The Perse School


PA to the Bursar and the Clerk to Governors
Upper & 6th Form
Closing date 4th Aug 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


The Bursar and the Clerk to Governors

The roles are currently held by a single postholder.

As the administrative demands on independent schools have increased and become more complex – especially in terms of compliance and governance – more schools are returning to the more traditional practice of separating the roles of bursar and clerk. Although the current trend is predicated on the demands of the modern school, it is also a return to what would have been common practice in the past.

From Christmas 2018, the roles of Bursar and Clerk to Governors at The Perse will be split. The role of Clerk to Governors will be filled by the current joint postholder and a new Bursar will be appointed. The Bursar’s role will be full-time. The Clerk to Governors’ role will be part-time and much of his work will be carried out remotely.

In such circumstances and also with an entirely non-executive Board, the importance of the PA to good communications both within the School and between the School and its Board cannot be overestimated.

The Bursar is responsible for the preparation of financial and estate plans and strategy, and for the overall financial management and non-academic administration of the School. The Bursar oversees the employment of all support staff, and, in particular, the following functions: Finance, HR, IT, Housekeeping (catering, caretaking and premises), Estates (including design and management of building programmes, maintenance of buildings, grounds, sports facilities and housing), community and commercial activities, Health & Safety, and legal and insurance matters.

The Clerk advises the Board on governance procedures and generally on legislation, regulation and good practice affecting the Board and its duties; is responsible for the arrangement, papers and conduct of meetings of the Board and its committees; is the main point of contact for the Charity Commission and Companies House; oversees the appointment, induction and training and of governors, and structural reviews and self-appraisals of the Board; reviews and updates the Memorandum & Articles of Association, the Board Handbook, Board committees’ Terms of Reference and other key documents of governance.


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 post-holder’s line manager will be the Bursar. 

Job Purpose

To provide an efficient, effective and confidential support service to the Bursar and the Clerk to Governors, and to act as an important link to the Governing Board.

Key Responsibilities 

General PA and Secretarial Duties

  • Maintaining the diaries of the Bursar and the Clerk to Governors.
  • Representing School policy and the views of the Bursar and the Clerk to Governors, particularly in their absence, to others.
  • Making arrangements for meetings run by the Bursar and the Clerk to Governors..
  • Answering the Bursar’s and the Clerk to Governors’ telephone.
  • Drafting correspondence.
  • Typing correspondence generated by the Bursar and the Clerk to Governors .
  • Researching various matters as directed by the Bursar and the Clertk to Governors. .
  • Maintaining a filing system, for both paper and computerised records.
  • Monitoring the @Bursary’ in-box and re-directing e-mails as appropriate

Governing Board

  • Copying, collating, and sending out papers for meetings of the Governing Board and its committees, including uploading documents onto shared access sites.
  • Producing the Governor’s Induction Pack and the Governing Board Handbook , as directed by the Clerk to Governors, arranging Governors’ signing of various returns and other forms, updating the List of Governors and various related documents.
  • Organising room booking, catering etc for meetings of the Governing Board and its committes.
  • Answering queries (eg about the arrangements for events) from governors
  • Taking minutes of Finance & General Purposes Committee and Governing Board meetings.


  • Work closely with the Head’s PA to ensure cover between both posts to support both the Bursar and the Clerk to Governors and the Head at peak times and during periods of absence.
  • Provide general administrative support and cover for colleagues, particularly in the Bursary, as needed. 


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


The following are required for the successful post-holder:

  • A high standard of communication and presentational skills in both written and spoken English language.
  • IT competence – a detailed working knowledge of MS Office, in particular Word and Excel, use of e-mail and internet, use of databases and powerpoint.
  • Shorthand would be useful.
  • Attention to detail, accuracy and high quality of work.
  • Experience of working in a similar role or the ability to demonstrate transferable skills and understanding of the role of a PA to a senior member of staff.
  • A pleasant and professional manner, the ability to deal with people at all levels, to handle a wide range of queries and juggle multiple tasks in a calm, confident and efficient manner.
  • The ability both to prioritise and to keep matters in proportion.
  • Self-confidence and the ability to know when to take the lead and when to listen in the background.
  • The ability to work both on your own and as part of a team and to have an appreciation of the collegiality of the School.
  • Complete confidentiality and discretion in handling sensitive matters.
  • An ability to undertake research (under direction) and report clearly the findings.
  • Sympathetic to the aims of education in general and independent education in particular. 


Working Hours

This post is intended to be full time for 37.5 hours per week with a half hour lunch break (unpaid). However, a part time arrangement, still five days a week but for shorter hours, may be possible for the right candidate.

This post is full year, but the hours per week may be more during term time and less in the School holidays, averaging the above total hours per week, by agreement upon appointment.

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.


The starting salary will be in the region of £30,000 pa according to qualifications and experience.


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


Closing date: 4 August 2017

Interviews will be held during week commencing 7 August 2017.

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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