Learning Support Assistant (Part Time, Fixed Term)
Royal Grammar School
The full-time equivalent salary for this post will be circa £25-28k gross per annum on the RGS Support Staff Salary Scale depending on experience and qualifications. As this role is fixed term, part time and term time only, the salary will be pro-rata’d to circa £9-11k gross per annum.
See job information pack
14th Aug 2023
LEARNING SUPPORT ASSISTANT (Part time, Fixed Term)
Required from September 2023 until July 2024- To be reviewed prior to end of fixed term.
We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic, knowledgeable support assistant to join our excellent learning support department in our newly refurbished Learning Support Base. You must have experience of working in schools, either state or independent sector, and a willingness to work closely with young people across all school ages to help develop their learning.
Knowledge of additional learning needs and experience of working with individuals who have specific needs would be desirable, though training would be given to support the specific requirements of the post.
If you feel that you can show initiative, resilience and good independent working skills then we would love to hear from you. You must be a team player willing to fit into a small and close-knit team.
Thomas Horsley, the original settlor of the Royal Grammar School Newcastle (RGS) pledged his legacy to the School in 1525. Almost 500 years later, RGS continues to flourish as the premier independent school in the North East of England and as one of the country’s leading schools, and the Sunday Times’ North East Independent School of the Decade 2020. Most recently, RGS was awarded the Sunday Times’ 2023 North East’s Top Independent Secondary School for Academic Performance. We regularly lead all northern schools in national league tables and pride ourselves on academic excellence, a high level of pastoral support, involvement in a wide range of sports and other co-curricular activities, and our commitment to bursaries and partnerships.
RGS has grown substantially in recent years. There are now some 1,340 students, over 260 of whom are in the Junior School. The Sixth Form of 350 students is one of the largest in the independent sector. We became coeducational 20 years ago and girls now comprise 43% of the school.
The school is based in the heart of the city, immediately opposite Jesmond Metro station. The school occupies over 30 acres of land and has state-of-the-art facilities, including five brand new art studios, a new library, a new Sixth Form Centre, a 25m swimming pool, two Sports Halls, a Performing Arts Centre, outdoor football/rugby pitches at Mooracres, an artificial turf pitch for hockey and the former County Cricket Ground.
THE LEARNING SUPPORT DEPARTMENT
The department is a small team of four colleagues with a wealth of experience in independent, maintained, special and specialist schools or units. Our aim is to ensure that every student can enjoy success in and out of the classroom, regardless of the barriers they may face. As such, we have recently appointed a Social Communication Skills colleague to help with this area of need. We like to ensure that all needs are met and to help every student feel willing and able to manage the school curriculum and provide individual or group support where needed.
All students, regardless of their needs, should be offered a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum appropriate to their needs, abilities, and aspirations. We work closely with teachers and parents to provide individualised programs which target areas for development, whether it is academic or pastoral. We use a range of evidence-based educational and psychological approaches to help our students, with the student at the heart of decisions about their support.
We work with all ages, from Year 3 to Upper Sixth, and so flexibility, communication, positivity, and good knowledge of SEND and pedagogy is vital. We provide regular training for the school, run a SEND special interest group, as well as supporting other schools and provide training on SEND in the North East.
MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Reporting to the Head of Learning Support (SENDCO), the Learning Support Assistant’s overall responsibilities will include but are not limited to:
To work under the guidance and within an agreed system of supervision of the Head of Learning Support (SENDCO), Learning and Support, to implement agreed programmes with individuals/groups, in or out of the classroom.
The nature and level of the programmes is likely to be varied and may require specialist knowledge of particular areas of educational need and learning preferences in line with the school’s commitment to individualised support for all students.
Support for students:
- Engage in individual or group sessions with students to support students with dyslexia, social communication needs, dyspraxia, sensory needs or emotional needs.
- Use specialist (curricular/learning/SEND) skills/training/experience to support students.
- Deliver and implement a specific program of physiotherapy to meet the physical needs of student/s using a program developed by NHS physiotherapy & Occupational Health Teams.
- Implement specific interventions to meet the social communication & ASC needs of individuals.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the sensory processing, communication and the anxiety needs of individuals who are or may be Autistic.
- Develop systems and routines that support individuals who thrive within a given structure but also encourage the creativity and the individuality of students to succeed with independence.
- Assist with the development and implementation of individual learning profiles.
- Establish productive working relationships with staff and students, acting as a role model and setting high expectations.
- Be an advocate for students.
- Promote the inclusion and acceptance of all students within the classroom.
- Support students consistently whilst recognising and responding to their individual needs.
- Encourage students to interact and work co-operatively with others and engage all students in activities.
- Promote independence and employ strategies to recognise and reward achievement of self-reliance.
- Provide feedback to students in relation to progress and achievement.
- Perform assessments under the guidance of the Head of Learning Support (SENDCo)
- Provide pastoral support to relevant staff and students.
- Attend to students’ personal needs and provide advice to assist in their social, health and hygiene development.
- Participate in comprehensive assessment of students to determine those in need of particular help.
- Challenge and motivate students, promote and reinforce self-esteem and resilience.
Support for the curriculum
- Implement agreed learning activities/teaching programmes, adjusting activities according to student responses/needs.
- Support the use of ICT in learning activities and develop students’ competence and independence in its use.
- Help students to access learning activities through specialist support.
- Determine the need for, prepare and maintain general and specialist equipment and resources.
- Plan, develop and deliver a SEND curriculum in line with the requirements of the students and as outlined by the SENDCo.
Support for the School
- Maintain confidentiality.
- Where appropriate, foster links between home and school.
- Attend, make notes and participate in regular meetings with parents and teachers.
- Establish constructive relationships and communicate with other agencies/professionals, in liaison with the Director of Progress, Learning and Support to support achievement and progress of students.
- Support in the collection of evidence for alternative learning approaches in exams.
- Be aware of and comply with policies and procedures relating to child protection, health, safety and security, confidentiality and data protection, reporting all concerns to an appropriate person.
- Administrative duties related to students with SEND.
- Be aware of and support difference and ensure all students have equal access to opportunities to learn and develop.
- To liaise with, advice and consult with outside professionals.
- Contribute to the overall ethos/work/aims of the school.
- Participate in training and other learning activities as required.
- Recognise own strengths and areas of expertise and use these to advise and support others.
- Supervise students on visits, trips and out of school activities as required.
- Implement planned supervision of pupils out of school hours.
The following person specification indicates those areas of skills and personal characteristics, qualifications, training and experience that are required of the candidates being interviewed.
- Experience working with students at secondary or middle school or primary age.
- Experience of working with students with additional needs.
- Excellent numeracy/literacy skills.
- NVQ Level 3 for Teaching Assistants or equivalent qualification and/or experience.
- Have completed training in the relevant strategies e.g. literacy and/or in particular curriculum or learning area e.g. bi-lingual, sign language, dyslexia, IVT, Maths, English CACHE etc.
- Appropriate first aid training.
- Knowledge of SEND.
- Ability to relate well to children and adults.
- Working knowledge of national/foundation stage curriculum and other relevant learning programmes/strategies.
- Understanding of principles of child development and learning processes.
- Ability to use ICT effectively to support learning.
- Ability to use other technology equipment – video, Multi-Function Devices.
- Ability to self-evaluate learning needs and actively seek learning opportunities.
- Ability to work constructively as part of a team, understanding classroom roles and responsibilities and your own position within these.
- A genuine liking of people and the ability to show warmth, good-humour, empathy and sensitivity.
- Ability to communicate effectively with parents, students and staff in a variety of ways.
- Understanding and commitment to equality of opportunity for all.
- Ability to work within a fast-paced environment
- Understanding of, and a commitment to the ethos of the school as a community.
- Tact, discretion and diplomacy.
- Proactive and able to use own initiative to meet individual needs.
MAIN TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- This is a fixed term, part time, term-time only position which is expected to start in September 2023 and will run until 5thJuly 2024. The role will be further reviewed in the summer term and may be extended on mutual agreement.
- The school timetable works on a two-week cycle. The working hours for this role will be 18.75 hours per week during term time. This equates to 2.5 days per 2-week cycle.
- Start and finish times are as illustrated below:
Plus, the equivalent of 3 additional half days to be confirmed with the successful candidate
- The employee will also be required to work 4 additional staff training days outside of term time which are spread throughout the academic year. The employee will also attend work on the annual safeguarding training day at the start of each academic year (date varies each year). Payment for these days is included in the salary for this post.
- The full-time equivalent salary for this post will be circa £25-28k gross per annum on the RGS Support Staff Salary Scale depending on experience and qualifications. As this role is fixed term, part time and term time only, the salary will be pro-rata’d to circa £9-11k gross per annum.
- The post will report to the Head of Learning Support (SENDCO) who in turn reports to the Deputy Head Academic. This role will support and work with colleagues in the Learning Support Department and across the school.
- RGS staff salaries are reviewed on 1st August each year.
- The employee will be entitled to normal school holidays during the fixed term contract and payment for holidays has already been incorporated into the fixed term salary.
- The employee will be required to comply with a range of RGS policies, in particular, those regarding Data protection, Staff Behaviour, use of ICT facilities, Child Protection and Health and Safety, a copy of which will be made available.
WHAT WE OFFER
- During term-time, staff are provided with a free lunch, if on site.
- For non-teaching staff we offer a support staff pension scheme, The Aviva Pension Trust for Independent Schools (APTIS). On receipt of a 6% employee contribution the school makes an employer contribution of 10%. There is also the option of a 3% employee and 5% employer contribution if preferred. This scheme is administered via Salary Exchange (also known as Salary Sacrifice) for those who are eligible. You can opt out of the Salary Exchange arrangement whilst remaining in the pension scheme. Further details of the scheme and salary exchange will be provided on appointment.
- Membership to life assurance scheme through Aviva which pays out 5x annual salary in the event of death in service.
- The employee will become eligible for sick pay under the RGS Support Staff Sick Pay Scheme after a qualifying period. Details of the scheme will be provided on appointment.
- The school offers an optional healthcare plan for all staff which includes optical, dental and physio cover, access to telephone GP consultations and a host of other benefits (terms and conditions apply). Further information will be available to the employee once in post.
- As with all RGS employees, the employee will be encouraged to become involved in the wider life of the RGS community.
- It is the school’s policy is to allow all eligible members of staff to educate their children at the school at concessionary rates, subject to their children meeting the academic entry requirements and subject to a place being available.
- Ongoing educational support and development of all staff with the provision of external and internal training courses, and our middle leaders training programme for existing and aspiring managers.
- We offer an interest free travel loan for a corporate Metro travel pass after a qualifying period. Further information will be available upon starting in post.
- Opportunity to see free school productions in the Miller Theatre located in our Performing Arts Centre.
- Free use of a well-equipped gym, fitness suite and swimming pool at permitted times.
- Access to our onsite confidential counselling service.
- We offer access to the school medical team (1 doctor and 2 nurses) for triage medical advice and free flu vaccinations.
- Supportive and friendly community.
- Invitation to join staff clubs and wellbeing activities during term-time.
- Staff social events throughout the year.
HOW TO APPLY
Candidates are advised to read the ‘Information for Applicants’ with particular care before applying: https://www.rgs.newcastle.sch.uk/join-us/work-for-us
Enquiries about this post should be made in the first instance to Lorraine Cattle (Head of Learning Support) firstname.lastname@example.org.
During school holidays, please forward any queries to email@example.com or call 0191 281 5711.
If, having looked through the website (www.rgs.newcastle.sch.uk) and read this job information pack and the Information for Applicants, you think this particular post would suit you, please say so (and why)in:
1. A covering letter and
2. A fully completed RGS application form.
You must complete the application form, even if you want to also attach a CV. Please email all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org the closing date.
Interviews will be held shortly after the closing date. We will hope to make the appointment as soon as possible following interview, offering the post and gaining acceptance.
Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment
RGS is committed to the safeguarding of children and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, volunteers and those working in school to share this commitment. The school applies the Government’s Safer Recruitment procedures to all candidates. More information regarding the checks can be found in the Information for Applicants and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (September 2022).
We are looking to appoint staff from a wide variety of backgrounds. Not just because it is the right thing to do but because at the RGS we recognise that those different experiences provide fresh perspectives, opportunities to challenge existing beliefs and provide opportunities to act as excellent role models for our diverse student body. We are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse school culture and our staff are at the heart of this. We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships. Whilst all applications are considered on merit, we would particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates who are currently under-represented in our staff community.
We encourage all candidates to complete an ‘equal opportunities’ form with your application. This will be sent directly to the HR team for monitoring purposes.
Royal Grammar School Eskdale Terrace Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4DX
Tel: 0191 281 5711
General enquiries: Lorraine Cattle (Head of Learning Support/SENDCO) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Grammar School
Thomas Horsley, the original settlor of the Royal Grammar School Newcastle (RGS) pledged his legacy to the School in 1525. Almost 500 years later, RGS continues to flourish as the premier independent school in the North East of England and as one of the country’s leading schools, and the Sunday Times’ North East Independent School of the Decade 2020. We regularly lead all northern schools in national league tables and pride ourselves on academic excellence, a high level of pastoral support, involvement in a wide range of sports and other extra-curricular activities, and our commitment to bursaries and partnerships.
RGS has grown substantially in recent years. There are now some 1,330 students, over 260 of whom are in the Junior School. The Sixth Form of 350 students is one of the largest in the independent sector. We became coeducational 20 years ago and girls now comprise 43% of the school.
The school is based in the heart of the City, immediately opposite Jesmond Metro station. The school occupies over 30 acres of land and has state-of-the-art facilities, including five brand new art studios, a new library, a new Sixth Form Centre, a 25m swimming pool, two Sports Halls, a Performing Arts Centre, outdoor football/rugby pitches at Mooracres, an artificial turf pitch for hockey and the former County Cricket Ground.Visit School Website