The Perse School


Teaching Assistant
Closing date 21st Sep 2017, 2:00pm



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 are a dynamic school of around 150 pupils. There are around 40 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 School began life in 1911 as a boarding house and has retained its welcoming and homely feel while benefiting from sympathetic updates and extension.

For an overview of the benefits of working here, please see our reasons to work at The Perse,

The Role

The Perse Pelican School

The Perse Pelican School educates girls and boys from 3 – 7 years old. Most children join the School in Nursery and the vast majority progress to our Prep School in Year 3. There are around 150 children in the Pelican, with one member of staff to every eight children in Nursery and one to ten in all other years. Every class benefits from its own dedicated full-time time teaching assistant.

We have exceptional space and excellent facilities inside and out. We enjoy an extensive outside space including a garden framed by mature trees and cover to enable us to be outside whatever the weather.

The role of a Teaching Assistant

Each Teaching Assistant (TA) is allocated full-time to a single class. On occasions they may be asked to assist with cover in their own or another class in the event of staff absence. The year group with whom they will work may change from year to year.

All staff undertake a range of playground and lunch duties. There are also various out of hours school activities. A weekly before and after school club rota (Larks and Owls) operates from 8am to 5.30pm on several days a week. We also run a holiday club for 7 weeks a year. Additional payments are earned for these extra hours (see below). Staff typically work in Larks and Owls on 2 or 3 occasions per week.  Attendance at the holiday club is determined in discussion with staff: some staff like to spend more time at Club Pelican and others less, but staff are expected to attend several days each year at the least.

There are occasional evening and/or Saturday commitments throughout the year. As an integral part of the team our TAs are required to attend at such times.

We are committed to professional development so there are opportunities to develop practice and improve qualifications.  


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. Working under the direction of the class teacher to:
  • Support the children’s wellbeing and educational progress
  • Prepare resources for lessons
  • Teach pupils assigned to you and mark their work if required
  • Liaise with parents
  • Create stimulating, interactive displays
  • Ensure that all school resources are maintained in good order 

Attending meetings and events – when requested: 

  • Participate in planning meetings
  • Participate in all duty rotas
  • Attend assemblies and any school functions or events
  • Attend weekly staff meetings

Personal Care

  • To assist children with eating, toileting, changing clothes and cleaning up as necessary

School Policies

  • To read and comply with all school policies.

Appraisal, Training and Development

  • Participate in arrangements for the appraisal of your performance and to attend professional development courses when required. 

Discipline, Health and Safety

  • To follow the school behaviour and discipline policy and take all steps to safeguard children’s health and safety, both when on the school premises or when on school trips.


  • Supervise and when appropriate, teach (after first consulting a member of the teaching staff), any pupils whose teacher is not available to teach them for the agreed period.


Participate in administrative and organisational tasks related to such duties as are described above.

Larks, Owls and Club Pelican

  1. Take a full part in the rota covering Larks and Owls (before and after school).
  2. Being willing and able to be in sole charge of any Larks or Owls session allocated to you.
  3. Ensure that Larks and Owls facilities are suitably equipped for caring for pupils who participate in the extended day and informing the Deputy Head of any shortcomings.
  4. Cover for absent staff on the Larks and Owls rotas.
  5. Be available to work at Club Pelican (holiday club) weeks (for which the dates will be published well in advance). 

First Aid Training

  1. Keep paediatric first aid qualifications current.
  2. Undertake basic first aid for pupils.


The successful candidate must have the following:


  • A relevant qualification, to at least Level 3, in childcare or playwork
  • A positive outlook, energy and enthusiasm
  • 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 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

The core role is for a full-time (37.5 hour) week for 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 or Summer term each academic year.

Normal working hours are Monday to Friday and either from 8.00 am – 4.00pm with a half hour unpaid lunch break.


The salary scale for Teaching Assistants is currently £14,907 – £19,958 per year, which has been pro-rated for 41 weeks (term time plus 6 weeks holiday, based on the full time equivalent salary of £18,906 – £25,312 per year). This is paid in 12 equal instalments throughout the year.

Club Pelican is paid at £102.50 per day. The before and after school care rota is paid at £18.40 per hour for work outside contracted hours. 


Paid holiday entitlement is 6 weeks including Bank holidays per annum, which must be taken during School holidays. This is included in the salary (above).

The School is keen to help develop the skills of its staff and seek to provide appropriate training as necessary.



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.

Closing date 2pm on 21st September 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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