Debating Coach

  • Job title: Debating Coach
  • Job Type: Part-time
  • Salary: £30/hour
  • Department: Co-Curricular
  • Reporting to: Director of Co-Currricular
  • Location: Highgate, North London
  • Start: September 2023
  • Closing Date: 9 May 2023 at 12:00 pm
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Are you an experienced debater or established debating coach interested in supporting enthusiastic and talented young people to further develop their public speaking and oratory skills?

Debating is a popular co-curricular choice at Highgate and it is already ably and enthusiastically supported by members of the Teaching staff. This new role will help further expand our provision, allowing those pupils who are particularly keen on developing their oratory and teamwork skills, both in the process of rigorous training and via the challenges of external competition.

The successful candidate will support our existing, internal debating provision for pupils aged 11 to 18, including house debating competitions and co-curricular debating clubs.

As well as launching a new competitive debating programme (Junior and Senior) geared towards preparing pupils for inter-school and other national competitions.


The Department

Highgate has over 150 co-curricular activities, clubs and societies on offer in the Senior School to ensure pupils get to try something different, discover a new hobby and make new friends.

Time is set aside each week for all pupils to take part in at least one co-curricular activity of their choice, and we’re always expanding and adapting our offering to make sure there’s something to suit everyone’s interests.

We take pride in how our pupils:

  • Enjoy exploring their interests and enthusiasms
  • Develop personal qualities such as self-motivation, collaboration and leadership
  • Contribute positively to our School and wider communities
Job Description
  • Leading a high-performance Debating programme for pupils aged 11-18.
  • Planning training sessions twice weekly (after school) for those pupils (Junior/Senior) preparing to enter debating competitions.
  • Organising external competition entries.
  • Attending external competitions as necessary.
  • Advising where appropriate on existing internal debating provision.
  • Developing future plans for the Debating programme (particularly as it pertains to external competitive debate).
  • Depending on the candidate’s experience there is scope to develop this role further.
Person Specification
  • Criteria
  • How will these be tested or verified?
  • Qualifications & Experience
  • Essential
    • Expertise in debating and public speaking.
    • Knowledgeable across a broad range of topic areas and enthusiastic about developing it further.
    • Undergraduate degree or equivalent
    • Experience coaching young debaters.
    • Experience of taking part in debating competitions.


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: 9th May 2023
  • Timing of interviews: TBC

Contact: Alison Brunner, Director of Co-Currricular, is 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.

Apply here


We know that more diverse teams are stronger teams, and that the more inclusive we are, the more our staff and pupils will feel a sense of belonging and will thrive. To enable us to make reasonable adjustments, please let us know of any disabilities (including neuro-divergence) when you submit your application.


As this role will have regular unsupervised contact with children you must, if appointed, comply with Highgate’s Safeguarding Policy and Staff Code of Conduct. If in the course of carrying out the duties of the post the post holder becomes aware of any actual or potential risks to the safety and welfare of our pupils, these concerns must be reported immediately in accordance with the Safeguarding Policy.  If whilst in the post, Highgate becomes aware of any safeguarding concerns to staff, pupils or the community; these will need to be followed up in line with the safeguarding policy and code of conduct which is underpinned by KCSE and other legislation. These concerns may need to be shared with other agencies.  A copy of these policies will accompany all offers of employment. Training will also be provided to all staff to support Safeguarding practice.

Please read before you apply

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, the Disclosure and Barring Service and overseas police check if necessary. Candidates from overseas must provide information about their past conduct, for example, by providing documents issued by overseas teaching authorities.

Please note that this role is ‘exempt’ from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore, you are required to declare any convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings that are not ‘protected’ (i.e. filtered out) as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013). Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide details of all unspent convictions and those that would not be filtered, prior to the date of the interview.

In accordance with the latest guidance from KCSIE, we shall be conducting online searches on any candidates who are shortlisted.

Apply here