Leadership Spotlight: David Longworth

The ISS Administrative Search Team was proud to lead the Primary Principal search for International School Dhaka (ISD), Bangladesh, an ISS managed school. Congratulations to David Longworth for accepting the position, beginning August 2021!

David holds a BA Honours Degree (with QTS) from Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as a National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL). David is currently the Head of Prep at the British School Alexandria, Egypt. His career has also taken him to South Africa, Kuwait, and Kenya.

In the feature below, learn more about David’s path in education, his ethos as a leader, and why he’s excited to join the ISD community.

What drew you to pursue the world of education? And what drew you into international education specifically?

For the last decade, I have worked overseas in a variety of countries. What I see in international schools that makes me want to continue to live overseas is the global mindset that most, if not all staff, pupils and parents carry. We live in a big and sometimes daunting world, but when you take the time to speak to different people from all different parts of the planet, you realize how close we actually are.

The children that we teach in our international schools often go on to live successful lives and in helping them recognize the values of seeing the bigger picture that is our planet and what they can do to help will hopefully guide them in making the right choices later in life. From a personal perspective, I know these children can have much more of an impact than what I can ever have. 

From colleagues to close friends

Please tell us about your education philosophy and your leadership style. What can your new community expect?

Education should not be over complicated. Strong relationships should be built between pupils and practitioners and the wellbeing of both parties is paramount. These strong building blocks allow staff to know their children and how they tick and from there so many doors can be opened in a child’s mind as they then begin to question, inquire, act and reflect. My take-away on leadership is that I am here not as the expert, but as someone who is going to champion the experts and work hand in hand with them to keep raising standards. On a personal note, my relationship with my team should always be built around trust, honesty, and knowing that the hard work teachers put in is always valued. 

International School Dhaka

Congratulations on the new position at the International School Dhaka! Why are you excited about this role? What are your hopes?

Thank you. I am still in the current period of shock where you know you have accepted a new and exciting job in a new and exciting country, however the reality never hits until you step off that plane after the summer break. ISD is a school that is tried and trusted by the local and international community in Dhaka. It is a school that prides itself on high standards and provides an education that supports the whole child in helping them contribute to this world in a positive way. I feel that if I can be a cog in the machine that is this brilliant school, I am doing a good job.

A hope of mine would be to build long lasting relationships with all parties involved in the school and make an impact as someone who is supportive and open-minded but also someone who can be relied on when it is needed. What really excites me about the school is it’s approach towards embracing positive values, inspiring learners and empowering them with a voice. 

What is an interesting fact, story, or reflection that you’d like to share?

My journey in education started the age of 18 when I traveled to South Africa to get involved in sports coaching through a program in one of the local townships near Cape Town. Sports was what I lived for, but part of the deal was that in the mornings, I had to go into the local community school and go back into the classroom… this was a daunting prospect. Each morning I would listen to groups or individuals and read and discuss texts that I had read when I was their age.

After only a few weeks there, it was the school aspect that I enjoyed the most and the simplicity of seeing a child enjoy a story they had never heard before was a precious experience and one which I felt very privileged to be part of. I had caught the teaching bug and my life from then on was sewn up in
education indefinitely!

What was your experience with ISS and ISS Administrative Search like?

The ISS team have been extremely supportive and thoroughly professional throughout. On reflection, what has become apparent to me is that ISS are not only looking for qualified skilled people in the right positions, they are also investing in people and what I have taken away from my experiences with ISS is that they want to know you the person, not just you the resume. I would (and have) recommend ISS to anybody in education looking to further their careers. 


Thanks very much to David for sharing these reflections! We wish him the best in the upcoming move and transition, and we look forward to following his leadership journey at ISD.

If you’re interested in pursuing a school leadership position, please check out our current leadership searches or get in touch with the ISS Administrative Search Team.



David on safari with family