The Perse School


Head of Careers & Work Related Learning
Upper & 6th Form
Closing date 5th May 2017, 11:58am



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 3–18 Perse were classified as outstanding by 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.

The Upper is a dynamic and successful school of around 1130 pupils. There are around 300 permanent employees – half of whom are academic members of staff. In addition there are about 40 peripatetic music, sports coaching and other specialist staff. For a taste of what it is like to work at the Upper, please see the ‘meet the staff’ page in the Upper’s ‘people’ section (link).

The Upper is over-subscribed. Its main entry points are Year 7, when around 60 pupils move up from the Prep and a similar number of pupils join from other schools, and Years 9 and the Lower Sixth.

In the last decade we have invested around £40m in new facilities at our three schools. At the Upper we have added two major new classroom blocks, science laboratories, an art studio and graphic design suite, and an outdoor pursuits centre, for example. We have refurbished our library to create zones for silent study and collaborative working. We have created extra cricket, football and rugby pitches at our new sports facility at Little Abington, just 15 minutes away from our schools, for grass sports pitches. In addition to further improvements to our facilities, including construction of a performing arts centre and a new all weather pitch, we have plans to double our bursaries and extend our outreach.

We make good use of technology, based on our philosophy that it should be effective, engaging and evolving. Our vision is to be a ‘bring your own device’ school. Resources include dedicated ICT suites, Mac suites, bookable Chromebooks and iPads and a library e-book scheme. All classrooms are equipped with SMART boards and PCs. Students and staff can access the school Wi-Fi (with age appropriate filtering), and we use Schoology as our Virtual Learning Environment.

While our facilities are excellent, our staff are our strongest asset and we care deeply about rewarding them properly. For an overview of the benefits of working at The Perse, please see our reasons to work at The Perse, for a detailed look at the benefits each role enjoys, click on the link to the benefits at the end of this vacancy.

The Role


This role provides an exciting opportunity for an applicant with experience in careers and progression advice or in graduate recruitment, selection and development.

The post is term-time only and would suit either a four-day week part-time position or full-time hours, depending on further contribution options as outlined below.


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 Head of Careers and Work Related Learning’s ultimate line manager will be the Bursar, although day to day responsibility will be to the Deputy Head (Curriculum) and the post will also meet regularly with the Director of Qualifications and Progression.

Virtually all Sixth Formers at the Perse proceed to competitive university courses, and so this post will work closely with The Department of Qualifications and Progression who has responsibility for all areas of university advice, admission and guidance, including Oxbridge, medical and overseas applications amongst others. 

Job Purpose

The Head of Careers and Work Related Learning will be responsible for this increasingly important area of educational provision, and will:

  • assist students with subject-choices to facilitate educational and career progression, through frameworks such as Morrisby psychometric testing and interview advice;
  • facilitate high-quality work experience placement opportunities, to assist students with applications to further education and longer-term career choices;
  • provide unbiased awareness-raising opportunities and exposure to a range of progression and careers information/opportunities for students, which includes arranging a range of visiting speakers from industry, developing careers-related materials for lessons, and gap-year information;
  • assist students with career/application skill development, such as interviewing or CV/application writing.

The role includes the strategic shaping of the School’s on-going provision, adapting it to new and more competitive fields in both course progression and career development, and providing advice and opportunities for bright ambitious students at a formative stage of their development. 

Key Responsibilities

  • ensure the provision and on-going development of high quality careers and work experience guidance and opportunities;
  • lead on the strategic overview, based upon the changing international workplace, recruitment patterns, and the School’s aims and development plan;
  • guide policies, practices and targets related to careers and progression related choices, work experience and work related learning;
  • organise and run, with administrative assistance, the annual year 11 work experience summer placement programme;
  • organise and run, with administrative assistance, the L6th workplace mentoring scheme to pair students with suitable workplace mentor volunteers and arrange the corresponding after-school meet-up event; working with the Development Office to continue building an Old Perseans careers network;
  • continue to review and respond to the increasing demand for high-quality sixth form career experience placements, particularly within more competitive fields;
  • oversee and conduct the Morrisby year 10 profiling and year 11 feedback/interview sessions which in turn assists with subsequent pupil subject choices. (Further training is available for applicants who are not currently trained in this area);
  • take line management oversight of the organisation of the Perse Enterprise conference;
  • organise and run, with administrative assistance, the annual year 11 careers convention evening in collaboration with the Development Office;
  • represent the department, including public speaking, at relevant events and work-related student and parent evenings;
  • secure high level speakers by way of provision of a variety of work related learning lunchtime talks or other events;
  • oversee all aspects of Work Related Learning including Gap Year awareness and Young Enterprise schemes;
  • promote and develop career related skills including interview/presentation confidence; advice for improving application success and cv/letter writing skills;
  • integrate the work of the department more widely within the school including, where relevant, PSHE, other academic departments, the pastoral framework and the Alumni & Development office;
  • develop, together with the Communications office, a range of effective communication strategies to present the various school programmes to local businesses, contacts and other placement opportunities;
  • oversee all related administrative activities which will be conducted mainly by the Curriculum Administrator;
  • ensure all department activity is conducted in compliance with all relevant School policies and procedures, in particular in relation to Health and Safety and national guidance for best practice within work related learning opportunities;
  • develop and maintain the departmental documentation and handbook;
  • attend Heads of Department meetings and integrate the work of the department with other sections of the school;
  • manage the Careers and Work Related Learning budget and make appropriate budgetary submissions to the Deputy Bursar;
  • report (when appropriate) to the Senior Leadership and Senior Management Teams on Careers and Work Related Learning matters;
  • promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children and young persons for whom you are responsible and with whom you come into contact.

For full-time job applications, additional contributions would be discussed as suitable, for instance as an HPQ or EPQ project research coordinator with a small group of pupils or by contributing to pupil university preparation sessions or games sessions.

Person Specification  

The successful candidate should meet the following requirements: 


  • high class honours degree.

Knowledge and experience

  • up-to date knowledge of relevant legislation and guidance in relation to working with, and the protection of, children and young people.

Skills and Attributes

    • Enthusiastic with the ability to build connections and strategic working relationships;
    • Ability to make and develop contacts and initiate opportunities;
    • Ability to build trust and engage with students;
    • Skills in coaching, advising, facilitating and encouraging;
    • Demonstrates high standards of behaviour and is able to model the School values (intellectual curiosity and scholarship, endeavour, breadth and balance, and valuing one another);
    • Attention to detail and ability to use initiative;
    • Continual professional self-development with a commitment to remaining up to date;
    • Excellent planning & organisational skills, effectively managing commitments and deadlines;
    • Excellent leadership and strategic development skills;
    • Strong literacy, communication and presentation skills;
    • Good systems, process & document-management skills;
    • Respects and values the different experiences, ideas and backgrounds others can bring to work and to teams;
    • Empathy for pupils, parents, staff and the community;
    • A healthy sense of humour and can-do attitude;
    • A generosity of spirit and a willingness to contribute to the extra-curricular life of the School. 


Working Hours

Full time hours are 37.5 per week, normally worked Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 4.30 pm, with a half hour lunch break (unpaid).

This post is term time only (35 weeks). Term time is defined as the published school term dates, plus two additional days immediately preceding the published start date of the Michaelmas term, and one additional day immediately prior to the published start date of the Lent term each academic year.

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 Bursar.


The starting salary will be at Scale Point 31 of the Perse Support Staff salary scale: at either £26,209 per annum for 5 days per week, or £20,967 for 4 days per week (based on the full-time full-year salary of £33,241 per annum, at 2016/17 rates – which are due to be reviewed for September 2017).


Paid holiday entitlement is 6 weeks per annum (or pro rata for part-time hours), including Bank holidays, which must be taken during School holidays.


Please apply using the online application form.

Closing date: Friday 5 May 2017 at midday. 

Interviews will be held on Friday 12 May.

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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