The Perse School


Teaching Assistant (Maternity Cover: from 5 January 2017)
Closing date 10th Oct 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.

The Pelican is a successful and dynamic school of around 180 pupils. There are around 30 permanent employees – half of whom are academic members of staff. In addition there are peripatetic music, sports coaching and other specialist staff. For a taste of what it is like to work at the Pelican, please see the ‘meet the staff’ page.

The Pelican is over-subscribed. Its main entry point is Nursery, and the vast majority of pupils progress to the Prep in Year 3. There is one member of staff to every eight children in Nursery and one to ten in all other years. Every class benefits from its own full-time teaching assistant. As an ‘outstanding’ school, we are exempt from the Learning and Development requirements of the EYFS, so we have greater flexibility to meet our pupils’ needs.

In the last decade we have invested around £40m in new facilities at our three schools. The Pelican has exceptional space and excellent facilities inside and out. Our building began life in 1911 as a boarding house and has retained its welcoming and homely feel while benefiting from sympathetic updates and extension. In the last decade we have built the Richardson Hall, for assemblies, performances and lunch; created covered areas for outdoor play; and developed dedicated outdoor learning areas for Nursery and Reception pupils.

We make good use of technology, based on our philosophy that it should be effective, engaging and evolving. Resources include dedicated ICT suite and 2 sets of class iPads. All classrooms are equipped with SMART boards and PCs. Students and staff can access the school Wi-Fi (with age appropriate filtering) and staff have remote access to the Perse systems.

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 here, please see our reasons to work at The Perse, and 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 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 Teaching Assistant is immediately responsible to the Head of the Perse Pelican School, but the Bursar has ultimate responsibility for employment matters for support staff.

General Professional Duties

The following duties shall be deemed to be included in the professional duties which you will be required to perform.

  • Assisting the Class Teacher
  1. planning and preparing the curriculum and lessons.
  2. teaching, according to their educational needs, the pupils assigned to you, including the preparation and marking of work to be carried out by the pupils in school and elsewhere.
  3. assessing, recording and reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.
  4. promoting the general progress and well being of individual pupils and of a class or group of pupils assigned to you.
  5. providing guidance and advice to pupils on educational and social matters, making relevant records and reports.
  6. making records of and reports on the personal and social needs of pupils and communicating and consulting with the parents of pupils.
  7. communicating and co-operating with persons or bodies outside the school. 
  • Attending meetings and events
  1. Participating, when required, in meetings arranged for any of the purposes described above.
  2. participating in all duty rotas as required by the Head.
  3. attending assemblies, and any school functions or events as requested by the Head.
  4. participating in regular weekly meetings at the school which relate to the curriculum for the school or the administration or organisation of the school, including pastoral arrangements (subject to the Owls duty rota requirements).
  • Resources
  1. contributing to the making of resources for use in class.
  2. assisting in displaying pupils’ work to its best advantage.
  3. ensuring that equipment such as books, dressing up clothes etc. are maintained in good order and undertaking simple routine repairs as necessary.
  4. preparing classrooms for lessons, including setting out and tidying away equipment and materials required each day.
  • Personal Care
  1. assisting children with feeding, toileting, changing clothes and cleaning up as necessary.
  • Assessments and Reports
  1. providing and contributing to oral and written assessments, reports and references relating to individual pupils and groups of pupils.
  2. being aware of the school policy concerning Child Protection and complying with its requirements concerning record keeping and reporting to the designated member of staff for child protection.
  • Appraisal, Training and Development
  • participating in any arrangements for the appraisal of your performance.
  • participating in arrangements for further training and professional development as a Teaching Assistant. 
  • Discipline, Health and Safety
  1. Following the school behaviour and discipline policy to maintain good order and discipline amongst pupils and safeguarding their health and safety, both when they are authorised to be on the school premises and when they are engaged in authorised school activities elsewhere.
  • Cover
  1. supervising and, so far as is practical, teaching (after first consulting a member of the teaching staff), any pupils whose teacher is not available to teach them, for the agreed period.
  • Administration
  1. participating in administrative and organisational tasks related to such duties as are described above.
  • Larks, Owls and Club Pelican
  1. taking a full part in the rota covering taking charge of Larks and Owls.
  2. being in sole charge of any Owls session allocated to you and also for Larks.
  3. ensuring that these facilities are suitably equipped for caring for those pupils who participate in the extended day and informing the Deputy Head of any shortcomings.
  4. covering for absent staff on the Larks and Owls rotas. (Where the member of staff is absent for a protracted period of time – deemed to be in excess of two weeks – there will be discussion with the Head about this cover).
  5. being available to work at Club Pelican which runs for a total of 7 weeks across the school holidays (for which the dates will be published well in advance). 
  • First Aid Training
  1. where relevant, keeping the qualifications held for First Aid active.
  2. if designated with this responsibility, ensuring that the First Aid boxes in school are kept properly equipped and informing the Headmistress of any major shortcomings which may become apparent from refresher courses or retraining.
  3. undertaking basic first aid for pupils. 


The successful candidate must have the following:


  • A passion for developing children’s learning whilst ensuring they are happy and feel secure
  • An eye for attention to detail
  • A relevant qualification, to at least Level 3, in childcare or playwork.
  • Good communication, organisational and interpersonal skills.
  • Empathy for pupils, staff and the community.
  • The ability to work effectively both as part of a team and also independently.
  • Flexibility and adaptability.
  • The ability to work collaboratively and supportively with colleagues within school, specialist advisors out of school and with parents.
  • The ability to manage commitments and deadlines.
  • ICT competence.
  • A healthy sense of humour, a ‘can do’ attitude and most importantly the flexibility needed to work successfully in a pre-prep school environment.


  • A relevant qualification up to Level 6.
  • A First Aid qualification, particularly in paediatrics.
  • Artistic flair to create displays and resources.
  • Commitment to continuing personal and professional development.


This job specification will be reviewed regularly and changes may be made by agreement with the Head.


Working Hours

This post is full time (37.5 hours per week) and normal working hours are Monday to Friday either 8am until 4pm or 8.15am until 4.15pm, 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 for before and after school clubs and Club Pelican. Additional payment will be made for this additional time.


The salary scale for Teaching Assistants is currently £14,515 – £19,434 per year which will be pro-rated for the duration of the maternity cover. 


Paid annual holiday entitlement is 6 weeks including Bank holidays per annum, which must be taken during School holidays. This will be pro-rated for the duration of the maternity cover.



Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the school prior to making an application. Please contact Mrs Marianne Hipperson, PA to the Headmistress, on 01223 403940 to arrange a convenient time. 


Applications must be made by completing our online Application for Employment Form available on the website. Please complete and return applications by the closing date of 10 October 2016 at midday.

Interviews are scheduled to take place during the 18 October 2016.

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

Downloads & Links

Calendar Site Search