Do you want to shape the Sporting provision at a forward-thinking London day school?
Following the departure of our previous Director of Sport (to a promoted position in Dubai), we are looking to restructure and appoint an ambitious new management team for our Sport and Exercise Department. We are excited, therefore, to advertise the following three positions:
This is an exciting opportunity for experienced managers to play key roles in one of the largest departments at Highgate. The Sport and Exercise (SpEx) department is vibrant and forward-thinking and it has benefitted greatly from significant investment in both its staff and facilities.
We welcome applicants from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. These include the following: leaders of school sports; those with experience of leading and managing complex aspects of a large organisation, and those with high level experience in the sporting community (including national sporting bodies, performance sport or university/other youth sport).
We are looking for inspirational leaders to implement our whole school vision for sports and exercise:
We are focused on delivering a truly co-educational programme: children of all genders can access all sports. In particular, we are proud of the recent developments in our provision for girls’ football and cricket, and for boys’ hockey. We also work hard to promote inclusivity across all sports and are excited by our ‘Sport in Her Shoes’ inclusion project which is supported by The Well HQ.
Sport and Exercise (‘SpEx’) at Highgate has a reputation for excellence and innovation in teaching and coaching and the department consists of 35 colleagues. SpEx at Highgate offers a broad range of sport pathways, a health curriculum, and an extended programme for High Performance Athletes. Tours and trips are a regular feature of the programme as well as showcase events such as award evenings, conferences, and sports days. The department offers a range of opportunities for staff development, and we are keen to see staff grow in their roles and share their expertise with others.
The Department is based around the well-equipped Mallinson Sports Centre (MSC). It is adjacent to the playing fields, near the Junior and Pre-Preparatory Schools and within a few minutes’ walk of the Senior School. The Centre comprises a newly re-built swimming pool, large sports hall, strength & conditioning suite and mezzanine hall. In addition, there is a dance and movement studio, squash and Eton Fives courts. The MSC managers and staff provide a significant programme of community use; they also support pupils’ activities within the Centre and provide administrative assistance. The school has twenty acres of playing fields, including an all-weather pitch, which can accommodate ten netball courts, a full-size hockey pitch, or twelve tennis courts. There is also a multi-use games area which provides six cricket nets, three tennis courts, two netball courts and a hockey training facility.
All members of the SpEx Management team play a role in delivering the priorities as outlined below. This will be achieved under the direction and oversight of the Director of Sport who will delegate to the Deputy Directors as appropriate.
Strategic Leadership, Vision and Values
Leadership of the SpEx department
Teaching & Learning
Pastoral Support, Safeguarding and Compliance
Budgeting and Affordability
Facilities Oversight and Planning
Head of Senior Sports
Highgate School seeks to appoint teachers/coaches who will have, in addition to the professional qualities outlined below, the following proven personal qualities, or the potential to develop them. At interview, candidates will have the opportunity to demonstrate or give an account of these attributes.
Members of the SpEx Management Team are the figureheads for sport and exercise in our community. The successful candidates will be enthusiastic, motivational and have a genuine passion for sport. They should have a clear understanding of our vision for the future of co-educational sport at Highgate and a plan for how to deliver it. They will be expected to drive forward our whole-school priorities (most notably in relation to equity, inclusion, diversity, sustainability and affordability.) They will promote kindness, positive relationships, and health and wellbeing in all their actions.
The ideal candidates will have outstanding organisational and people management skillset. It would also be beneficial for candidates to have experience of working in complex departments and dealing with recruitment, facilities and budget management. They should be flexible, resilient and outstanding team leaders. A key aspect of the roles will be outstanding communication skills and an ability to interact well with pupils, parents, staff and alumni (OCs). In their roles, they will act as role models and will provide a visible, inspiring and nurturing presence to all members of our community.
Support | A welcoming, comfortable and exceptionally well-resourced environment with significant assistance from a range of support staff.
Pension | The School pays the employer’s contribution to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.
Professional development | Comprehensive induction. Focus on continued learning and development for all employees.
Holidays | Terms are shorter than in the maintained sector.
Location | Highgate Village, adjacent to Hampstead Heath, with quaint shops and easy connections across London.
Facilities | Free access, at stipulated times, to our sports facilities, including a fitness suite and new swimming pool. Staff can borrow from 1,700 books held in the Sir Martin Gilbert Library.
Lunch | Free tea and coffee A complimentary lunch including hot meals, sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit and dessert.
Sustainable travel | Access to the Cycle to Work Scheme and a Season Ticket Loan scheme for public transport.
Flexible working | Flexibility for parents, enhanced maternity pay and paid dependant leave.
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.”
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:
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.
If you wish to be considered for a specific position, such as Director of Sport, please make this clear in your application. Otherwise, you will be considered for all three positions as we appoint a new team.
The closing date for receiving applications for the three roles is Monday 27 November. We retain the right to re-advertise the post at a later date if we feel that the early timescale for the advert has reduced the field of applicants. The first round of the selection process is likely to be held late in the week beginning 27 November at times to be agreed with candidates. It is likely to involve an interview and written exercise. Given these timings, candidates should expect to hear about their progression to the first round early that week and interviews are likely to take place on Zoom. The final round, with the short-listed candidates, is likely to be in the week beginning 4 December. This is likely to involve observed teaching/coaching, interview, presentation and tour.
Contact: Graeme Robertson, Deputy Head (Professional), is happy to answer any questions about this post.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 KCSIE 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 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. DBS Code of Practice
In accordance with the latest guidance from KCSIE, we shall be conducting online searches on any candidates who are shortlisted.