Job Description

Assistant Houseparent for September 2024 (Residential, Permanent, Full Time, Non Teaching).  To be based in a Senior House.

Please apply by visiting The Purcell School website at – download an application form and submit with your supporting statement to

CVs will not be accepted. The school reserves the right to withdraw the role once a successful candidate has been found.


Boarding is central to life at the Purcell School. Assistant Houseparents play a vital role in the wellbeing of our students, taking full responsibility for their welfare during term time and acting as role models for students and colleagues alike across the School.

You will be managing the day-to-day care of boarders ensuring their wellbeing and safety, promoting a fulfilling educational experience and encouraging a caring, positive and productive ethos in the House.

You will be living within the boarding community and will provide visible and inspiring leadership within your House. You should have the ability to develop and maintain warm, respectful and valued rapport with young people, whilst understanding the professional boundaries that must exist between staff and students. You should provide a positive role model, demonstrating self-motivation and mature interpersonal skills.

You will need the ability to negotiate and manage complex events in a professional, effective manner and an understanding of community partnerships and organisation. Imagination, creativity, enthusiasm and a warm sense of humour are all essential!

You will need effective communication skills (oral and written) and the ability to deal with students, parents and staff across the whole School. We expect you to maintain high personal and professional standards, including recognition of the confidentiality issues impacting upon work in a school.

You must be able to demonstrate an awareness of safeguarding and child protection legislation and issues, and will be expected to uphold a full commitment to the best safeguarding practice. You will be committed to professional growth and development, especially in the area of safeguarding and student wellbeing.

You will need a flexible approach to your duties, overnight and weekend working will be required and a willingness to ‘muck in’ is essential. There is an expectation that Assistant Houseparents take full ownership of their House, ensuring that students have an outstanding boarding experience in every regard, advocating for them when necessary and proactively supporting them however they might need. You will be supported to achieve this by other members of your House team (the make-up and number of which vary according to the House size and requirements) whom you will lead and manage.

Boarding is provided across three Houses: a Junior House (Years 7-9, mixed); a Senior Girls’ House (Years 9 and above) and a large mixed House (Years 10 and above). This position is for one of the Senior Houses.

If you genuinely enjoy the company of young people and are passionate about making a significant difference to their lives, this could be the perfect job for you.  You need to be prepared to put the students first during term time and thrive on developing and maintaining a House culture which supports the School’s aims and each individual in your care. If this sounds like you, we would be delighted to hear from you.

The Purcell School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

JOB TITLE: Assistant Houseparent 

REPORTS TO: The Director of Boarding

This job specification sets out the duties of the post at the time of drafting. Specific responsibilities are as follows:


  • To provide the day-to-day care of boarders in their charge and to safeguard their welfare.
  • To be aware of and comply with current health and safety, safeguarding and child protection legislation and procedures, and to uphold the School’s policy on child protection.
  • To ensure that daily registration is carried out effectively and according to School policy.
  • To encourage every student in their House to develop to their full potential, academically, musically and socially, and to promote their personal development, including leadership, consideration for others and courtesy.
  • To help ensure that boarding staff, parents and students understand the aims and objectives of boarding in the House and the principles on which community life in the House is based.
  • To help maintain good order and ensure a high standard of discipline within their House, according to the School’s behaviour policy.
  • To consult with appropriate staff, tutors, parents and guardians over issues involving students in their House so that their diverse learning, social and emotional needs are met.
  • To help maintain all records as required including students’ individual files and to write the requisite pastoral and other reports as appropriate.
  • To help manage the staffing, organisation and resources of the House efficiently, ensuring that appropriate adult supervision is provided at all times when students are in residence.
  • To help manage the House budget in consultation with the Finance Manager.
  • To ensure compliance within the House of the requirements of all current legislation (including the National Minimum Boarding Standards and Independent School Regulations) and all School policies.
  • To support the smooth running of the House by being a proactive presence in the House throughout each week, and via the duty rota.  Up to three nights overnight “on call” will be required per week.
  • To be in residence for 48 hours prior to and after the end of each term to assist with the preparation and closing of the House.
  • To participate in School inset day meetings.
  • To contribute to the School’s extra-curricular and/or boarding provision.
  • To assist occasionally at whole School events.
  • To assist with emergency situations outside of duty hours if necessary.


Experience and Knowledge:
Experience of working within a residential setting (essential), preferably as an Assistant Houseparent or Resident Graduate (desirable)
Experience of working in an educational setting (desirable)
A strong track record of providing pastoral care to young people and successfully supporting their overall wellbeing
Knowledge and understanding of the concepts and skills essential for student success


Ability and Skills:
Good listening skills with the ability to deal with issues in a sensitive, sympathetic and diplomatic manner
The ability to engage with young people and develop positive and meaningful working relationships
The ability to establish a safe, positive and purposeful working atmosphere in which students feel secure and confident in their Houses
The ability to work as a proactive member of a team
The ability to work independently, take initiative and solve problems
Excellent planning and organisation skills with the ability to handle competing demands on your time
Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate effectively with students, parents and colleagues
Strong IT skills with experience using databases (experience of SIMS is desirable)
A willingness to drive the School minibus – training can be provided (desirable)


Personal Attributes:
To have an interest in music and assisting young people to achieve their potential (it is not essential to be a practising musician)
Flexibility and willingness to be involved in and committed to the ethos of a seven-day-a-week Boarding School, including organising and supporting extra-curricular activities
An ability to inspire students of all levels and abilities and be committed to their success in all areas of School life
Enthusiasm, energy and imagination

Calm and confident with a personal warmth to be able to connect with students in a meaningful way

Click here to apply.