HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics

HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
Candidate information brochure
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
The Downs Preparatory School is a leading
independent, co-educational preparatory
school and nursery for children aged between
six months and 13. It is a place of happiness
and joy; a place of opportunity and diversity;
a place of endeavour and aspiration. A close
community, children are fully known as
individuals and the school can identify the
spark that lights their passion for learning.
The Downs Preparatory School was founded
in 1894 in a house overlooking the extensive
parklands of Bristol, known as The Downs. In
1927 it was relocated, according to Mr Wilfred
Harrison, the Headmaster of the time, to get
away from the ‘incessant roar of traffic’ and
the ‘nerve-racking turmoil of the city’. It was
moved across the Clifton Suspension Bridge
to Charlton House on the Tyntesfield Estate. In
the autumn of 2002, the school and parklands
were bought from the estate of Lord Wraxall by
the charity that owns and operates the school.
Today, at the end of a meandering drive,
distanced from the turmoil of urban life,
approximately 280 children thrive in the
beautiful 60-acre estate of The Downs
Preparatory School (The Downs). The school
is centred around an imposing Victorian
House. In recent years there has been
extensive investment in the built environment
and the school now enjoys extensive, well-
maintained facilities.
The Downs children are challenged but
nurtured in all aspects of their busy school life.
The school’s primary aim is to encourage each
Charltonian (current pupil) to be a confident,
well-rounded individual who will unreservedly
embrace qualities such as respect, kindness
and courage.
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
Appointment                                       Aims & Ethos
Context                                           The Downs children enjoy a vibrant education
                                                  that is stimulating and challenging. Academic
                                                  study is important and all pupils are expected
After 18 years of dedicated service as
                                                  to adopt a healthy work ethic and achieve
Headmaster, Marcus Gunn is retiring. Much
                                                  high standards, but the school believes in
has been achieved under his leadership and
                                                  celebrating the creative, the physical and
he and his wife Valerie are leaving a happy
                                                  the spiritual as much as the intellectual.
school with a well-deserved reputation for
                                                  Experience shows that those who derive
being one of the top independent prep schools
                                                  pleasure from activities outside the classroom
in the country.
                                                  go on to perform exceptionally well in
The new Head must be able to lead, challenge      academic work.
and inspire both staff and children whilst
                                                  The school states, ‘We want our pupils to
building unshakeable confidence with parents.
                                                  enjoy their childhood in a safe and beautiful
They will need to have vision, warmth and
                                                  environment, away from the pressures
charisma. They will embrace a child-centred
                                                  of modern youth. We expect them to
approach to every decision and appreciate
                                                  demonstrate consideration, humility and good
the privilege it is to be entrusted with the
                                                  grace. While our children may perceive they
responsibility of making every day for the
                                                  have options, in reality they are obliged to
children memorable and enjoyable. It is
                                                  engage wholeheartedly in the multitude of
important that the new Head works closely
                                                  opportunities presented.’
with the staff, embracing collaboration and
collegiality. One of the key priorities is to     Character at The Downs is shaped over
ensure the provision of exceptional teaching      time by strong traditional values. By
and academic excellence whilst maintaining        consistent repetition of these expectations,
the all-round ethos of the school.                happy, accomplished, civilised young adults
                                                  are nurtured.
The Downs is unique at least in the locality.
To state the obvious, it is an independent prep   Childhood is cherished. Children are
school, it has no strings; the pupils go on to    encouraged to be imaginative in their learning
many different senior schools. The Downs          and playing and to make the most of the
community is also very close and very happy       wonderful park and woodland. They wear
and there is huge respect for all members of      wellies, climb trees and make dens. They
the community. The children are constantly        make elaborate daisy-chains, delight in playing
challenged and encouraged to reach their          conkers and relish bush-craft cooking. The
individual potential but in the knowledge that    sophisticated world of mobile devices and
they have considerable support. The new           adolescence remains at the front entrance for
Head must therefore be sympathetic to this        later life.
context. Outstanding interpersonal skills will    The aims of the school go on to state, ‘Within
be essential.                                     this wholesome environment we seek to
A wonderful opportunity exists for the next       nurture unaffected good manners, and we
Head of The Downs. This is a thoroughly           applaud the qualities of friendship, gentleness
ambitious and forward-thinking school but,        and tolerance. We have high regard for
above all, it is a school in which the child      individuality, we endorse aspiration and we
remains very much the central focus.              celebrate success. Quality of character is
                                                  considered as important as achievement.’
A highly competitive remuneration package,
including exceptional on-site family
accommodation, will be offered.
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
The Estate                                          Unusually within the school, Coachman’s
                                                    Cottage serves as a café for parents,
                                                    something much appreciated by many. The
It is difficult to believe that the bustling,       attractive dining room stands at the centre of
cultured city of Bristol is only five miles away    the school and indeed the excellent food is fit
from the tranquil grounds of The Downs.             for any army. This summer the kitchen is to be
At the end of the long drive, ignorant of the       refurbished and plans exist to also improve the
distractions of the inner city and within a         dining furniture.
mobile-free zone, children are able to safely
                                                    Excitingly there has been considerable
enjoy their childhood within a stunning
                                                    investment in The Downs over the last decade.
park and woodland setting. The views are
                                                    Most recently the new nursery, Bertie’s, was
awe-inspiring and the fresh air fresh! It is a
                                                    opened, but there remains appetite to
wonderful landscape within which to educate
                                                    continue developing the school, not least
children, the key being to use it to the
                                                    because standing still in a competitive market
children’s best advantage. In this regard the
                                                    is not an option.
beautiful Tree House – an outdoor classroom
– Pets Corner and the allotments are integral
aspects of the school’s educational provision,
the extensive, well-resourced playing areas
being to the delight of the children.
All sports are provided for on-site, although
the pool being outdoors requires the younger
children to swim at a local pool in the winter.
The Sports Hall is expansive, the two astro
pitches ideal sizes for prep school children
and the games fields large enough to
accommodate large tournaments, be they
cricket or rugby, which are done regularly.
The performing and creative arts are also
extremely well catered for. Modern Music
Pods are used for teaching but in fact music is
taught and heard throughout the school. The
200-seater theatre is always in use, but the
Drama Studio and
the Dance Studio provide room for further
teaching. The Art Department is extensive
– two large teaching rooms and a ceramics
room. It affords opportunity of all genres.
The classrooms are large, light, airy and
resourced with the latest teaching and learning
technology. One traditional IT Suite remains;
the other now takes the shape of a Learning
Lab that nicely facilitates independent learning.
The two Science Labs are well equipped, the
elegant library is well resourced, and the Staff
Common Room is unusually comfortable.
Children who benefit from Learning Support
attend a smart department, the staff highly
qualified in various aspects of support.
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
School Structure                                    Pre-Prep
                                                    Children join the Pre-Prep at the age of four.
There are approximately 280 children at The         They spend four years in this particularly
Downs and 72 younger children at Bertie’s.          happy and caring setting, being encouraged
Children are admitted to The Downs on the           to learn in a safe and secure atmosphere. The
strength of interview and discreet evaluation.      unique rural environment affords imaginative
The school is non-selective academically but        and purposeful play, where children can have
there are basic academic requirements for           direct access to the large and varied school
entry to ensure that new children are capable       grounds. The school’s nurturing style ensures
of meeting ongoing academic standards and           that each individual is taken forward from their
that the school has suitable structures to          starting point, challenged and excited in their
cater for them educationally. The Pre-Prep          learning journey. The enriching curriculum
Department is largely independent of the Prep       provides children with a strong social and
School, although the young children benefit         academic foundation from which they gain
from all the school’s extensive facilities. As      confidence and self-esteem, the essential
the children move to The Downs there are two        building blocks for their future education.
forms in each year group, with a maximum of
eighteen in each class.
                                                    Prep School
Bertie’s                                            The Prep School expands on the excellent
                                                    grounding of the Pre-Prep. It offers a broad,
Bertie’s, named after the Headmaster’s dog,         diverse curriculum that seeks to develop
is the school’s nursery that stands on the drive    each child’s strengths and interests while
800 metres from the school. It is a beautiful       simultaneously preparing them for senior
facility set within its own considerable grounds,   school entry. The Common Entrance Syllabus
across from the farm on the opposite side           enables the pupils to approach 13+ senior
of the drive. Children aged six months to           school entry exams with confidence, be they
four attend and demand is great; it opened          scholarship, Common Entrance or Bristol
in January 2018 and already 75 families             schools. Many also take scholarships in
attend. There is an active, direct link between     drama, art, music and sport. The preparation
Bertie’s and The Downs and its introduction         for 13+ exams begins in Year 6 but Years 7
has certainly enhanced recruitment into the         and 8 are in many ways the essence of an
Reception Year at the Prep School.                  education at The Downs. At this point the
                                                    pupils begin to reach the ‘top of a small pile’,
                                                    an experience that comes much later in most
                                                    schools. The benefit of greater independence,
                                                    responsibility and according privilege at this
                                                    vital stage is immeasurable and the resulting
                                                    confidence is tangible.
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
Results                                                There is continual communication between
                                                       each of these teams and the Headmaster, as
                                                       well as amongst the teams themselves. The
& Destination                                          teams provide excellent support and counsel
                                                       to the Headmaster; indeed, there are three ISI
                                                       inspectors at The Downs.
Pupils move on from The Downs at thirteen to
a variety of prestigious senior schools. Much
time is taken with parents to carefully identify the
schools most suitable for their children, advice
being entirely impartial given the independent
status of The Downs. The process is evidently
successful given that, almost without exception,
pupils successfully pass into the school of
their first choice. Most recently these have
included local schools such as Clifton College,
Badminton, QEH and BGS. More widely, pupils
have moved onto Winchester, Eton, Cheltenham
Ladies’ College and Sherborne. The school
takes pride that many of the Year 8 leavers
are awarded scholarships; however, such
accolades are not purposefully sought as they
do not ‘hot house’ for results. It is nevertheless
gratifying that, over the last decade, 50% have
been moved on with an award, indeed on a
number of occasions a full house has been
achieved: academic, music, art, drama and sport
scholarships. There can be little more a school
can do to provide evidence of genuine breadth.

& Organisation
The Leadership Team consists of the
Headmaster, the Bursar, the Head of the Pre-
Prep and Bertie’s, and two Assistant Heads. The
team meets formally each week and informally
almost daily. The excellent Curriculum Group
includes four experienced senior members of
staff, each taking a responsibility for an aspect of
the curriculum such as reporting, recording and
curriculum planning. The Pastoral Care Group is
a more recent and highly valued addition to the
team. One of the Assistant Heads chairs each
of these groups. At Bertie’s, two Deputy Heads
assist the Head of the Pre-Prep and Bertie’s. The
Bursar also leads an Estates Team that includes
the Facilities Manager.
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
Learning to Learn                                  Carefully chosen, differentiated activities
                                                   rapidly develop their varied abilities. As they
                                                   approach Year 1 more formality is introduced
All the children at The Downs are expected to      into their learning, ready for the challenge of
achieve high academic standards. They are          the later Pre-Prep years. Teaching in Years 1
encouraged to be aspirational and they are         to 3 is largely class-based although French,
coaxed to develop impressive work ethics that      Music, Dance, PE and Information Technology
serve them well for future years.                  are taught by specialists. The transition to
Learning is extremely well resourced. The          Year 4, or the Prep School, is seamless, as
balance between the use of modern technology       class-based teaching continues. As children
and more traditional methods is carefully and      enter Year 5, however, a senior school model is
constantly evaluated to ensure learning is         introduced and children move round the school
as effective and engaging as possible. For         to the various subject departments. All the
the younger children the immediate outdoor         Prep School teachers are subject specialists,
environment is a unique, invaluable resource       most having taught GCSE and A level in the
to extend learning out of the classroom and        independent sector.
beyond the syllabus. The Pre-Prep children
make the most of the sites in the cultured city
of Bristol; music groups and sports teams enjoy
short tours all over the country while the older
pupils develop their cultural appreciation and
linguistic skills during annual trips to France
and Spain.
                                                   through Diversity
                                                   Children find recognition in a host of ways.
                                                   Pursuing an interest offers satisfaction in itself

Teaching                                           but, by pushing for the highest standards,
                                                   children find fulfilment and confidence.
                                                   Although attention is focused on realising the
The Downs is committed to high-quality             intellectual potential of each child, the school
teaching. Teachers are deeply enthusiastic         believes this is best achieved by embracing
about their subject areas and they provide a       the benefits brought by enriching experiences.
rich learning experience for the children. They
value traditional teaching methods, which they     The youngest children are cheerfully
employ with skill and enthusiasm, but they also    cajoled into making the most of the diverse
embrace new technologies wisely. Nothing is        opportunities provided by the school. They
too much for them; careful consideration is        are guarded against becoming specialist
made to provide for the full range of abilities,   sportsmen, musicians or lead characters;
some children being helped in their work by        rather, rugby players are encouraged to
the Learning Support Department.                   sing with distinction in the Chamber Choir,
                                                   saxophonists to act with conviction in the
The academic curriculum is exciting and            numerous school productions and leading
reflects the independent nature of the school.     characters to create brilliant works of art.
It broadens the children’s knowledge and
encourages higher-order thinking skills of         Within this environment, children become
assessment, evaluation and creative thinking.      rounded individuals who value the difference of
It prepares pupils extremely well for 13+ senior   others. They learn to conduct themselves with
school exams.                                      confidence in contrast to arrogance. Above all,
                                                   they develop a sense of integrity so that they
Children entering the Reception Year are           can identify right from wrong and stand up for
expertly introduced to learning through            the values they have grown to embrace.
play-based activities.
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
& Enrichment
Sport is an integral part of each child’s
development at The Downs. The school
understands the enormous benefit of sporting
involvement; the willingness to commit
wholeheartedly to a contest, the challenge of
handling victory and defeat, the disciplines
of training and the opportunities to represent
others. Sport is not just about physical
aptitude; it develops the whole person.
Sport is genuinely ‘for all’ at The Downs,
where they seek to inspire the elite and the
apprentice. The school wants all its pupils to
enjoy physical exertion and maintain a healthy
lifestyle. Theirs is a philosophy of inclusion;
there is a team for everyone, all of the children
represent The Downs Preparatory School.
They are nevertheless proud to be renowned
for excellence on the sports fields.
Teams play in the ‘premier league’ and the
impressive results of all the teams speak for
themselves. They have regularly won the
national rugby sevens title but, importantly,
teams in various other sports - hockey, netball,
riding - regularly compete at a similar level.
Matches are enthusiastically attended by
numerous supporters. They take place most
Wednesdays and some Saturdays. For those
children who genuinely do not like games,
the Downs Award scheme provides a popular
alternative of activities such as caving,
climbing and bush-craft.
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
Nurturing                                            Music at The Downs is for all – whether they
                                                     are expert or not – and is deeply embedded
                                                     in the heart of the school. The large majority
Creativity                                           of the pupils study a musical instrument
                                                     and there exist numerous opportunities to
                                                     play regularly with a variety of ensembles or
The performing and creative arts are central
                                                     bands. The school encourages and caters for
to the school’s rich culture; every pupil is
                                                     all styles of music and constantly provides
involved in the imaginative and dynamic arts
                                                     performance opportunities, be they informal at
programme. Many opportunities are provided,
                                                     such school events as the Battle of the Bands
both formal and informal, for children to
                                                     or formal at such venues as St George’s
perform and regularly showcase their learning
                                                     Chapel, Windsor and Bristol Cathedral. The
and talents in drama, music, art and dance.
                                                     quality of musicianship is high, but the singing
The standards are very high, and this has
                                                     is outstanding. There are seven choirs, it being
necessitated the development of excellent
                                                     compulsory in the Prep School. The wonderful
facilities: an impressive theatre, new Music
                                                     Chamber Choir has for several years been in
School and Dance Studio.
                                                     the final of the Choir of the Year Competition.
The expansive Art Department is a wonderful          The unusually high level of participation
space in which children cannot help but be           has made it necessary over recent years to
inspired. Their work on display around the           steadily increase facilities.
school is extremely impressive. The emphasis
                                                     Speech and Drama is very popular at
is on the teaching and acquisition of the
                                                     The Downs. Over half the children attend
fundamental skills of drawing and painting, but
                                                     peripatetic lessons and enter formal exams
these are complemented by opportunities to
                                                     and local art festivals with great success.
learn pottery, ceramics, print making, sculpture
                                                     While these lessons take place in the drama
and textiles. Excellent instruction in traditional
                                                     studio, the theatre is the home of drama at
woodwork is also given by a cabinet maker.
                                                     The Downs. This excellent venue provides the
Visits are made to the studios of local artists
                                                     space for all children to be involved in at least
and pupils are introduced to the works of the
                                                     one production each year and for older pupils
‘masters’ each week, both modern and old.
                                                     to develop their interest in theatre technology.
                                                     Recent productions have included ‘Macbeth’,
                                                     ‘Archie’s War’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’. The level
                                                     of performance is unusually convincing, some
                                                     pupils also regularly taking part in professional
                                                     productions and attending local theatre group
                                                     companies such as The Old Vic, Bristol.
                                                     Indeed, the school is about to develop a direct
                                                     link with the Old Vic that will mean the children
                                                     experience the best coaching possible.
                                                     Dance has featured at The Downs for many
                                                     years but recently there has been a significant
                                                     increase in the range and ambition of dance
                                                     activities. A new studio has helped to facilitate
                                                     and develop this interest and teachers are
                                                     pleased to provide lessons in such styles as
                                                     ballet, hip-hop, street dance and jazz for
                                                     the more ambitious. Exam results are
                                                     impressive and public performance
                                                     opportunities are regular.
HEAD Candidate information brochure - RSAcademics
Care & Support                                         Further afield, active and constructive
                                                       relations are enjoyed with international schools
                                                       and charities.
To nurture a child’s full potential, it is necessary
                                                       The values at the heart of the school are
to know and understand them as individuals. For
                                                       Christian principles. This spirituality provides the
this reason, each child at The Downs is placed
                                                       backbone of the community, but the school is
in the midst of a network of exceptional pastoral
                                                       nevertheless very pleased to embrace children
care. An unusual amount of time is spent
                                                       from other denominations.
getting to know the children and their families
even before they join the school. Once they are
members of the community, the school seeks a
close partnership with parents, based on shared
values and expectations in the development of
each child.
Younger children develop under the close
attention of their class teachers. The older
children benefit additionally from having Tutors
with whom they meet at least once a week. The
Matrons are also vital members of this strong
pastoral network, more often acting as friend and
supporter than medic. A counsellor also visits the
school each week to provide Myspace, a drop in
service, or specific guidance.
The Pastoral Care Group coordinates all the
pastoral care processes and policies in order
that there is excellent communication within the
community. Within this caring network each child
is assured of generous care and support as they
negotiate the inevitable social, emotional and
academic challenges associated with school life.

The warmth of community is a distinguishing
feature of The Downs. It is a happy place; a
wonderful, close, supportive community, full of
goodwill. It is the school’s duty to know each
child very well and to embrace parents in
partnership to educate their children.
As such, the school is mindful of its good fortune;
service to others has always been important.
They work particularly closely with and for their
neighbours, the Children’s Hospice South West,
and support other local charities.
Inspection                                    Governance
The School underwent an Educational Quality   The new Head will be supported by an
and Focused Compliance Inspection in          outstanding Board of Governors who all take
September 2017. A copy of the report can be   a strong interest in the school and who are
found here.                                   all immensely committed to its success. The
                                              Governors have a wide range of experiences
                                              and skills; indeed they have exceptional insight
                                              into the independent sector. Simultaneously they
                                              have an excellent understanding of the day-to-
                                              day working of the school.
                                              A number of committees meet termly and report
                                              into the main Board Meetings. These include the
                                              Bursary Finance, Risk and Regulation, Health
                                              and Safety, Strategy, Nursery and Remuneration
                                              Committees. Papers for the Board are well
                                              prepared and distributed in a timely fashion by
                                              the Bursar. Meetings are focused and open and
                                              minutes ensure clarity on decisions
                                              and responsibilities.
                                              Reporting directly to the Chair of Governors,
                                              the new Head will ensure that the school
                                              successfully fulfils its aims whilst running
                                              smoothly, efficiently and compliantly. They will
                                              also work closely with the Strategy Committee to
                                              realise the collaborative vision of the school.

                                              The Chairman of Governors summarises the
                                              school’s financial situation as follows:
                                              Finances have been managed prudently and
                                              robustly with continuous attention to cost control.
                                              The tight financial control has allowed the school
                                              to confidently keep fee increases below the
                                              national average over the last decade, whilst
                                              the Finance Committee has regularly reviewed
                                              the sustainability of the fee structure. The school
                                              has a history of generating healthy surpluses
                                              and has access to sufficient cash and funding
                                              to allow the continuation of a number of existing
                                              and the consideration of other new initiatives.
                                              This said, the current financial, economic and
                                              political context of the sector will require prudent
                                              financial management over the next few years.
Job Description                                          Strategy                                            • Demonstrate appropriate levels of
                                                                                                               self-confidence whilst inspiring confidence
                                                         • Provide and articulate, in conjunction with the     in others.
The Head is accountable for the leadership and             Governors, a compelling vision and viable,        • Provide transparency, integrity and fairness to
management of the Preparatory, Pre-Preparatory             medium to long-term strategic Development           deal sensitively with conflict.
and the recently launched Nursery called Bertie’s          Plan, comprising the key aspects of education,    • Continue to drive, motivate and instil
(the school). In close collaboration with the              finance and development of the school.              energy, innovation and enthusiasm throughout
Governors and Senior Leadership Team, the                                                                      the school.
                                                         • Provide collaborative leadership in discussions
HM will drive the ambition, future vision and
                                                           with the teachers and staff, Strategy             • Drive progressively higher levels of
strategic direction of the school in an educational
                                                           Committee and Governors on matters relating         performance of the staff by ensuring that
environment going through significant change.
                                                           to strategy.                                        there is a clear understanding of the school’s
Benefitting from its 125-year history and very           • Predict, react and adapt to changes in the          expectations whilst monitoring, measuring
strong links with the Bristol and South West of            educational, financial, economic and political      and providing feedback, training, personal
England community, the Head will leverage the              landscape to ensure the future wellbeing of         and professional development or corrective
successes and learnings of the past and forge a            the pupils of today and of the future.              measures where necessary.
way forward to ensure that the school continues          • Ensure the Development Plan is under
to lead by example and continues to provide a
pre-eminent learning environment for its students
                                                           regular review with the Governors and ensure      Quality of Education
                                                           that a programme for the monitoring and
across a wide variety of subjects and activities.          review of all school policies and practices is    & Environment
Critical to the success of the role will be: strategy,     kept up-to-date.
leadership & people management, quality                                                                      • Ensure that the ethos, environment and culture
of education & environment, recruitment &
retention, regulatory compliance, finance, estate
                                                         Leadership & People                                   of the school is supported by the necessary
                                                                                                               resources and expertise to enable pupils to
management, marketing and communications.                Management                                            realise their ambitions across a broad
                                                                                                               spectrum of academic, musical, theatrical and
The role of the Downs School Head is itemised                                                                  sporting activities.
                                                         • Provide strong and inspiring leadership to
in more detail below:                                                                                        • Provide the quality, content and timely delivery
                                                           both staff and pupils to achieve the highest
                                                           standards in all aspects of the education           of the very best curriculum that takes into
Role title: Head                                           provided in and out of the classroom.               consideration the latest educational initiatives
                                                         • Demonstrate the attributes and characteristics      and innovations in order to best prepare
                                                           of an individual who, through leading by            individual pupils for their respective secondary
Line Manager: Board of Governors                           example and setting the standards, can              school futures.
                                                           command respect.                                  • Monitor and evaluate pupils’ progress
Line Management:                                         • Develop and maintain strong and positive            not least through assessment data and
                                                           relationships with the Governors and                implement adjustments to improve their
Directly (currently): Bursar, Head of                      Senior Management Team by effectively               academic performance.
Pre-Prep and Bertie’s, Assistant Head (Prep                communicating with and responding to them,        • Safeguard and promote the welfare of the
and Pastoral Care), Assistant Head (Pre-Prep               highlighting the needs and challenges whilst        staff and pupils.
and Curriculum) and the Marketing Officer                  providing ways and means to meet and              • Demonstrate a passionate commitment to the
                                                           exceed them.                                        academic, personal and social development
Committee Membership:                                    • Achieve a strong and effective working              of the pupils based on a thorough
                                                           relationship with all stakeholders by               understanding of and empathy with their
Bursary, Education, Finance, Health                        deploying an open, participative, collegiate        needs and concerns.
& Safety, Nursery, Remuneration, Risk                      style with an inclusive and empowering            • Ensure that the school listens, learns and
& Regulatory, Strategy                                     approach to management.                             adapts to changes in pupil needs, parental
                                                         • Build trust and foster team spirit in order to      input, staff feedback, Governor advice and
                                                           unlock the true potential of the staff and          external information sources specifically in
                                                           pupils alike.                                       areas such as Safeguarding, Wellbeing and
                                                                                                               secondary school consideration.
• Ensure that civility, confidence, curiosity      • Provide knowledgeable leadership to ensure       • Ensure that the school listens, learns and
  and good manners form the cornerstone of the       that the school is entirely compliant. This        adapts to changes in pupil needs, parental
  school’s pursuit of excellence amongst the         will necessitate a strong understanding of         input, staff feedback, Governor advice and
  pupil population.                                  Ofsted and ISI regulatory compliance.              external information sources specifically in
• Provide leadership in discussions with           • Mindful that the school aims to achieve            areas such as facilities and resources.
  staff, the Education Committee and                 way beyond compliance, regularly highlight       • Provide leadership in discussions with the
  Governors on matters relating to education         tasks to senior members of staff that need         staff, Finance, Strategy, Risk & Regulatory
  and best practice.                                 to be achieved in order to at least comply         Committee and Governors on matters
• Retain the Christian values at the heart of        with regulation.                                   relating to Estate Management.
  the school whilst embracing children from        • Lead a range of administrative staff in order
  other denominations.                               to ensure that all school polices are up to
                                                     date and regularly reviewed.
                                                                                                      Marketing &
Recruitment &                                      • Thoroughly monitor and evaluate the entire       Communications
                                                     process of compliance.
Retention                                          • Provide leadership in discussions with
                                                                                                      • Position the school effectively, utilise
                                                                                                        multi-media channels and drive positive
                                                     staff, the Risk & Regulatory Committee and
• Ensure that the process of marketing                                                                  word of mouth recommendations and
                                                     Governors on matters relating to regulation
  and sales is as efficient and successful                                                              family referrals.
                                                     and compliance.
  as possible. This will include generating                                                           • Continually monitor market trends and
  creative marketing strategies based on an
  awareness of the activities of other schools,    Finance                                              parent, staff and Governor feedback to
                                                                                                        ensure the school’s brand and proposition is
  guiding staff as to exceptional customer care                                                         accurate and compelling.
                                                   • Work closely with the Bursar to ensure that
  and perceptively looking after the needs of                                                         • Communicate and network regularly
                                                     the school has accurate forecasting and
  prospective parents over a lengthy period                                                             and effectively with all sections of the
                                                     that budgets are met, funds are expended
  of time.                                                                                              school community, especially pupils,
                                                     wisely and productively and that the school’s
• Ensure that the school attracts, recruits,                                                            parents, Governors, other schools and the
                                                     finances remain in good order.
  retains and develops the appropriate                                                                  local community.
                                                   • Collaborate closely with the Bursar to
  number of pupils from a wide diversity of                                                           • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal
                                                     ensure accurate and timely monthly
  backgrounds to fulfil its ambitions within the                                                        and communication skills through the
                                                     management accounts and achievement of
  limitations of the facilities, resources and                                                          written word, one-to-one/group
                                                     year end accounting and audits.
  budgets available.                                                                                    conversations, public speaking and social/
                                                   • Through the Bursar and Finance committee,
• Recruit, retain and develop high-quality                                                              networking events.
                                                     ensure that there is close scrutiny on cash
  teaching and operational/administrative staff                                                       • Uphold the reputation for strong customer
                                                     management and capital expenditure.
  members to ensure the school is able to                                                               care by being an appropriately available and
  deliver on its ambitious plans.                  • Provide leadership in discussions with the
                                                                                                        omnipotent ambassador and representative
                                                     Bursar and Governors on matters relating to
• Provide leadership in discussions with the                                                            of the school.
                                                     public benefit and the provision of bursaries.
  staff, Development, Finance, Strategy,                                                              • Develop parents and colleagues into
  Bursary, Risk & Regulatory Committee and                                                              advocates and drive the promotion and
  Governors on matters relating to recruitment     Estate Management                                    selling of the school to prospective parents.
  and retention of pupils and staff.                                                                  • Provide leadership in discussions with the
                                                   • Propose and drive forward the programme
                                                                                                        staff and all of the committees on matters
Regulatory                                           of capital development and material
                                                     improvements as discussed with the
                                                                                                        relating to marketing and communication.

Compliance                                           Strategy Committee and agreed by the
                                                     Finance Committee.
• Thoroughly prepare and guide the school          • Ensure the school’s infrastructure is
  through ISI and Ofsted Inspections.                maintained adequately, fit for purpose and in
                                                     line with Health and Safety standards.
Person                                             Experience                                         Desirable: The skills that would enable
                                                                                                      the applicant to perform effectively in the role:

Specification                                      Essential: The categories of work or
                                                   organisations, types of achievements and
                                                                                                      • Proficiency and enthusiasm to contribute
                                                                                                        towards games coaching
                                                   activities that would be likely to predict         • Proficiency and willingness to
The school is committed to safeguarding and        success in the role.                                 contribute towards the Creative Arts - music,
promoting the welfare of children and young
                                                   • Previous experience of being a Headmaster          art, drama
people and expects all staff and volunteers to
share this commitment.                               of a preparatory school
                                                   • Previous experience of being a Deputy            Method of Assessment
Essential: These are qualities                       Head of a preparatory or secondary school        • Contents of the application form
without which the applicant could not              • Previous experience of being a Head of           • Interview
be appointed.                                        House at a larger preparatory or                 • Professional references
                                                     secondary school
Desirable: These are extra                         Desirable: The categories of work or               Knowledge
qualities which can be used to choose
                                                   organisations, types of achievements and
between applicants who meet all of the
essential criteria.
                                                   activities that would be likely to contribute to   Essential: The knowledge required by the
                                                   success in the role.                               applicant to perform effectively in the role:
                                                   • Proven success at organising a major event
Qualifications                                     • Proven success at dealing with people
                                                                                                      • Knowledge of traditional values
                                                                                                      • Knowledge of high expectations in a
                                                                                                        prep school
Essential: The professional, technical             Method of assessment                               • Knowledge of parent expectations
or academic qualifications that the applicant                                                         • Knowledge, understanding and appreciation
must have to undertake the role or the training    • Contents of the application form
                                                                                                        of superior customer care
that they must have received:                      • Interview
                                                   • Professional references
• A good teaching qualification – Bachelor of                                                         Desirable: The knowledge that would
  Education or PGCE.                                                                                  enable the applicant to perform effectively in
                                                   Skills                                             the role:
Desirable: The professional, technical                                                                • Knowledge of PIPs, INCas and MIDyis -
or academic qualifications that the applicant      Essential: The skills required by the                standardised assessment tools
would ideally have to undertake the role or the    applicant to perform effectively in the role.
                                                                                                      • Knowledge and understanding of Key
training that they should ideally have received.
                                                   • Proven track record of excellent teaching          Stages 1 & 2
• A Master’s degree                                • Strong commercial understanding of the           • Knowledge and understanding of Common
• A graduate degree in a subject that can be         mechanics of an educational establishment          Entrance and Scholarship
  used constructively in teaching and learning     • Proven track record of promoting,
• A degree that pertains to management               positioning and selling a school’s proposition   Method of Assessment
• Secondary qualified                                to a broad cross-section of the community
                                                                                                      • Contents of the application form
• A First Aid qualification                        • Ability to attain and maintain high standards
                                                     of discipline                                    • Interview
• A Life Guard qualification                                                                          • Professional references
• Any sports coaching qualifications               • Computer literacy - be able to use the
                                                     school MIS that is Sims
• Mini Driving Test
                                                   • Collaborative leadership skills
Method of Assessment                               • Proven customer service skills

Production of the applicant’s certificates
Personal Competencies
& Qualities
Essential: The personal qualities that
the applicant requires to perform effectively in
the role.
•   Passion for The Downs
•   Honesty, reliability and transparency
•   Loyalty, integrity
•   High personal standards of appearance,
    behaviour and punctuality
•   An ability to embrace and drive change
•   Positive attitude to use of authority and
    maintaining discipline
•   A willingness to reflect on personal practice
•   The ability to work effectively within a team

Desirable: The personal qualities
that would assist the applicant to perform
effectively in the role.
• A good sense of humour and a
  cheerful disposition - create a little fun
  and weirdness!
• A positive outlook - a view of optimism
• Enthusiasm and commitment
• Tolerance and patience
• Perseverance and determination
• Humility
• Kindness, sensitivity and caring

Method of Assessment
• Contents of the application form
• Interview
• Professional references

& Welfare
Essential: Ability to form and maintain
appropriate relationships and personal
boundaries with children and young people
Terms &                                              General notes:
                                                     • A highly competitive remuneration package
                                                       is available, with a salary commensurate with
                                                       the seniority of the post and the experience
The Governors are prepared to offer an                 of the successful candidate. The Governors
attractive and competitive salary to secure the        review the salary annually, effective from
best candidate.                                        1st September
                                                     • Family accommodation is available on-site
A formal contract, detailing terms and conditions,
will be drawn up on appointment. The following       • There is a generous discount on fees for the
notes provide guidance, without prejudice, on the      Head’s children as pupils at the school, which
likely main provisions.                                is currently not a taxable benefit
                                                     • The school is currently part of the
                                                       Government’s Teachers’ Pension Scheme
                                                     • The Head’s performance will be subject to a
                                                       regular review
                                                     • The school will be supportive, whenever
                                                       possible, of external professional activities
                                                       such as examining, committee membership
                                                       and professional body activities, as agreed
                                                       with the Governors. The school is a member
                                                       of the ISBA and AGBIS and the current Head
                                                       is a member of the IAPS
                                                     • Applicants must be willing to undergo child
                                                       protection screening appropriate to the post,
                                                       including checks with past employers and the
                                                       Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Full
                                                       details are given on the application form
                                                     • Longlisted candidates will be asked to
                                                       undertake identity and qualification checks
                                                       which conform to the school’s safeguarding
                                                       policy. They must also agree to references
                                                       being taken up at that stage and checks
                                                       made with past employers
                                                     • The successful applicant will be
                                                       required to complete a self-disclosure
                                                       Medical Questionnaire
                                                     • The appointment is subject to satisfactory
                                                       references, clearance from the DBS,
                                                       proof of identity and qualifications and a
                                                       medical report
Application Process
Interested candidates are invited to contact
RSAcademics, by email or telephone, to arrange
a confidential discussion with Angela Short who
is leading the search or Charlotte Faber, the
Senior Advisor handling this appointment:

Angela Short
07786 13419
Charlotte Faber
07769 740479

The deadline for receipt of applications is
10.00am on Tuesday 4th June 2019.
Candidates should complete their application
form electronically and email it to RSAcademics
Ltd, together with a covering letter addressed to
the Chairman of Governors, Mr Mark Burchfield,
which explains their reasons for applying. There
is no need to submit a separate CV.
Please email your completed application form
and covering letter (both as PDF files please)
to our Project Coordinator, Jonathan Barnes,
at: applications@rsacademics.com
Jonathan can also be reached by calling our
Head Office on 01858 467449.
The process is as follows:
• All applications will be acknowledged by email.
  If you have not received acknowledgement
  that your application has been received within
  two working days of sending it, please contact
  our Head Office by telephone.
• Selected candidates will be invited to a
  preliminary interview with Charlotte Faber        Founded in 2002 by Russell Speirs, RSAcademics
  and Angela Short of RSAcademics Ltd in            specialises in schools, in the UK and
  central London on either Wednesday 12th           internationally, advising on marketing strategy
  or Thursday 13th June.                            and research, leadership consultancy and the
• Longlist interviews with members of the           search and selection of Heads and senior staff.
  Governors’ selection panel will take place at     Comprising a team of the best schools’ marketing
  the school on Thursday 20th and Friday            professionals and respected former school
  21st June.                                        leaders, RSAcademics provides a high-quality
• Final round interviews will take place at         service to schools with rigour, experience and
  the school on Monday 24th and Tuesday             warmth. Please visit www.rsacademics.com for
  25th June.                                        more information.
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