Holmewood House is a prestigious independent Prep School of 440+ pupils aged 3-13 years, set amidst 30 acres of the most beautiful Kent countryside, just outside Tunbridge Wells. The School is a happy and supportive working environment, where we pride ourselves on the exceptional provision for our pupils and staff in all areas. Holmewood House provides a broad, well-balanced curriculum with outstanding teachers in what is very much a family school where the positive relationships between the teachers and children allows staff to get to know and understand the individual needs of each and every child. They foster their talents and nurture their growth through a challenging and exciting curriculum.
The school wholeheartedly believes that emotional and social well-being, self-esteem, happiness and confidence are of prime importance and are in themselves inextricably linked to academic progress. Staff are excited by the curiosity and thirst for learning that each child, regardless of their ability, naturally displays. They work hard to allow each child to ask why, to query and to have the time to develop their thoughts into fresh discoveries and innovations and, in doing so, overcome the challenges faced. The end result is the celebration of learning – a reward in its own right!
The wonderful environment and outstanding facilities provide a strong framework upon which the ethos of ‘allowing children to be children’ can be achieved. Childhood is full of exciting new experiences which, parents and teachers relive, through the eyes and laughter of the children. The relationship between home and school is of fundamental importance in ensuring every child is surrounded by the love, care and guidance which they require as they make their way through their educational journey. In short, the partnership allows the children to enjoy the most important journey of all: childhood.
For further information about Holmewood House please visit our website www.holmewoodhouse.co.uk
Excellent pastoral care is at the heart of everything we do, and the post of Lead Houseparent is integral to this. A key responsibility of this role is to create a happy, nurturing family environment for the boarders, in which they can thrive. This is a residential post during term time and for periods agreed with the Head of Boarding before and after the end of term.
The Lead Houseparent is the leader of a team, which includes any Houseparent’s and Boarding Assistants. Effective teamwork, good morale, warmth and a sense of humour are vital.
The Lead Houseparent is responsible to the Head of Boarding and should keep them informed of all important matters relating to the well-being of both staff and pupils on a regular, ‘need to know’ basis. The successful candidate will also be required to work closely with the medical team.
Reporting Line: Head of Boarding
Roles and responsibilities
Training will be given in any areas necessary.
Report to the Head of Boarding and provide pastoral care for, and supervision of, pupils in the Boarding House.
• Provide pastoral care of pupils, attend care meetings where required and support pupils’ emotional, cultural and intellectual development.
• Support pupils as they settle into school life.
• Adhere to the principles of discretion, confidentiality and information sharing at all times.
• Organise and attend social activities for pupils such as games evenings and birthday parties.
• Be a strong presence in the Boarding House communal areas during nominated hours of duty.
• Assist in maintaining high standards of behaviour, discipline, manners and courtesy.
• Support, promote and implement House policies and procedures.
• Establish close relationships and good communication with all parents including the production of a regular newsletter.
• Maintain detailed student records with particular attention to confidentiality, privacy and sensitivity.
• Attend staff meetings as required.
• Liaise with the School regarding relevant information about boarders.
• Keep any necessary facilities records up to date and organised.
Health and Safety
• Keep boarders healthy and safe, in line with School policies.
• Keep parents informed about their children’s health, safety and wellbeing.
• Support the administration of first aid and medicines to boarders by the nursing staff. First aid experience is therefore desired and the role will require the completion of and maintenance of a relevant First Aid qualification.
• Be responsible for meeting all medical needs outside of school hours. The Lead Houseparent role will be the first point of contact for overnight medical support
• Maintain close liaison with the medical centre staff at all times concerning pupils, medical protocols and provision and as required provide additional coverage within the medical centre.
• Ensure hygiene and cleanliness of boarders (including appearance and uniform) are maintained.
• Contribute to a programme of continual risk assessment within the House.
• Be familiar with the School’s health, safety and security policies and procedures Safeguarding & Child Protection.
• Be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services check (or police check) from current country of residence and home country if different.
• Comply with the Code of Conduct for Staff.
• Be thoroughly familiar with the School’s policies on safeguarding and other areas of professional practice.
• Complete DSL Level Child Protection Training once appointed.
• Be responsible for confidential information and documentation and ensure this sensitive material is handled appropriately and accurately.
• Liaise with domestic staff concerning laundry and cleaning services.
• Ensure necessary preparations are in place for the start and end of terms.
• Help report and monitor maintenance and repairs in the House.
• Coordinate transportation arrangements with the Head of Boarding.
• Accompany pupils to medical and dental appointments and call for emergency treatment, if required.
• Help coordinate airport pick-ups and drop-offs.
• Participate in the School’s programme of performance management and continuing professional development, including annual safeguarding training.
• Undertake other duties and responsibilities as the Head of Boarding and other members of the Senior Leadership Team may reasonably require.
• Promote and support the boarding and whole school objectives at all times.
• Promote and support boarding and day school events and activities.
Key attributes for the role
• Experience of working with children is essential to the role.
• Commitment to the safety, health and well-being of children and young people.
• Tact, patience and sympathy in dealing with individuals.
• Flexible and adaptable in attitude and approach.
• Calmness under pressure.
• Commitment to the ethos and values of Holmewood House School (Aspiration, Self-Belief and Kindness).
• Resilient and personable.
Key Professional Skills
• Ability to communicate effectively with staff, parents and pupils.
• Competence in enforcing rules and routines.
• Effective time management and organisation skills.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to develop effective working relationships with others.
• Ability to use own initiative and work as part of a team.
• Demonstrate integrity.
• Knowledge and understanding of safeguarding and child protection issues.
• Awareness of the ethos of independent boarding and day schools.
• Awareness of current best practice in boarding.
Whilst every effort has been made to outline the main duties, responsibilities and requirements of the role the list is not exhaustive and the successful candidate will be required to undertake different tasks as necessitated to meet the changing needs of the school environment and the professional development of staff. This job description may therefore be subject to amendment.
Hours of work
In general, the Lead Houseparent is expected to be available to deal with both routine matters and emergencies that arise (including overnight) during term time plus one week at the beginning and one week at the end of each of the main school holiday periods. Due to the nature of the role, it is not possible to define specific working hours per week however, it is expected that the hours will be no fewer than 45. These hours may be exceeded from time to time to support the operation of the boarding house and medical centre but on average over the course of the term the working hours will be at an acceptable level in line with the
Working Time Regulations 1998.
£20,000 – £23,000 per annum depending on the skills and experience of the successful candidate.
Pension & School Benefits
The successful candidate will also be offered on-site accommodation, free of rent, inclusive of council tax and utilities to enable the fulfilment of the role, a range of benefits including an employer contributory pension, free parking, term time only working and free lunch/refreshments will be available.
The successful applicant will be offered the role subject to the satisfactory completion of a number of background checks including but not limited to; an enhanced DBS check, the taking up and verification of references, the verification of career history and fitness to undertake the role.
The school adopts a rigorous safer recruitment process which is adhered to in the appointment of all new members of staff. As part of the safer recruitment process, all applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post including, but not limited to, checks with past employers and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Lead Houseparents’ spouses or partners and any adult children or others living in the house must have an Enhanced DBS check and understand the schools’ Safeguarding and Child Protection policy and other key policies.
Holmewood House is committed to promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children. All staff are required to adhere to and ensure compliance with the School’s Safeguarding policies at all times.
If you wish to be considered for this role, please complete an online application form available on the job opportunities page or complete a word version and email to:
The closing date for applications is Thursday 1st December however, we reserve the right to interview candidates prior to the closing date. Early applications are encouraged.
CVs can also be submitted as supporting information to the application form.
If you would like more information on the role or require a hard copy application form please contact Kevin O’Riordan on 01892 860000.