Staff Support Instructor (SSI) and Head of Outdoor Education
Royal Grammar School
The salary for this role is c £29 - £32k gross per annum and includes all after school working, weekend working and attendance on trips/camps.
Please see job information pack
11th Sep 2023
SCHOOL STAFF INSTRUCTOR (SSI) & HEAD OF OUTDOOR EDUCATION
The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne
Required from December 2023
We are seeking to appoint an inspiring and motivated person who can lead significant aspects of both our Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and wide variety of Outdoor Education programmes and activities. You will engage with our fantastic students in all aspects of the role and will be both a role model and an advocate for them.
Owing to the impending retirement of our current SSI, this role comes at an exciting time for our school. We are currently running a cohort of nearly 200 cadets (which is growing each year) across the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force Sections.
Most of our school also take part in Outdoor Education in some form, most notably, our DofE Award programmes (Silver and Gold), and our Junior and Senior School residential trips.
We are looking for an experienced, enthusiastic, and proactive person with a love of the outdoors. You will have a track record of inspiring young people and be able to further develop the high quality and extensive provision we have in place. You will be a forward thinking and innovative practitioner who also values our rich history, tradition, and ethos.
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.
MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The following list is not exhaustive but is a guideline as to the main requirements of the role. The SSI & Head of Outdoor Education must be willing, flexible, and prepared to carry out reasonable tasks not necessarily covered within this job description:
School Staff Instructor (SSI)
- To support the Contingent Commander in running the CCF.
- Develop a strategy and culture within the school to ensure a flourishing and forward thinking CCF.
- Ensure accurate registers of personnel and attendance are recorded on both School and MoD systems (Westminster and Bader).
- Complete all required MoD and School system admin for all CCF training and events
- To organise and deliver appropriate military training in conjunction with the Contingent Commander and Section Officers.
- Be responsible for all aspects of security and maintenance of issued kit, equipment, and weapons.
- Be a key holder for the Armoury and be available for callout cover during term time and school holidays (it is a requirement of the role to live within a 20-minute drive of the school).
- In consultation with the Contingent Commander and relevant Head of Section, assist with the development of all the Contingent CFAVs and co-ordinate all external training courses that are required as part of this training and development programme.
- Act as our designated Health and Safety Officer for the CCF and ensure that it is fully compliant.
Head of Outdoor Education
- To lead and further develop the strategy and provision of Outdoor Education beyond DofE, to give all students an experience of the outdoors, for example during curriculum time, to support the student leadership experience and as part of our Co-Curricular offer.
- Work with our Junior School to assist with arranging and managing all residential camps and outdoor experiences.
- Support continued development of our Silver and Gold DofE Award schemes and lead on activity organisation and logistics.
- Organise the RGS Annual Year 7 Outdoor Camp.
- Occasionally support the Facilities and Event Management Teams with major projects.
EDUCATION, TRAINING AND QUALIFICATIONS
- Service within the UK Armed Forces or Cadet Forces
- Hold outdoor education qualification(s), specifically Summer Mountain Leader Award
- Hold range management qualification(s)
- Skilled arms instructor
- Hold a full driving license including D1 and D1E
- Knowledge of the DofE Award Scheme
- First Aid trained
- Be prepared to undertake training and further qualifications to develop the role
EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
- Regular, Reserve or Cadet Forces background at SNCO / Commissioned Officer level, preferably from a training background and with stores experience
- An effective and efficient administrator
- Computer literate
- Experience of working with young people
- Excellent communication skills (including written, oral and presentation)
- An ability to uphold the values and ethos of the school, CCF and wider community
- Compassion, determination, and motivation to meet the needs of our school and students
- A passion for the values of outdoor education in schools
- Resiliency and forward planning to work calmly under pressure
- Ability to think creatively and to prioritise key tasks
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Able to lead a team
- Discreet and confidential
- A commitment to the RGS vision, values, aims and objectives
LIVING IN THE NORTH EAST
Whilst the North East is beloved and popular with so many, we know that not everyone will have had first-hand experience of it, so this is a short introduction to a city and region which we love, and believe you will too. Newcastle is a medium-sized city with an historic centre and a vibrant life of its own. There’s culture and arts in the form of the award-winning BALTIC Art Gallery and The Sage, alongside several theatres that attract national touring productions. There’s music from classical to club and we are home to the Royal Northern Sinfonia. There’s also a growing food culture with some fantastic restaurants.
If you like sport then there’s certainly no shortage of top-class entertainment: from Premier League football being played at St James’ Park and EFL at the Stadium of Light to first class cricket at Durham (a mere half hour away), and great rugby at the Falcons, not to mention basketball and even ice hockey, and then there is the annual Great North Run. The North East has also produced some of the country’s finest athletes in track and field and there are clubs aplenty to get involved with, most famously in Gateshead.
The coast and the hills are minutes away from the city centre. By car you can be in the middle of nowhere in 45 minutes, the Scottish Borders is only an hour away and the Lake District an hour and a half. The coast is served by the Metro (our version of the Tube), but some of the country’s best beaches are up the road in Northumberland, less than 40 minutes by car. There’s mountain biking, road cycling, climbing, and endless hill walks in stunning countryside. There are green spaces all over the city too, with plenty of parks for children and dogs alike to run around.
There are three local teaching hospitals, two universities in the city with another three close by. Some pioneering medical work goes on at the RVI, Great North Children’s Hospital and the Freeman Hospital.
History abounds with more castles than you could count and sites of interest for almost every period o f English (and border) history. Add that to a proud, independently minded and very friendly local population and we have most things you could want.
There are excellent primary schools in the region and city as well as some good secondary schools too, but staff do get a discount at the RGS. There are also a number of good competitor independent schools as well.
MAIN TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- This is a permanent position with the school.
- The post will report to the Deputy Head Co-Curricular.
- The successful candidate will work full-time, all year-round and will attend work on all staff training days and the compulsory safeguarding training day at the start of each academic year (dates varies each year).
- A 2-day SSI Training Course will be provided by the 4 Brigade Cadet Training Team, which will cover the responsibilities of the SSI, including an introduction to Westminster, funding, documentation and store management and stock holdings. This will be followed up with mentorship by a Contingent Support Officer (CSO).
- Normal working hours for a full-time member of the support staff are 37.5 per week. However, given the nature of the role and how it is structured around our academic commitments, a significant number of activities will take place during lunchtimes, after school (e.g., weekly CCF parade, 4.30pm until 6.30pm every Friday) and at weekends, as required. The successful candidate will be expected to work according to the school’s activities calendar and flexibility will be expected around start/finish times and exact timings will be agreed in advance with the employee’s line manager. We welcome a discussion at interview about how this may work.
- There will be a substantial amount of overnight and weekend working during term time in conjunction with residentials, CCF and DofE activities. Furthermore, the successful candidate will be expected to prepare for and coordinate CCF camps which take place during the school holidays.
- The Employee will be requested to opt out of the Working Time Regulations and agree to work for more than an average of 48 hours a week over a 17-week period at certain times.
- The salary for this role is c £29 – £32k gross per annum and includes all after school working, weekend working and attendance on trips/camps.
- RGS staff salaries are reviewed on 1stAugust each year.
- 51 days Voluntary Allowance from the MOD is also applicable, and we will discuss this in more detail with candidates at interview.
- Holidays – This role is not limited to term time only and the school offers a generous annual leave entitlement of 31 days plus Bank Holidays for staff who work all year round. Staff are required to save 5 days of annual leave for when the school is closed over the Christmas period.
- Given the nature of the role and the operational requirements of the school, requests for leave within term time will not normally be permitted.
- The employee will be required to comply with a range of RGS policies, in particular, those regarding Data protection, use of ICT facilities, Child protection, Staff Behaviour 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.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email Andrew McBride (Deputy Head Co-Curricular), details can be found below. 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:
- A covering letter and
- A fully completed RGS application form.
You must complete the application form, even if you want to also attach a CV. You are welcome to apply electronically, please email all documents to email@example.com by 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.
Reasonable travel expenses will be considered to attend an interview if candidates live outside the local area. This is normally up to a maximum contribution of £100 on provision of receipts. If your expenses will be significantly higher than £100 and an overnight stay is required, please note all expenses will need to be booked and approved in advance. If you plan to claim expenses, please contact the Head’s Secretary, Sandra Ellis S.Ellis@rgs.newcastle.sch.uk in advance of your interview, who will talk you through the policy and advise on eligibility for reimbursement.
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
Andrew McBride (Deputy Head Co-Curricular) firstname.lastname@example.org
General enquiries: email@example.com
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