- School Description
The Perse School is a charitable company and one of the country’s leading independent day schools.
Our vision is to love learning and strive for the greater good. The values that define our community are: intellectual curiosity and scholarship, endeavour, breadth and balance, and valuing one another. All aspects of the School were classified as outstanding in its 2019 inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
We educate girls and boys from 3-18 on three sites in Cambridge: the Pelican Nursery and Pre-Prep, the Prep and the Upper. Children thus progress through three different schools, and have all the benefits of being part of one larger institution with an integrated curriculum and pastoral care system.
We have a clear learning philosophy. We are academically selective; bright children thrive here and embrace the many opportunities we provide to go beyond the curriculum. We provide a rounded education, with first class opportunities in sport, art, outdoor pursuits, music and drama, and a large number of thriving clubs, societies and extra-curricular activities in which all pupils participate.
The pastoral system is strong and supportive, the student body is diverse, and the atmosphere is open and friendly. We provide more than £1 million each year in means-tested bursaries at the Upper and Prep, to ensure children from all backgrounds can benefit from a Perse education.
In the last decade we have invested over £40 million in new and improved facilities across the three sites. This includes two new classroom blocks at the Upper, a Science Centre at the Prep, new sports fields in Little Abington and a Performing Arts Centre.
There are around 400 staff across the whole Perse School (Upper, Prep and Pelican), around half of whom are teachers.
For an overview of the benefits of working at The Perse, please see our reasons to work at The Perse section.
- The Role
The role presents an exciting opportunity to help support the academic development of over 1200 pupils at a leading independent co-educational day school. The Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning) position is a new role being created with effect from the 1st September 2020.
Public exam results regularly place The Perse in the top 20 schools nationally and in a typical year over 40 pupils will receive Oxbridge offers. The Perse is a very special school which is both traditional and innovative, academic and caring, flexible and structured, industrious and fun. All teachers and pupils are required to demonstrate 3D excellence and contribute to the academic, pastoral and extra-curricular life of the school. Our values shape what we do and how we do it. Alongside endeavour and scholarship we promote balance, wellbeing, perspective, and valuing one another and our environment.
The post holder will need to combine an eye for detail and rigorous implementation with an intelligent understanding of the key academic issues facing schools today. They will also need to be a clear and persuasive communicator with excellent interpersonal skills. This is a job for a proactive and hands-on leader who is able to juggle multiple demands on their time and keep a sense of perspective. The Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning) will need to be effective with both big picture strategy and small detail operations with a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement.
The Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning) is a member of the Perse’s 3-18 Senior Leadership Team, and will deputise for the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) at Upper Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meetings as appropriate. The 3-18 Senior Leadership Team consists of the Upper ELT plus the Head of the Junior Division, Pelican Head, Pelican and Prep Deputy Heads, and the Upper Assistant Heads, Section Heads and relevant Directors.
Job Description: Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning)
The Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning) is ultimately accountable to the Head through the Senior Deputy Head but day to day accountability will be to the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning). The post holder will play a key role within the teaching and learning team, working closely with the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) and wider academic team in delivering high quality support and guidance to pupils, parents and staff.
The portfolio of the combined teaching and learning team includes the following key school functions:
- Responsibility for teaching and learning in the school. Ensuring teaching staff develop their pedagogy, share best practice and focus on pupil learning outcomes;
- Oversight of homework, marking and assessment to ensure it’s consistent and efficacious;
- Responsibility for staff twilight professional development seminars and for developing opportunities for collaborative and collegiate sharing of pedagogical ideas;
- Oversight of academic enrichment and extension, working in conjunction with Heads of Department, Head of Research and Head Librarian to support staff and pupils;
- Responsibility for public and internal examinations, working in conjunction with the Director of Qualifications and Progression and Educational Operations Coordinator;
- Oversight of university admissions process and the line management of the Director of Qualifications and Progression;
- Oversight of the careers and work experience programme, with line management of the Head of Careers and Work Related Learning;
- Responsibility for collecting and analysing pupil tracking and value added data and the line management of the Assistant Director of Studies;
- Overseeing the provision of learning support, and the line management of the Head of Learning Support;
- Overseeing the Library, and the line management of the Head Librarian;
- Responsibility for reports, grades and parents evenings;
- Responsibility for the organisation of Entrance Exams and the logistics associated with the testing;
- Annual Department reviews with Heads of Department in conjunction with the Deputy Head (Operations and Outreach) and the Deputy Head (Pupil Development and Wellbeing);
- Oversight of the school’s digital learning strategy, and the line management of the Director of Computing and Digital Strategy;
- Oversight of the schools 42 lecture programme, and the line management of the 42 Lecture Coordinator;
- The line management of Heads of Department alongside the Senior Deputy Head and Deputy Head (Operations and Outreach);
The precise boundaries between the Deputy/Assistant Head in the discharging of these responsibilities will be open to some discussion in respect of the particular skills and experiences of the successful candidate. It is also hoped that the post holder can be given some exposure to the full range of roles so that they can be developed towards (deputy)/ headship in the future. However it is envisaged that the successful candidate will primarily be tasked with the following:
Teaching and Learning
- Take overall responsibility for the development of the curricular enrichment and extension.
- Take overall responsibility for the development of the content and operations of the Enrichment programme for Year 11 and 12 pupils.
- Contribute to the development of teaching and learning resources and promote sharing of best practice through regular contributions to staff newsletters, teaching and learning forums, HOD meetings, Twilight and INSET.
- Further develop the advice we give to parents and pupils on developing and nurturing effective study skills and learning habits.
- Line manage and regularly meet with the Head of Research, supporting the provision of research and extension opportunities in all areas of the curriculum.
- Line manage and regularly meet with the 42 lecture series co-ordinator.
- Line manage and regularly meet with the Head Librarian and support librarians in their roles.
- Take overall responsibility for the operations of entrance exams and provide relevant support to the Registrar and Admissions team.
- Liaise with Heads of Departments in developing the content and compiling curriculum engagement and option booklets.
- Work with the Communications team to ensure the Parent Portal, Perse Post and other parent communications are accurate, clear, timely and relevant.
- Attend a timetabled meeting with Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) each cycle.
- Attend and contribute to Curriculum Team meetings.
- To support the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) with aspects of curriculum development, including curriculum content and structure, philosophy, cost effectiveness, setting, homework, marking and assessment policies and procedures.
- To support the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) in reviewing pedagogy and the effectiveness of teaching and learning throughout the school.
- Teaching throughout the school in a manner appropriate to students’ ages and abilities.
- Assessing and recording students’ progress in accordance with departmental and school policies.
- Preparing students for university applications in related subjects.
- Attending and contributing to departmental meetings.
- Developing and sharing teaching and learning resources.
- Monitoring the work and progress of pupils, including those with specific learning needs.
- Maintaining professional skills through INSET and our Professional Development programme.
- Exploring innovative ways of delivering ICT through the curriculum to enhance teaching and learning.
Extra-curricular and pastoral
All teachers at The Perse School are required to be a form tutor and contribute to the extra-curricular programme, alongside their academic teaching. These elements of a teacher’s role are fundamental to working at the school and are embedded in our core values. Teachers are required to:
- Contribute to the extra-curricular life of the school through Games, the Enrichment Programme or other appropriate commitment.
- Be a form tutor.
- Contribute to the PSHEE or Emotional Wellbeing programme.
- Promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children and young persons for whom you are responsible and with whom you come into contact.
Person Specification: Assistant Head (teaching and learning)
- High Class Honours Degree.
- PGCE desirable but by no means essential.
Personal competencies and qualities
The ideal candidate will be someone:-
- With a sharp and analytical mind that can see both the big picture and the small detail.
- With excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Who is a good judge of situations and processes, and who listens well and reflects on information and advice.
- Who has already held a middle-management post, ideally of a curricular nature.
- With the ability to get on well with a population of unusually gifted and independent-minded pupils, parents, and staff with the right balance of sensitivity, humour, flexibility and decisiveness.
- Able to motivate and inspire others – both colleagues and pupils.
- With a considerable work-rate and high degree of accuracy and administrative efficiency.
- With the PR skills, gravitas and public speaking talents needed to represent the School on public occasions.
- With diplomatic skills to deal with potentially contentious parental, pupil, staff and public concerns.
- With a creative, imaginative and positive approach to problem solving.
- With a generosity of spirit which accepts that there will be a significant amount of out-of-normal-hours work to be done.
- And with the resilience, perspective and stamina needed for all of the above.
The job specification will be reviewed biennially as part of the professional development cycle. Any changes may only be made by agreement with the Head and Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning).
The Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning) will be a full member of the 3-18 Senior Leadership Team (SLT). As such they will be expected to attend Senior Leadership Team meetings, which are used for school management and professional development purposes.
The School operates to a ten-day timetable cycle, consisting of 80 periods. Most members of staff teach about 58 periods per cycle including games and enrichment sessions. All new members of staff receive training and induction and the post holder will receive a significant period remission for this role. An office and appropriate administrative support will also be given.
Full details about the School, its locality, salary, teacher benefits and staff profiles can be viewed at the school website. This is an important senior role and a commensurate salary package will be offered.
Applicants without formal teaching qualifications or experience
Applicants without formal teaching qualifications will be considered for this position. However, we would expect the successful applicant to have relevant experience and skills.
2019 ISI Inspection Report
The Pelican, Prep and Upper were inspected during the spring of 2019. The inspection report can be viewed at http://www.perse.co.uk/about-us/our-approach/inspection-reports/
Applications are to be made using the School’s online application form, available from the School website.
Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to the HR Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Perse School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post including: references from previous employers, a Disclosure and Barring Service check at the enhanced level, as well as eligibility to work in the UK (in compliance with UK immigration regulations). Interviews will be conducted in person, and they will explore candidates’ suitability to work with children.
The School’s Recruitment, Selection and Disclosure Policy and Procedure is available for your information on the School website.
Candidates will be invited to spend time at the School and to meet the Head and Deputy Heads. The closing date for applications is 23rd January at midday, but applications will be considered as they are received. The Perse School reserves the right to make an appointment before the closing date and interviews will be arranged from the 27th January to 7th February.
- Safeguarding and Recruitment Policy
The School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post including: references from previous employers, a Disclosure and Barring Service check at the enhanced level, as well as eligibility to work in the UK (in compliance with UK government Immigration regulations). Interviews will be conducted in person, and they will explore candidates’ suitability to work with children.
The School’s Recruitment, Selection and Disclosure Policy and Procedure is available for your information on our policies page. This provides details of the pre-appointment vetting checks conducted by the School for all appointments, and how any criminal records disclosures are handled.
- How to Apply
Please apply using our online system.
Please note that you will need to have the necessary information ready in order to complete your application in one go, as you will not be able to save the form to continue later.
If you have a query about applying for a job at The Perse please email email@example.com