanding of the School’s specific needs.

The Academicis approach to senior leadership recruitment ensured we had a high number of good quality applications. Academicis managed all elements of the recruitment process from approaching potential candidates to advising candidates of the outcomes, working closely with the Board of Trustees at all times.

We are very pleased with the positive outcome of the recruitment process and with the support provided by Academicis throughout.

Successful CEO Candidate

As a protective, and ultimately successful, candidate I was supported by Richard and his team at Academicis through each step of the process. From the information provided and opportunities for discussion prior to interview through to regular check in calls during the process I can only comment positively on the service offered to me. I’m sure I will be back in touch with the team but from the employer rather than candidate perspective in the future.

CEO Candidate
July 2019

I have just secured a fabulous CEO role with a Multi Academy Trust in Sheffield. Richard Lucas and his team were helpful and supportive from the initial enquiries about the post to the final negotiations of terms and signing of contract. The trustees were well prepared and planned a robust and challenging process that allowed all parties to achieve a pleasing outcome. Many thanks to the team at Academicis

Kevin James
Chorus Education Trust

We worked with Richard and Charlotte in our recent recruitment for a senior position. The whole process went very well and they were always available for help or comment, over the whole time. We were kept informed, more or less, on a daily basis as to how things were progressing and full list of candidates were presented within the time frame. After our short-listing all interviews were arranged and conducted in a professional manner and our final offer was concluded without delay. We would have no problem in using Academicis again, if the need arose.

Esther Chair of Governors

Dear Richard

This is a long overdue email to say ‘thank you’ for your help and support to the Trinity Federation governors in enabling us to appoint an Executive Headteacher for All Saints School, Bednall and St Leonard’s School, Dunston. We are very pleased with our appointment. Without you and your staff we would never have been able to have put everything together in such a short time, especially over the school summer holidays.

There are still many challenges along the way but at least we are confident that our new HT has the skills and drive to take both schools forward so we can now concentrate on other matters.

At a personal level I would like to say a huge thank you to you for your personal support and encouragement, especially in the early stages, and for your quick responses whenever I contacted you.

With very best wishes.

Esther Burd
Trinity Federation, Staffordshire

As governors we are very grateful to Academicis, and in particular Rich Lucas and Colin Hopkins, for coming alongside us in appointing a new Executive Headteacher at very short notice and just before the start of the school summer holidays. Without their advice and support we would never have been able to cope with getting everything done in time for a successful interview day at the end of September.

Katie Donnison
Furze Platt Senior School

The team at Academicis were incredibly supportive and highly effective during our search and interview process for a new Headteacher. Their advice and guidance gave Governors comfort and full knowledge that we were working with experts in Senior Leadership recruitment, during the process right from the initial discussions all the way through to the interviews and offer.

The service provided by Academicis is excellent value for money. I recommend schools and colleges looking to appoint senior leaders to work with Academicis to ensure a complete, transparent, comprehensive and robust recruitment process.

Let me know if you need anything else, it really was. A pleasure to work with you all.

Appointed Headteacher
Cardinal Newman Catholic School, April 2019

Having first come across Richard from Academicis 4 years ago as a governor we have always stayed in touch. When Richard called with the details of a new headship it was easy to apply. He matched the school to me and me to the school. The process was smooth, well communicated and it was clear that Richard wanted the best outcome for the school and myself. Thank you!

Kim Jones
Head of HR St John’s Marlborough

Dear Richard

We just wanted to thank you for your help, guidance and support in seeking a new Principal. You did a great job and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with you. The result is positive for St Johnâs Marlborough!

You made my life much easier, simplified the recruitment process at my end enabling me to focus on other aspects of my role. I am pleased with the work you have done for St Johnâs and feel we have developed a great partnership. I look forward to working with you in the future.

With kind regards

Anna Nicholson
Chair of Governors Alderbrook Primary School, Balham

I wanted to write to thank you and the Academicis team for your support in our recent Headteacher recruitment process.

Your advice throughout was much appreciated – especially when it came to guiding us through our options for advertising (both on traditional and social media) as well as the design of the interview day itself.

We were also grateful for the logic you brought to our discussions regarding the various candidates, from the shortlisting process until the final decision.

We are delighted with the outcome.

Colin Hopkins
Diocesan Director of Education

Lichfield DBE has been working with Academicis for some five years in sourcing Headteachers and Principals for our maintained schools and academies The consultancy support received has covered recruiting new leaders to all phases (primary, middle and secondary schools), including academies in the diocesan MAT and in other church-led academy trusts within the Diocese. There has been a 100% success rate in making appointments, some of which have been in very challenging circumstances or in areas/contexts where recruitment is exceptionally difficult.

As the recruitment of heads becomes more challenging across the whole system, the proactive approach provided by Academicis has resulted in strong and credible fields of candidates, who can therefore provide governors (and trustees/directors) with real choice.

Academicis has provided a highly professional and first rate service customised to schools’ needs. The company can manage the whole recruitment process, including drafting recruitment literature, advertising, organizing the selection process, shortlisting and interviews, and obtaining references (and providing constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates).

Academicis’ staff are a pleasure to work with, and are unfailingly courteous and responsive to schools’/trusts’ needs. The company has a very strong understanding of the distinctive character of Church of England schools, including our specific leadership requirements.

We have enjoyed working with Richard Lucas (MD) and his team on a range of headships over the last few years, and I would be very happy to recommend Academicis to you.

Sumerjit Ram
Director of Education, Children, and Young People Services – Macintyre Charity

We have repeatability used the services of Academicis with successful appointments being made each and every time. The quality of candidates has been constantly high and the service professional and bespoke – this has led to us appointing outstanding leaders. Careful attention has been given to our needs, with Academicis offering flexibility and additional resources as and when required. We have been extremely impressed and would not hesitate to use Academicis when recruiting to other senior leadership roles in the future.

Victoria De Naeyer
Director of Governance – Samuel Ward Academy Trust

Having worked with Academicis on several senior leadership recruitments across the trust, I have no hesitation in recommending Rich Lucas and Academicis. They have taken the time to understand the aims and values of the trust, as well as the specific requirements for each role. They have provided intelligent insight and guidance, and highly professional and organised support to recruitment days. Their proactive approach has enabled them to consistently field strong candidates. Above all, their staff are helpful and professional at all times, making them a joy to work with.

Henry Gardner
Chair of Governors Vyners School

Dear Richard.

I am writing to thank you sincerely for all the comprehensive work your company did for Vyners regarding their deputy head teacher vacancy.

I was extremely impressed with the quality and quantity of candidates that were presented to us, this enabled us to have a very strong field to take through the 2 day interview process.

The help and guidance during the process was extremely guiding and helpful, enabling the interviews to run efficiently and smoothly. Your colleagues were exemplary and professional throughout.

The candidates were extremely good as they undertook a vigorous selection process over 2 days.

We are prepared to give unsuccessful candidates a full debrief should they so desire.

In conclusion, I thank you for all the work undertaken by Academicis, and am sure that we will be returning in the future for similar positions, should they arise.

Fr Alan Thompson
Vicar St Marks & St Saviour Saltley

St Saviour’s Church of England Primary School is viewed as outstanding by OFSTED. We are located in one of Europe’s most economically challenging areas. After 18 years of devoted service our previous head teacher retired.

Given the above, appointing a new HT we realised would not be easy. We did not however fully understand how difficult this task would be without professional help.

We engaged Academicis after failing to appoint, following several attempts. The service we received was outstanding without exception. Every stage of the process was meticulously managed. Nothing was too much trouble, and areas that we had not considered covered by them. Whilst we acknowledge that this was indeed a team effort, Rob, and Richard, were particularly conversant and supportive.

We would have no hesitation in commissioning Academicis again for a similar appoint.

Rev Tim Novis
Chair of Governors – Carwarden House of School

As Governors in a special educational school for children with moderate learning difficulties, we felt particularly flummoxed when our ‘irreplaceable’ Headteacher told us he was leaving. Such a specialised realm in education meant we knew we were up against some very tough odds in finding anyone as remotely brilliant who would be able to ensure the momentum we had helped to create as Governors, and who could keep our vision and strategy at the forefront of our school’s development plan. But Academics reassured us from the start and delivered on every promise made. Early contact with Richard was brilliant. His energy and enthusiasm for our school was authentic. He was able to develop a plan for us that suited our budget and our timeline. Leading up to shortlisting, we were presented with a package of excellent candidates, and on the day of the interviews Robert was a professional and calming presence who assured we did all that was necessary as Governors who don’t have to hire a new Headteacher everyday! I recommend Academics most highly, and feel particularly fortunate that they provided us the depth of support that they did in what could have been a profoundly difficult process. With Academicis, the process was quick, efficient and seamless, and we feel sure we have hired just the right Headteacher to lead our much-loved school.

Chair of Governors
Vale View Primary School

I am very pleased to be able to provide a testimonial for the Academicis. As Chair of Governors the appointment of a new Headteacher is a daunting task and something myself or the Governing body had never done before. Appointing teachers and attracting suitable candidates has become increasing more difficult and even more so for Headteachers. Rather than advertise the position and sit back and wait for a suitable candidate to find us we decided to be more proactive in our recruitment process.

At all points throughout the process the team at Academicis kept me fully informed of progress and responded to my enquiries immediately. I appreciated the instant feedback from prospective candidates after they visited the school and that you supported the shortlisting and organised and ran the whole interview day. Furthermore, you provided expert guidance and support throughout this process.

Both Sarah and Grace were always only a telephone call away as was the managing director, Richard Lucas. I appreciated the understanding and flexibility that Richard showed in arranging meetings to suit my busy work schedule from early morning breakfast meetings to late evening calls to discuss progress, ideas or offer support.

This personal touch enabled him to fully understand our brief and the needs and ethos of our school and ultimately led to a perfect match and first time appointment of our new Headteacher.

I highly recommend the services of Academicis to other schools recruiting a Headteacher in the future.

Chair of Governors
Cedars Manor School

Following our previous unsuccessful attempts to appoint a Headteacher we were very pleased to appoint Academicis to assist us with our recruitment exercise. Academicis provided us with a fresh approach in carrying out the selection and recruitment process and we were able to appoint a new Headteacher on our first attempt using their services. The team were excellent in working towards meeting tight timescales and supporting the Governor during the recruitment process. Academicis also arranged for the Governors to receive additional support from an independent adviser who is a National Leader on Governance and their input was very much appreciated during the interview process. I would very much recommend commissioning Academicis if you have experienced difficulties with attracting suitably experienced candidates to apply for senior positions.

Chair of Governors
Walsall Blue Coat Cofe Academy

I have great admiration for the excellent way in which ACADEMICIS sourced a number of applicants for the post of a Substantive Principal at Walsall Blue Coat CofE Academy. The Governors and Sponsors were extremely impressed with the quality and number of applicants and at the final interviews were very happy to be able to appoint with absolute unanimous decision a Substantive Principal. Our thanks to Richard Lucas who was an invaluable advisor during this process.

Simon Ezequiel
Chair of Governing Body, Clore Shalom School

Dear Richard,

Now that the dust has settled a little, I wanted to write to you to formally thank you and your team for all of the assistance that you gave us. Your support was invaluable and your whole team was professional, courteous and helpful throughout the process – always available and ever ready to help. Things would have been very different without you and I’m not sure that the outcome would have been as successful.

As you know, we had already been through three rounds before we engaged your services. We had historically found it difficult to attract applicants (possibly due to our status as a VS/Faith School but more likely due to our lack of reach within the potential pool) but your pro-active approach changed all of that – you identified candidates that we would never have found, several of whom didn’t even know that they wanted to move until you encouraged them to come and visit us. We ended up with more applicants for the final round than we had seen for all of the previous rounds combined and the strength of the individual applicants gave us a hard time at the shortlisting meeting.

Whilst your ability to find strong applicants was impressive, even more so was your ability to find applicants that understood, appreciated and were able to support our ethos. As a faith school, our ethos is of particular importantance to us and you not only understood this, but were able to use this as an advantage when sourcing candidates.

I have to admit that I was hesitant when we first spoke – I wasn’t sure that your “run-to-fill” approach would work and there were doubts about the value-for-money in your proposal. Having seen the impact that you and your team made to our process I am happy to say that I’m a convert. Your proposition offers the ability to remove the administrative burden, whilst also identifying and nurturing potential candidates, right through to the application stage.

I hope that I’m never in the same position again (attempting to recruit a Headteacher, in the middle of a national recruitment crisis) but if I am, you will certainly be the first person that I call.

I enjoyed working you and would welcome the opportunity to do so again.

Chair of Governors
Pirton and Hexton Primary School

I wanted to say thank you for all the help, support and advice from both Richard Lucas and Grace Rowley throughout the process of recruiting our new Executive Headteacher. We’re really pleased with the outcome and it would have been impossible to have done it without Academicis, so thank you! I would not hesitate to recommend Academicis.

Northolt High School

I am pleased to be able to provide a positive testimonial for Academicis. We were able to appoint a very good Deputy Headteacher with the right skills set for the school. The Academicis team were attentive to the specific requests of the school and supported in the selection, interviewing and appointment process. They were willing to act on feedback and work in genuine partnership to ensure that the needs of the school were met. The follow up was very good and helpful after the appointment had been made.

South Northants C of E Multi Academy Trust

We were very grateful for the support provided by Academicis in the recruitment of our replacement Executive Headteacher for Culworth and Boddington Primary Academies. Richard and his team were very knowledgeable and able to guide us through the process providing valuable insight into the recruitment market for senior educational positions which has changed in recent years. I would recommend Academicis if your organisation has similar recruitment requirements.

Chair of Governors
Featherby Infant and Junior Schools

I am pleased to be able to provide a reference for Academicis who provided an excellent service in our recent search of an Executive Headteacher for Featherby Infant and Junior School in Gillingham, Kent.

At all times during the process they were professional and very efficient. All the time scales were met, they were attentive and managed to secure a first time appointment. Academicis is headed up by Richard Lucas, Managing Director, who responded to all queries immediately and throughout the process was thoroughly proficient. The recruitment and interview process was managed entirely by Richard and his team. I would have no hesitation in recommending Richard and Academicis.

Chair of Trustees
Whittlesea Learning Trust

I am writing to thank you and your team for all of the hard work you put in to find us both an excellent interim Executive Headteacher and now a great permanent replacement.

Last summer we went through two rounds of advertising for a new Executive Headteacher and on both occasions failed to make an appointment. We found ourselves in October with no Headteacher in place for the impending spring term and no real idea what to do differently to attract better candidates. You managed to find us excellent candidates to be an interim Headteacher and we had someone signed up with a couple of weeks of you coming on-board. This was an amazing turn-around.

You guided us through the appointment of the substantive post, and although we re-advertised it is clear that the difference this time was your direct approach to the candidates. Your persistence in keeping in touch with prospective candidates and pushing them to apply really paid off when we hit some unexpected external issues. We were able to respond and overcome these problems in time and ended up with a good shortlist. We have now appointed a fantastic new Executive Headteacher and everyone is very excited about September and beyond.

We had some issues along the way but the recruitment process proved robust to them all. The fact that we had one person dealing with both interim and substantive appointments was great. Having professional but friendly advice on call, pretty much at any time of day, was hugely reassuring.

It has been a very long and difficult year for us. Our failure to find an Executive Headteacher was causing uncertainty and fear among staff and governors alike. In hindsight we might well have avoided all of that and saved some time, effort and money too, had we involved you sooner.

Thank you.

Chair of Governors
Daiglen Preparatory School

We have been delighted with the service by Academicis in helping appoint our new Headteacher. Academicis produced a very strong shortlist of candidates, and were very pro-active over the short listing exercise, interview’s and decision making process. Academicis are a very responsive organisation and you can always get through to who you want, including the Managing Director, Richard Lucas. We would not hesitate to recommend them.

Copthall School

Academicis were instrumental in us achieving our goal of appointing the ‘right’ senior leader for our school. I was impressed with how colleagues at Academicis quickly and effectively came to an understanding of the school’s current and future needs. The team quickly and efficiently produced high quality candidate information, working with us on assembling a strong field of candidates and an effective recruitment process. Academicis’s, knowledgeable, and efficient team offered good advice, quick communication and a great service prior to, during and after the recruitment process. I have no hesitation in recommending Academicis to other schools.

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