Administrative Assistant – part time (Pre prep school)

  • Job title: Administrative Assistant - part time (Pre prep school)
  • Job Type: Part-Time (20 hours per week), Term-Time plus 5 days
  • Salary: Circa £12,000 dependent on qualifications and experience
  • Department: Pre-prep school
  • Reporting to: The School Secretary and the Principal
  • Location: Highgate, North London
  • Start: October, 2023
  • Closing Date: 22 September 2023 at 5:00 pm
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We have an exciting opportunity for a skilled and enthusiastic administrative assistant to join the busy office team at Highgate Pre-Preparatory School.


The Department

The Pre-Preparatory School is housed in its own building in Bishopswood Road, adjacent to the school’s playing fields.  The Pre-Prep is an academically selective, coeducational school

and has approximately 180 pupils.  The school is three form entry and takes pupils from Reception (age 4) to Year Two when it is expected that they will transfer to Highgate Junior School.  It is an exciting time to join the Pre-Prep, as the school this year completes its transition to three form entry across all year groups.

Working with us

Highgate School is situated in one of the most attractive and sought after areas of North London, only a short journey from Central London and adjacent to Hampstead Heath. The hilltop site in Highgate Village is the historic site of the Senior School. A few hundred yards along Hampstead Lane in Bishopswood Road lie the Junior and Pre-Preparatory Schools and the extensive playing fields, adjacent to the open spaces of Kenwood and Hampstead Heath. The Northern Line underground station is a short walk away and it is four miles to Central London.

Working at Highgate offers the opportunity to be part of a vibrant and welcoming community, committed to academic excellence and the highest standards of pastoral care for its pupils. The Governors consider the development of excellence in the education offered to the pupils to be the underlying purpose of activities undertaken by all staff.

Highgate is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to this post, including checks with past employers, overseas police check if necessary and the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Job Description

THE ROLE

The main purpose of this role will be to provide an effective administrative service and to support the School Secretary in a range of duties.

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES

The office environment and resources

  • Help to provide an orderly, friendly and calm environment for parents, staff, children and visitors under the direction of the School Secretary.
  • Undertake door duties in accordance with the School’s safety procedures.
  • Welcome parents and visitors approaching the school in person and via the telephone and assist with any queries. Communicate any messages between parents and class teachers (including changes to child collection arrangements).
  • Provide cover for the School Secretary over lunchtimes and at other times when required.
  • Deal with admission queries, explain the various deadline dates.
  • Compile the relevant information for distribution of prospectuses.
  • Take responsibility for ensuring adequate supplies of stationery and resources in the staff room and common areas and fill photocopier paper drawers.
  • Print the attendance sheets for the afternoon session.
  • Photocopy, collate, bind and laminate (where appropriate) newsletters, handbooks, notices and any other materials required for use in school and by prospective or current parents and distribute relevant information to the classrooms.
  • Ensure the spare uniform box is checked regularly and restock when necessary.
  • Ensure all medical supplies are checked regularly and restock when necessary.
  • Label all pigeon holes are correctly labelled and updated when necessary.
  • Word process various forms and notices.
  • Assist with mailings, envelope stuffing and other related tasks.
  • Mount and label photos and notices.
  • Assist with accident logs as required
  • General filing.
  • Check supplies of refreshments in the staffroom and work area including the water cooler and reorder or refill as necessary.
  • Update noticeboards and remove out of date materials.
  • Collect money for small items and count money collected for charity.
  • Sort the lost property box.
  • Monitor and sort the spare uniform box
  • Monitor and maintain the attendance book for children arriving or leaving out of normal hours
  • Support with children moving to and between waiters and afternoon clubs
  • Monitor the office inbox
  • Update and distribute pick-up information on teacher collection sheets

Assisting the Classroom Assistants

  • Help the Classroom Assistants to:
  • Support with photocopying and mounting as required;
  • Monitor and maintain displays.

Care of the children in the School

  • Take care of children in the school building; comfort them when they are sick and distressed; clean them when necessary.

Team work

  • Provide reliable support for the School Secretary at all times; keep her informed of all matters that affect the School; be willing to work with teachers, children and other staff.
  • If required, undertake to help within the broader context of the school, carrying out other reasonable duties to support its smooth and efficient organisation, including supporting with lunch duties

These duties and responsibilities are intended as a guide. They are not exhaustive: the Administrative Assistant will be expected to undertake any reasonable task or responsibility as required by the School Secretary or their representative.

Person Specification
  • Criteria
  • How will these be tested or verified?
  • Knowledge/Experience
  • Essential
    • Experience of secretarial and administrative duties.
    • A high level of computer literacy i.e. Intermediate level skills in Microsoft Word and Excel to enable the preparation of reports, mail-merges, spread sheets and databases, and Outlook for email and diary booking.
    • Attention to detail

    Desirable

    • Knowledge of working in the education sector.
    • Knowledge of child protection and safeguarding policies.
    • Intermediate skills in Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Skills
  • Essential
    • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with pupils, parents and staff and the wider school community.  This requires an open, friendly approach together with a good telephone manner.
    • Problem solving skills and an ability to apply tact and diplomacy when appropriate.
    • The ability to prioritise tasks and to be able to show initiative in dealing with day-to-day situations.
    • The ability to maintain in strictest confidence any information received concerning School matters.
    • Ability to work calmly under pressure, multi-task and manage a diverse workload within tight deadlines. The ability to reschedule and reprioritise.
    • An excellent standard of written and spoken English, with the ability to draft own correspondence.
  • Personal Attributes
  • Essential
    • Confident and personable with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and a sense of humour.
    • High degree of personal drive and motivation.
    • Ability to work well as a member of a team.
    • A willingness to undertake training in order to acquire a mastery of the SIMS database and associated software.

Benefits

Location | Highgate Village, adjacent to Hampstead Heath, with quaint shops and easy connections across London.

Pension | AVIVA workplace pension scheme offered – 21% employer contribution, with the ability to flex up to 11% of this as additional non-pensionable salary, employees contribute a minimum of 5%.

Personal development | Comprehensive induction support for new staff. Focus on continued professional development for all employees.

Leisure facilities | Free access, at stipulated times, to our sports facilities, including a fitness suite and swimming pool (recently refurbished).

Holidays | Generous holiday allowance of 33 days (including bank holidays) for full-time staff. Most holidays will be taken during school holiday periods.

Lunch | A complimentary lunch including hot meals, sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit and dessert.

Help with sustainable travel  | Access to the Cycle to Work Scheme and a Season Ticket Loan scheme for public transport.

Family-friendly policies | Highgate appreciates that employees sometimes have family commitments so we try to be as supportive as possible, for example with enhanced maternity pay (8 weeks’ full pay, then 10 weeks’ half pay) and paid dependant leave.


Working at Highgate

A culture of community, kindness and belonging

Highgate is a caring, open-minded community, where we promote kindness, empathy and friendship. Everyone who works and studies with us deserves to feel they are part of a welcoming environment that enables them to be themselves and to thrive as individuals.

Our community extends beyond the school, through partnerships, charity work and our commitment to equality, inclusion and sustainability. All members of our school community are encouraged to look outwards and play an active role.

In a recent ISI inspection (Dec 2021), it was noted that “Pupils show exceptional respect for, and appreciate diversity within the school and wider community, and their own and other cultures, demonstrating sensitivity and tolerance to those from different backgrounds and traditions.”

Staff wellbeing

Highgate is committed to staff wellbeing, which we promote by encouraging a strong work-life balance; trying our best to support flexible working requests; providing a nutritious complimentary lunch in the dining hall; and offering access to sporting facilities including our recently renovated swimming pool.

The Staff Wellbeing Committee, with representatives across the School, meets regularly to drive forward initiatives, and a selection of staff have been trained as Mental-Health First Aiders.

We encourage an open culture throughout our school, with regular staff surveys, action committees and opportunities to feedback. We strive for continual learning and improvement, and staff training and development is paramount. There are opportunities to participate in the wider life of our school, such as taking part in trips or societies and getting involved in partnership projects.

More details about working at Highgate can be found here:

Work with us    Aims + Ethos


Charitable work and sustainability

As an independent school, we want to use our position as a charity effectively: to make high-quality education accessible to as many children as possible – through our bursary programme at Highgate and through our work with local state schools. We have partnerships with over 60 state schools across 7 London boroughs, and we are the principal educational sponsor for London Academy of Excellence, Tottenham – an academically-selective state sixth form in a community where such opportunities are lacking.

Alongside this, our staff and pupils undertake charitable activities throughout the year. These range from staff giving up their time to neighbourhood schools and charitable organisations, focused fundraising campaigns, to pupils undertaking community work in the local area or further afield.

As a school, we have a central role to play in educating our pupils, staff and parents about the importance of environmental sustainability. We are taking positive action to adapt our operational performance to tackle the negative effects of climate change. We encourage all our staff to reflect upon their personal and professional practices, to support our environmental agenda and to make positive changes wherever possible.

Application procedure

  • Closing Date: 22nd September 2023
  • Timing of interviews: w/c 28th August, 2023

Contact: Recruitment Team are happy to answer any questions about this post.

Early Application: Applications will be considered ‘as and when’ received and we may close the vacancy if we appoint before the closing date.

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