The Perse School


Gardener (Temporary)
All Schools
Closing date 27th Oct 2017, 12:00pm



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 2016 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 (currently under construction).

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

Fixed Term from November 2017 for one year 

The Estates Department

The gardening, grounds and maintenance departments are based at the Upper School on Hills Road.

Whilst based at the Upper (Hills Road) site, where the greenhouse and potting shed is housed, the Gardener will be required to maintain the gardens at the Prep and Pelican sites.


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. 

Reporting to

As a member of the support staff, the Temporary Gardener’s ultimate line manager will be the Bursar, although day to day responsibility will be to the Head Groundskeeper and Estates Manager. 

Job Purpose

The Temporary Gardener is responsible for ensuring all areas of planting (including a large number of pots and containers) around the sites of the 3 schools are maintained to a high standard throughout the year and helping to create new planting areas or develop existing ones.

Key Responsibilities 

  1. Maintenance of borders and areas of planting
  2. Maintaining a programme for replacing annuals and bi-annuals whilst ensuring interest and impact throughout the year
  3. Pruning, trimming, dead heading, and tidying plants, shrubs and trees in accordance with good horticultural practice and garden design requirements
  4. Weeding and tidying including the removal of litter as required
  5. Ensuring plants have sufficient water and nutrition, and arranging appropriate feeding as necessary
  6. Laying down mulch, wood chips or other means of moisture retention as required
  7. Monitoring plants for signs of disease and infestation and treating any such infections as required
  8. Replacing and replanting bulbs, shrubs and other plants in accordance with planting schemes
  9. Preparation of new beds and planting areas
  10. Trimming and edging grassed areas, especially to footpaths and paving
  11. Managing the creation of our own usable compost using the raw waste from the kitchen, accelerator additives and regular turning

The Gardener will contribute to the strategic planning for the gardens, including:

  • Identifying gardening problems and making recommendations for improvement
  • Suggesting new or refreshed planting schemes

The Gardener will be required to work with the Head Groundskeeper to ensure the growth of weeds in paved areas is controlled and assist the Grounds team in hedge trimming (some areas of hedging may be the sole responsibility of the Gardener).

The Gardener will be required to assist the grounds and maintenance team with bad weather arrangements during winter months including:

  • Spreading grit and salt to paths and paved areas
  • Clearing pathways of snow and ice


  • Promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children and young persons for whom you are responsible and with whom you come into contact. 




  • Extensive experience of gardening work; and ideally a horticultural qualification (e.g. NVQ Level 1/2 in Horticulture, or RHS General Level 1/2)
  • A full clean driving licence


  • A rounded knowledge of flowers, plants, shrubs and trees to ensure that they are all correctly pruned, fertilised and planted
  • An understanding of soils to ensure they are prepared correctly to receive and maintain plant growth
  • A knowledge of the COSHH requirements for stored chemicals and their use
  • Understanding of all health and safety aspects (both legal and practical) of working within a School

 Relevant Experience

  • Extensive experience of gardening work 

Skills and Abilities

    • The ability to work autonomously to ensure standards are maintained
    • A willing team member that can assist other support roles, as they might assist the gardener
    • Honest and reliable
    • Self-motivated
    • Good communication skills
    • The ability to organise their own time and work to ensure that tasks are completed quickly and efficiently, to tight deadlines, without disruption to the day-to-day running of the School
    • The ability to prioritise work and identify, diagnose and solve problems
    • Flexible and responsive
    • Sympathetic to the educational as well as practical requirements of the School


Working Hours

This post is full time for 37.5 hours per week. Normal working hours are Monday to Friday 8.00 am – 4.00 pm, with a half hour lunch break (unpaid).

However, you may be required to work such additional hours as the needs of the job require. No extra payment will be made for this additional time but, where appropriate, time off in lieu will be given, with the agreement of the Estates Manager.

This post is a fixed term contract for 1 full year.


The starting salary will be at Scale Point 11 of the Perse Support Staff salary scale: £20,304 per annum.


Paid holiday entitlement is 6 weeks plus Bank holidays per annumone week to be taken at Easter, one week to be taken at Christmas and four weeks to be taken as agreed with the Estates Manager. Holiday may not normally be taken during term time.

Closing date: 27 October 2017 at midday.

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.

Safer Recruitment

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.

Recruitment Policy

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

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