- 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 Perse School is looking to appoint an inspirational leader to manage and develop all aspects of musical activity at the School from January 2020.
This is a key appointment for the School and, at its essence, is the expectation to be the principal ambassador for all musical activity within the School. Through previous experience and from their approach to leading the Department, the successful candidate will need to command the respect of a talented teaching and peripatetic staff, a high-achieving pupil cohort, and a supportive parent body.
The post-holder will need to draw upon and deploy effectively the team and have the skills and judgement to delegate responsibility, combined with the resilience and determination to take personal control of significant projects. A sensitivity and regard for the traditions and past achievements of the Department will need to be combined with the vision to seek out new ideas and inspire the confidence of colleagues in pursuing them.
Above all, our aim is to foster a culture of inclusivity and ‘music for all’ but with a mindfulness for realising the potential of our most gifted pupil musicians. The successful candidate will have considerable flexibility as to how this is achieved on a day-to-day basis, but it is expected that the post holder will be working in sympathy with these core values. It is also envisaged that the post-holder, although based at the Upper School, will be working collaboratively with colleagues across the 3-18 foundation with a view to making our overall musical provision as cohesive as possible.
Music is a dynamic and growing department with a rich and varied programme of high quality events throughout the School year. More information about recent events and activities can be viewed via the following sites:
The current structure of the Department is as follows: the Director of Music, Head of Curricular Music, Assistant Director of Music, a specialist part-time teacher. The department currently runs 2 full-size symphony orchestras, three string orchestras, three wind bands, two big bands and seven choirs. There are 30 peripatetic teachers who collectively teach around 500 instrumental lessons and coach approximately 50 chamber groups per week. The whole range of orchestral/band instruments plus keyboard, organ and singing are taught within the Department. Five of the (self-employed/peripatetic) instrumental staff assume additional roles as Head of Keyboard, Strings, Wind, Brass and Vocal studies respectively and there is a weekly co-ordination meeting to look at both short-term planning and longer-term strategy. The department’s work is also supported by a term-time administrator. There is a separate Department at the Prep School (7-11) with its own Director of Music and a thriving music tuition programme at the Pelican Pre-Prep School (around 5 minutes walk from the Upper School) overseen by a Music Co-ordinator.
As suggested by the number of individual lessons and groups running each week, the Department reaches out to a large number of students and currently we are running around 50-60 concert/extra-curricular events throughout the academic year. We act as an ABRSM and Trinity centre, holding around 80-100 exams each term for our Upper School pupils. There is a wide-ranging programme of aural and theory tuition which supports pupils in their ABRSM preparation.
The Department had a significant extension built in 2003 and its space/resources were further enhanced in September 2010. An additional extension to the Music department will be completed in 2019-20. There is currently a large rehearsal hall/performing space, two large classrooms (equipped with networked iMacs running Sibelius/Logic Pro, a smaller 6th form classroom/library with digital screen, recording studio, and ten acoustically-treated teaching/rehearsal spaces. The department also benefits from using the wonderful new facilities in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre. The school invests heavily in the department’s instruments and resources. We have a large collection of instruments such as double bass, French horn, bassoon and oboe as well as a comprehensive set of percussion instruments. The school hall has a 3 manual organ and, in addition to many fine teaching instruments, the school has 2 Steinway Model-B pianos and a Steinway Model-D concert grand piano.
A number of offsite venues are used for regular annual performances such as Saffron Hall, the University Concert Hall at West Road, OLEM Catholic Church, Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Kings’ College Chapel and various college chapels including St John’s College Chapel for our senior Carol Service.
We have also been fortunate to attract eminent musicians such as The Doric String Quartet, The Swingle Singers, Roderick Williams, Sons of Pitches, Charles Mutter, Joan Rodgers and Box 9 Drumline to give masterclasses to groups or individuals. In 2020 we are very much looking forward to hosting John Lill and Peter Donohoe. There is also a regular pattern of recitals and more informal concerts as well as the annual Perse Musician of the Year competition.
The curriculum presents a number of opportunities for students to pursue a musical pathway that is most suitable for their needs. Music is taught to all in Years 7 and 8 and the subject becomes a popular option in Year 9. For GCSE, pupils can take the subject as an extra-curricular ‘fast-track’ option in Year 10, or as a two-year course within the curriculum. Our recent track-record at GCSE has been 100% A*-A (or 9-1 equivalent). Since its inception in 2010, we have taught the Pre-U course to 6th form students, and the first cohorts have been successful with the overwhelming majority of pupils achieving a ‘distinction’ grade. Music Technology is not currently taught as a discrete A-level subject, but a high emphasis is placed upon its importance through the delivery of the regular curriculum.
The School operates to a ten-day timetable cycle. Most members of staff, who are tutors, teach approximately 58/80 periods per two week cycle including games and enrichment sessions. There will be a significant timetable remission for the post-holder.
Applicants without formal teaching qualifications or experience
Applicants without formal teaching qualifications will be considered for this position and indeed the Perse has a successful track record of training and developing teachers in situ. For applicants without a teaching qualification we would be looking for: a demonstrably high level of musical skill and experience, enthusiasm, patience, an empathy with young people and the communication skills to work successfully with a number of different stake-holders including the pupils, teaching colleagues, and parents both current and prospective.
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 a day at the School and to meet the Head, members of the Senior Management Team and colleagues within the Music Department. Candidates will be asked to lead a musical activity as part of the appointment process and further details will be available from the current Director of Music for those candidates who are shortlisted.
The closing date for applications is at 12.00pm on 17th June and interviews will take place in the week beginning 24th June.
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.
The Director of Music is ultimately accountable to the Head through the Senior Deputy Head but day to day accountability will be to the Deputy Head (extra-curricular and outreach). The following duties shall be deemed to be included in the professional duties which the post holder may be required to perform:
It is intended that this post should allow for flexibility and opportunity for development and initiative by the post holder. The Department is a large and complex one, and many roles and responsibilities will be shared and delegated around the team as the Director of Music sees fit. Administrative support will be provided by the Music Administrator.
Key features of the role which are likely to fall under the Director of Music’s personal remit include:
- Developing the strategic direction of the department through consultation with colleagues, and in sympathy with the overall aims and ethos of the School.
- Direction of one or more principal School groups/ensembles and a significant personal contribution to the School’s extra-curricular music programme.
- Secure the services of peripatetic staff (through liaison with the HR Department) and ensuring a universally excellent quality of provision in our instrumental teaching and group coaching.
- Overall line management for curricular and extra-curricular music.
- Organisation of major external events, trips and tours. Oversight and co-ordination of smaller events, delegating these as appropriate to achieve maximum benefit of department team resources.
- Forecasting growth areas in instrumental tuition and meeting these needs appropriately; allocating tuition for new pupils each year in consultation with the Heads of Instruments.
- Developing community and charitable links through music.
- Chairing of weekly Heads of Instruments meeting which should have an agenda and brief minutes.
- Recruitment and selection of music scholars, including liaison with local feeder Prep and primary Schools to maximise high-quality links.
- Management of the extra-curricular music budget, which includes a substantial subsidy for concerts, events and specialist peripatetic coaching. Consultation and agreement over the annual hourly rate that is charged for tuition and group coaching.
- Meeting prospective parents and acting as the principal ambassador for the department on occasions such as Open Day.
- Liaison with the Pelican and Prep School to maximise cohesion across the 3-18 foundation, and working with colleagues on joint musical ventures across the three Schools.
- Organisation of Associated Board exams on a termly basis.
- Overall co-ordination of the music calendar, in consultation with key colleagues; attendance at the extra-curricular calendar meeting.
- Organisation of masterclasses and recitals from visiting musicians.
- Organisation of and participation within competitions as appropriate (we have made a significant entry to the Pro Corda Chamber Festival in recent years).
- Mentoring and encouragement of music scholars; advising our most gifted musicians and identifying suitable opportunities for their development both within and outside of School.
- Oversight of external lettings and Department associations with outside groups and organisations.
- Ensuring the Music Department is a high-quality aesthetic environment where the health-and-safety needs of both pupils and teaching colleagues are held in high regard.
- High class Honours Degree in Music and/or high-level performance/teaching diploma
- PGCE desirable but by no means essential
Skills and Experience
- A vision for the future of Music in a leading independent school
- An outstanding, reflective teacher with a genuine passion for the subject
- Capacity to lead and inspire a department
- Capacity to inspire pupils of varying but high ability and enhance pupil learning
- Proven communication and interpersonal skills
- Empathy for pupils, parents, staff and the community
- Committed to continual personal and professional development
- High order organisational skills, effectively manages commitments and deadlines
- ICT competence and willingness to learn and use new technologies
- Works collaboratively and supportively with colleagues within school and with
- colleagues in other organisations
- Respects and values the different experiences, ideas and backgrounds others can bring
- to work and to teams
- Ability to motivate and encourage participation in activities both inside and outside the
- classroom and a willingness to take part in and/or organise trips and visits
- A generosity of spirit and a willingness to contribute to the extra-curricular life of the School.
The job specification will be reviewed biennially as part of the professional development cycle. Any changes can only be made by agreement with the Senior Deputy Head and Head.
- 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