The Perse School


Head of Middle School
Upper & 6th Form
Closing date 9th Nov 2016, 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 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

The Perse School is looking to appoint a Head of Middle School to commence employment in April or September 2017. This is a high profile, rewarding and demanding position in a leading co-educational day school. The last 4 post holders have all successfully progressed to Deputy Headship.

Full details about the School, its locality, teacher benefits and current teaching staff profiles can be viewed and downloaded from the school website

This vacancy arises from the departure of the current Head of Middle School, with promotion to Deputy Head at Bedales School. The ideal candidate is likely to be someone who is looking for a post with significant responsibility and the scope for initiative. The successful applicant will need to provide the leadership, structure and support required to help our pupils (who are bright and ambitious) balance academic demands, extra-curricular commitments and pastoral well-being. A conscientious and industrious approach, coupled with a good sense of humour and can do attitude are required.

The School is divided into sections: Sixth Form (aged 16-18), Middle School (aged 13-16), and Lower School (aged 11-13).  The Heads of Section report to the Deputy Head (pupils) – Ed Wiseman. There are approximately 530 boys and girls in the Middle School.

The Heads of Year 9, 10 and 11 are responsible for overseeing the day to day pastoral care of their year groups and report to the Head of Middle School. There are 8 forms in each year group with approximately 22 pupils in each form. Each form has two tutors who have responsibility for 11 tutees. The Perse recruits approximately 50 students at 13+ each year to add to the 130 already in Year 8; many of these new students are drawn from local independent prep schools (which finish at year 8) with the remaining from other local independent and maintained sector schools.

School Management Structure

The Head is Mr Edward Elliott. The Senior Management Team consists of The Head, The Bursar, four Deputy Heads – Daniel Cross (Senior Deputy Head), Ed Wiseman (pupils), Paul Baker (curriculum and learning), and Sarah Richardson (extra-curricular), two Assistant Heads – Gail Hague (welfare and admissions) and Gavin Richards (educational operations and research), Masa Amatt (Director of Development) and Ginni Carroll (Deputy Bursar).

In addition, the Senior Leadership Team meets fortnightly and consists of the Senior Management Team, the Heads of Sections (Sixth Form, Middle School, and Lower School) Heads of the Prep and Pelican, and the Directors of HR, ICT, Communication and Teacher Induction. 


POST TITLE: Head of Middle School

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 Head of Middle School is ultimately accountable to the Head through the Senior Deputy Head but day to day accountability will be to the Deputy Head (pupils).The following duties shall be deemed to be included in the professional duties which the Teacher may be required to perform: 


  • High Class Honours Degree;
  • PCGE desirable but by no means essential.


  •  Excellent subject knowledge;
  • Understanding of pastoral issues relating to adolescents

Skills and Experience

  •  The capacity to inspire pupils of all abilities and enhance pupil learning;
  • Proven communication and interpersonal skills;
  • High level of literacy, attention to detail and ability to use initiative;
  • High order administrative skills, effectively manages commitments and deadlines;
  • ICT competence and willingness to learn and use new technologies.

Personal competencies and qualities

  • Motivation to work with children and young people;
  • Ability to form and maintain appropriate relationships and personal boundaries with children and young people;
  • Emotional resilience in working with challenging behaviours;
  • Positive approach to dealing with pupil behaviour;
  • Empathy for pupils, parents, staff and the community;
  • Shares in the values that define the School community: intellectual curiosity and scholarship, endeavour, breadth and balance, and valuing one another;
  • 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 / organise trips and visits;
  • A generosity of spirit and a willingness to contribute to the extra-curricular life of the School;
  • Committed to continual personal and professional development.

Specific requirements for the post 

  • These include:
  • Responsible for the strategic leadership, development and operational management of the Middle School;
  • Responsible for the pastoral provision in the Middle School – advising and managing a team of three Heads of Year and 48 tutors;
  • Membership of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), attending meetings and biannual Governors’ weekend seminars. Contribute to the annual development plan;
  • Represent the Middle School at Heads of Department meetings, calendar meetings and pastoral team meetings;
  • Co-ordinating and running relevant assemblies;
  • Developing initiatives to improve education (academic, extra-curricular and welfare) for Middle School pupils;
  • Giving presentations and running seminars for parents and/or pupils on pastoral topics;
  • Coordinate year group newsletters;
  • Monitor academic progress of the pupils in the Middle School supporting teaching staff as appropriate. Using baseline testing in conjunction with the Deputy Head (curriculum) to track progress against baseline data;
  • Oversee the support of pupils, tutors and subject teachers, especially where pupils have difficulties, by means of a wide range of discussions and liaison with the Learning Support department;
  • Be actively involved in the recruitment of Heads of Year and the deployment of tutors;
  • Co-ordinate the induction and training/mentoring/coaching of new tutors in the Middle School;
  • Involvement in the performance management of Middle School tutors as part of our appraisal and professional development programme;
  • Promotion of professional development for Tutors in pastoral skills;
  • Meeting with, supporting, and promoting INSET and professional development of the Heads of Years 9, 10, 11. Ensuring that they hold formal meetings with their respective tutor teams and provide appropriate feedback;
  • Leadership and development of the Middle School tutorial programme, including visiting speakers where necessary;
  • Dealing with disciplinary incidents: more serious cases will involve close liaison with the Deputy Head (pupils);
  • Maintenance and management of secure records of significant episodes and observations;
  • Supporting the Head of PSHE with resourcing and developing relevant material;
  • Responsibility for running 13+ interviews on Entrance Exam day, in conjunction with the Admissions Department;
  • Liaison with 13+ feeder schools and year 9 pupil induction;
  • Meeting parents of prospective entrants at 13+;
  • Encouragement and support of pupils at extra-curricular activities; attendance at play/concerts etc.;
  • Familiarity with Safeguarding and Child Protection procedures and prompt referral of concerns to Deputy Head (pupils) or Assistant Head (welfare);
  • Overseeing relevant pupil reports (daily, half term grades, end of term) and writing final report comments across the Middle School;
  • Responsibility for organising form and house placements and collating options choices in the Middle School;
  • Co-ordination of A-level choices amongst year 11, providing advice about subject combinations and the sixth form; and co-ordinating the completion of 16+ leavers’ grades and references;
  • Responsibility for the Middle School Budget. 


The School operates to a ten-day timetable cycle, consisting of 80 periods. Most members of staff teach about 59 periods per cycle including games and enrichment sessions. The Head of Middle School will have a significant period remission.

GCSE results – August

The Head of the Middle School will need to be available in mid/late August (with the Head or one of his deputies) to process GCSE results, and to advise pupils entering the Lower Sixth on AS level choices.

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 to lead a successful pastoral team. 

Newly Qualified Teachers

The School is fully accredited to participate in the ISC NQT Induction Programme in order to provide qualified teacher status.

2016 ISI Inspection Report The Pelican, Prep and Upper were inspected during the spring of 2016. The inspection report can be viewed at

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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