Chief Information Officer - SPARK Schools

SPARK Schools

SPARK Schools

South Africa
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2023

SPARK Schools is a social impact disruptor and is leading change in the education space through its network of affordable private schools. The SPARK Schools network provides transformational education innovation through Africa’s first blended learning model, which elevates student achievement and provides the tools teachers need to serve their students effectively.

The blended learning model, which combines classroom teaching and online instruction, allows teachers to anticipate student needs and equips schools to provide personalised education at an affordable cost. SPARK Schools is pioneering this transformative education model to ensure the accessibility of university and careers for all.

SPARK Schools is a high growth, mission and values-driven entrepreneurial organisation, operating 20 primary schools, 4 high schools and serving over 15,000 families in 2023. We are looking for dynamic people to join our team.

Purpose of Role:

The Chief Information Officer operates at an executive level and is responsible for developing and governing our information technology strategy in order to drive intelligent business decisions and build scalable systems to support the rapid growth of the SPARK network.

This role oversees the optimisation of current systems and critical business processes while also being accountable for the implementation of new technologies, ensuring that they meet the business requirements and that they are delivered on time and within budget.

The Chief Information Officer develops required policies and procedures, and works closely with various functions within the SPARK business to collect, prepare, organize, protect and analyze technology assets while ensuring that the company meets industry best practices. This will often require that they lead interdisciplinary project teams to improve and streamline SPARK’s systems while ensuring compliance to the relevant regulations (POPIA, GDPR etc.)

A successful candidate will have a proven track record in information technology systems and tools. A strong background in IT, mathematics, analytics, business leadership and will be advantageous.

Reports To: Chief Executive Officer


  • Design and refinement of a future-fit technology strategy for SPARK Schools supported by a strong business case.
  • Definition of systems integration and architecture requirements based on the data and technology strategy, with a particular focus on the Customer Journey and the alleviation of pain points therein.
  • Development of best practice data migration processes and procedures to support the migration from existing systems, back-ups and archives to new ones.
  • Impact assessment of data and technology changes ahead of implementation.
  • Overseeing the change management for various stakeholders before, during and after systems and technology migration
  • Designing risk mitigation initiatives for the technology work streams
  • Feasibility assessments of projects aligned with the SPARK Schools technology strategy.
  • Oversee the collection, storage, management, quality and protection of data.
  • Oversee the implementation of data privacy policies and complying with data protection regulations.
  • Delivering actionable insights derived from data for decision-making across the business.
  • Overseeing maintenance and management of SPARK’s big data solutions and tools.
  • Leading, motivating and managing technical teams.
  • Updating functional job knowledge of technology and data teams by facilitating and encouraging participation in educational opportunities
  • Training of existing and onboarding of new staff formulated with the professional development team as part of the relevant KPIs relative to the competency frameworks for the appropriate roles.
  • Ongoing industry and functional research to ensure that SPARK aligns to best practices and to minimize project risks.
  • Reporting to the Executive Committee and Board on key strategic projects to ensure alignment, buy-in and adequate return on investment.

Qualifications and Criteria:

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and criteria:

  • BSc / BCom in Computer Science, Information Systems or related degree(s)
  • 5 to 10 years' experience in a senior-level technology management role
  • 5+ years of experience in P&L ownership
  • MBA or another aligned post graduate qualification preferred


  • Extensive experience in cloud computing (infrastructure, storage, platforms and data), working with a variety of technology systems, designing solutions, or developing business applications
  • Experience working in a start-up or scale-up organisations would be advantageous
  • Development experience
  • ERP software experience and experience
  • Cloud-based Enterprise Service Bus / Middleware layer and integration approaches
  • Payment gateway/billing
  • Essential to have experience with the Google Cloud Platform
  • Experience in Technology Project Management essential
  • Stakeholder Management experience to include internal stakeholders, vendors, operational and executive committees
  • Systems and data change management process design and execution
  • Understanding of POPIA, GDPR, IT security and privacy regulations
  • Knowledge of Business Processes relating to: Billing, Workflow, Customer Relationship Management, Procurement, Operations, Human Capital Management and Finance would be advantageous
  • Student Information System experience advantageous


  • Strong verbal and written communicator with the ability to have firm conversations with suppliers, implementation partners, as well as staff members during requirements gathering sessions and stakeholder updates
  • Proven ability to analyse and solve problems
  • Proven track record in the implementation of systems
  • Excellent understanding of business operations
  • Ability to create team congruence and foster collaboration to stay motivated and to achieve goals.
  • Ability to lead business and process transformation and to position technology as an enabler
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Ability to collaborate across different teams and build strong working relationships
  • Displays grit, high level of excellence, is mission & vision aligned and a high level of self-reflection (GEMS)

Values: Service, Persistence, Achievement, Responsibility, Kindness

Compensation: Market related/Commensurate with experience - plus short and long term performance incentives.

Position Type: Full Time

Location: Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa

SPARK schools is an equal opportunities employer and preference will be given to candidates from designated groups with due consideration of the company’s Employment Equity goals and targets.

SPARK schools encourages persons with disabilities to apply.

SPARK Schools may expire the posting of this advertisement at their own discretion.

Kindly note that should you have not heard from us within two weeks of the closing date please consider your application unsuccessful.