HR Business Partner

  • Job title: HR Business Partner
  • Job Type: Permanent, Full time
  • Salary: Circa £50,000
  • Department: HR
  • Reporting to: People Director
  • Location: Bishopswood Road, Highgate
  • Start: ASAP
  • Closing Date: 28 July 2023 at 5:00 pm
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The HR Business Partner role will be leading the provision of a high quality, efficient day-to-day HR service and act as the trusted advisor and lead the HR service in a functional area of the school. As part of your role you will build strong relationships with internal leaders and employees to develop and deliver impactful people plans for your functional area in partnership with other senior leaders. You will be forward-thinking and proactive to ensure we are mitigating any risk and the HR department are proactive in implementing our people plans.

The Department

An excellent opportunity to join our friendly and supportive Human Resources team.

There is a supportive and welcoming atmosphere within the department that underpins our people first culture as a school. Teamwork is at the heart of everything we do and by working together, we aim to provide the very best service to our students and staff.

The Human Resources (HR) department is made up of 7 people who work together to deliver a people first vision in line with the School’s Safer Recruitment Policy, current legislation and best practice guidelines to the whole school ensuring that day to day HR functions is effectively managed.  The department are on a transformation journey to deliver proactive people solutions to our staff and develop a self service mentality across the school.


Job Description


People First

  • Working with the People Director to develop and implement the ongoing HR strategy in line with the strategic direction of the School and best practice
  • Partner with leaders and line managers to develop and deliver clear people plans for their functions, providing HR support and guidance when needed, anticipating and flagging any risks
  • Lead and manage employee relations cases in your area, supporting managers with practical advice and guidance in line with current legislation
  • In partnership with HR team, ensure fair and transparent reward policy and practices; lead pay reviews for your populations; support line managers with decisions for promotions & changes; work with the HR team to ensure data is accurate and up to date.
  • Lead headcount and salary costs for your functional area, supporting the People Director across the total division and in close collaboration with Head of departments, directors and Heads of each school
  • Support managers across all elements of the employee life cycle
  • Support and implement School strategy to support wellbeing and empower employees
  • Own data management for your direct functional area, be able to leverage data analytics to drive the HR and business function and report back with key findings and patterns

Shape the future

  • Work with the People Director and wider team to drive an ethos change within your area on the role of HR and develop self service model across each functional area
  • Work with stakeholders on change management and organisational design from end-to-end. Partner with the leaders and senior managers in your functional area to continue to future-proof your areas, anticipating and managing any change elements
  • Foster a learning culture to build the skills of tomorrow, partnering with your leaders
  • Provide feedback and coaching to the leaders and managers in your populations, building strong people managers and empowering them in their leadership and management roles

Wellbeing and Inclusion for all

  • Work with People Director and wellbeing committee to implement wellbeing principles within your functional area
  • Act as the go to person in your functional area for any colleague requiring a wellbeing chat and refer colleagues to the suite of services available to support their particular need
  • Drive EDI across your functional areas, working with the People Director and EDI strategic lead to support your leaders and managers to drive a culture of inclusion
  • Line Manage a HR advisor
Person Specification
  • Criteria
  • How will these be tested or verified?
  • Qualifications/Experience
  • Essential:
    • Degree educated or equivalent
    • CIPD qualified (this role will ideally require a full CIPD qualification)
    • Significant experience in a generalist HR role managing complex ER
    • Experience working on HR related projects
    • Previous use of HR/MIS Systems
    • Experience researching and writing employment policies


    • MCIPD status
    • Experience working with varied appraisal systems
    • Experience in the education sector
    • Experience designing and delivering L&D solutions
  • Knowledge/Skills
  • Essential:

    • Good knowledge of UK employment law
    • Strong absence management skills (monitoring, reporting, Occupational Health involvement)
    • Strong employee relations skills
    • Excellent planning and analytical skills
    • Proficiency in Word, Excel, and Outlook


    • Previous demonstrable knowledge of performance management systems would be an advantage
    • Knowledge of child protection and safeguarding policies
  • Personal Attributes
  • Essential:

    • Energetic and approachable with excellent communication, organisational and interpersonal skills
    • Ability to build and maintain strong relationships
    • Flexible with a ‘can-do’ approach and able to work effectively without supervision
    • Proactive approach to work, an ability to work well under pressure and to meet targets and be able to identify process improvement needs
    • Good influencing skills



This role will not normally involve unsupervised contact with pupils; however in the context of his/her employment the member of staff will frequently be in the presence of children and will therefore have to have appropriate levels of training in child protection.


The terms and conditions below do not form part of a contract and are for information only. Should you be offered and accept employment with Highgate School you will receive a contract setting out in full your terms and conditions. All offers of employment are subject to the receipt of references satisfactory to us, proof of eligibility to work in the UK and DBS checks.

Hours of Work

Full time, permanent role based on a 40 hour contract (one hour unpaid lunch in addition to this). There is a need to be flexible about hours in order to carry out these duties and responsibilities effectively and no additional payment is made in this respect.

Probationary Period

This appointment will be subject to the completion of a probationary period of six months to the satisfaction of the Governors.

Lunch Period

The lunch break is unpaid and does not form part of your working hours.  A complimentary lunch is available when the Dining Hall is in operation.


The salary for this role includes an element of holiday pay in respect of statutory annual holiday.

Pension The School currently offers participation in the Pension Trust’s Independent Schools’ Pension Scheme (“the Pension Scheme”). The School will be offering membership of the APTIS Pension Scheme from 1 December 2022.

Leisure Facilities

Subject always to the needs of pupils and School’s operations, staff are offered free access at stipulated times to the School’s sports facilities.


The need for absolute confidentiality and discretion, both within Highgate and the wider community, must be understood.

Dress Code

Teachers and support staff are expected to set an example to pupils and should dress appropriately at all times.


Smoking, including vaping, is not allowed on or immediately outside any School premises (the footprint of the buildings and the grounds) or in areas where smoking might be seen by parents or pupils during working hours.

Health and Safety

Highgate takes its obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act seriously and the postholder will be required to comply with all aspects of Highgate’s Health and Safety Policy, particularly in relation to safe working practices.  All staff must keep up to date with Highgate’s Health and Safety Policies which are regularly updated and posted on the Staff Intranet.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Highgate is strongly committed to inclusion and is an equal opportunities employer. We aim to create a welcoming, respectful and safe environment for all members of our community, from every ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability/disability, religion and background.  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 any reasonable adjustments, please let us know what you would require when you submit your application.

Data Protection

Highgate staff are expected to adhere to the Data Protection legislation at all times. Our Privacy Notice is available on the recruitment portal

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: 28th July 2023
  • Timing of interviews: w/c 10th July

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.

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