Dear Applicant, Thank you for taking the time to find out more about Ark Academy and the role of Receptionist. This information pack is intended to give you a good sense of the role, understand our vision and goals for establishing the new Ark Academy, and learn about the network of ARK Schools. The Receptionists will be joining me (the Principal), the Finance and Resources Manager and the founding staff team from September 2010 onwards (although we can be flexible depending on your availability). This is a unique and exciting opportunity to join us at the outset of an exciting new venture, where you can make a real and lasting difference. We have the privilege of starting a new school from scratch, setting the highest expectations and making outstanding progress from the start. Ark Academy opened to reception pupils in September 2008 in high quality, specialist designed temporary accommodation. However, it is only this September that the brandnew, all through, academy will be founded; as the first year 7 intake arrives and the new buildings will be completed. The academy will then grow, year on year, until it eventually has students from 3 to 18 years of age. The post holder of these roles will provide comprehensive administrative support service to ensure the smooth running of either the secondary or primary reception office and support academy wide administrative tasks as requested to ensure that projects are completed in a timely and efficient manner and staff are able to make effective use of their time and meet their commitments. The ideal candidate will have the relevant skills and expertise, excellent inter-personal and organisational skills and be able to follow instructions, make good judgments and lead when required. To apply for the role, please complete the application form and send it to Kristen Bridgeman at firstname.lastname@example.org by 9 am on Wednesday 30th June 2010. Interviews will take place on the week commencing the 12th July 2010. If you have any queries, please contact Kristen on 0203 116 0873. I look forward to receiving your application.
Delia Smith, OBE
Principal, Ark Academy Ark Academy Ark Academy is a mixed, non-selective, non-denominational school, specialising in mathematics and citizenship. When the school is fully open it will provide 1,630 new school places, comprising: • • •
60 nursery places 420 primary places 1, 150 secondary and sixth form places
Alongside the primary students, of whom there are currently 120 (with reception and year 1 only) we are aiming to attract an initial cohort of 180 year 7 pupils who will be organised into 8 classes of approximately 23 pupils per class. These smaller class sizes and dedicated tutor time will mean every pupil will be known by staff and their individual needs will be more readily identified and catered for. Our school day will run from 8.20am-5pm (except on Fridays) for secondary pupils, providing an extended curriculum and a range of enrichment opportunities to engage the talents and interests of the students and give extra support where necessary. We will particularly encourage all students to extend their musical and sporting/fitness involvement after school and all pupils will be expected to engage with the enrichment provision from Monday – Thursday. Curriculum and assessment Our extended curriculum enables us to cover both depth and breadth in the curriculum. We will teach the core skills of English and mathematics on a daily basis further supported by our emphasis on daily reading and our mathematics specialism. Science will also have a high priority. In addition, all other major subjects of the National Curriculum will be taught to ensure breadth and a stimulating learning environment. Tracking pupil progress, moderation of student standards and setting stretching targets for every child will be at the heart of assessment practices. Key pupil interventions and adjustments to the curriculum planning will stem from our detailed knowledge of pupil learning. Student Support We support Ark’s Small school ethos through our Year System and will ensure that every child’s needs and progress are intimately known. We will also supplement a strong sense of belonging and Ark Academy identity through the development of a House System supporting our enrichment and rewards systems.
The buildings have been designed by award winning architects Studio E (who created the successful design for City of London Academy in Southwark) and are organised to support calm and ordered learning. Pupils will have access to specialist indoor and outdoor sports facilities, excellent science, ICT facilities, music, Design and Technology, art and drama studios and a 150 sqm, well stocked and up to date library as well as inviting and well-equipped classrooms. The excellent new sporting facilities will also benefit the surrounding community. The existing London Transport owned playing fields will become part of the school and are being upgraded and will be available for community use outside school hours at affordable rates. The school's innovative design will be built to high environmental standards.
About ARK Schools ARK Schools is part of the children’s charity ARK which runs a range of health, welfare and education projects in Southern Africa, Eastern Europe, India and the UK. It was created in 2004 to work with the DCSF, local authorities and others to set up new schools and replace existing schools through the academies programme. Its aim is to operate a network of outstanding, non-selective, inner-city academies offering high quality education to children of all abilities and backgrounds. Including Ark Academy, ARK Schools runs a network of eight academies in London and in Birmingham and Portsmouth. ARK Schools has no religious affiliation and is committed to comprehensive education. Support programmes ARK Schools also runs, develops and funds other programmes to help our schools succeed. • We support schools with Extended School activities and local literacy and numeracy programmes. • Our Future Leaders programme helps develop outstanding senior leaders for challenging urban schools. • The Teaching Leaders programme helps develop middle leaders in urban secondary schools. • We are opening a new specialist unit in November 2009. ARK Plus is a pilot programme that will provide focused academic and behavioural support for year seven pupils in three of our south London academies. ARK Schools’ ethos Academic achievement – no excuses ARK Schools has high expectations for its pupils. We believe that every child can realise their potential given the right encouragement, teaching and support. We want every pupil at our academies to leave with the academic qualifications and skills they need to have a real choice at 18, whether that’s to continue their education or to pursue a career. We do everything possible to ensure that every child achieves year level expectations, every year. We won’t accept excuses and we won’t make any either. Culture – personal responsibility and mutual respect Our academies aim to maintain a respectful and orderly environment so that pupils can focus on learning and teachers on teaching. ARK academies operate with a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to poor behaviour and transparent and rigorous systems of rewards and sanctions. We believe that a successful education includes developing and nurturing the personal qualities of every pupil. ARK academies give students the opportunity to learn and experience different extra-curricular activities by running after school clubs. We also aim to work closely with parents and the community to enlist their involvement and make school facilities available to them. Commitment We expect all pupils, parents, teachers and support staff to sign a home-school agreement before school starts, so that everyone is committed to putting in the effort to ensure that each child succeeds. ARK Schools are committed to the development of our staff and offering training opportunities and a unique
range of benefits to all staff. We support our academies’ meritocratic approach, giving skilled and dedicated teachers early opportunities to lead schools within schools. Small schools Large schools can be intimidating. Several of the ARK academies are organised into a set of ‘small schools’, so that every pupil knows and is known by every teacher within their small school. The small school model is based on research that demonstrates the success of smaller schools in improving behaviour, attendance and academic achievement. The core curriculum: depth before breadth English and mathematics are the foundation for all other subjects and are critical to success at school and in life. Our academies aim to develop strong readers and communicators who love to use their skills and children who are confident working with numbers in everyday life. Our curriculum is designed and structured to ensure that all children master essential knowledge in these core subjects. Our specialisms All of our academies have specialist school status in mathematics. We believe it is vitally important to provide our pupils with the tools necessary to become numerically confident adults. All ARK schools specialise in maths and ARK invests a great deal in the resources needed to attract and train the best maths teachers. We will ensure that all our pupils become competent mathematicians, at ease with both its theoretical and practical uses.
Benefits of the ARK Schools Network ARK Schools also provides the following benefits to its academies staff: Staff training; in addition to a commitment to comprehensive staff training from individual academies, staff will also benefit from a range of different training opportunities available from ARK leaders. Network lead practitioners; these outstanding teachers function as ARK specific Advanced Skills Teachers who have the wider capacity as part of their substantive role to support staff and school development across the network. Interested teachers can apply for this two year additional responsibility with the support of their principal. MA bursary; ARK offers teaching staff the opportunity to further their knowledge and understanding of education through a subsidised part-time MA in education at King’s College London. The MA bursary covers the majority of the £3,600 course fee, with teachers expected to contribute just £500. Scholarships; for staff wishing to undertake a qualification or training in a more specific area ARK has three scholarships each year worth £1,500. International development opportunities; this spring 13 members of staff from across the academy network will visit Jamaica with the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ Teachers International Professional Development programme. ARK has also established a summer school exchange programme
to China, specifically for primary teachers and are developing partnerships with two charter schools in New Orleans for teacher secondments. Financial planning and assistance; there are also several benefits to help staff plan their finances. For instance the academies all provide; childcare vouchers, interest free annual season ticket or bicycle purchase loans (for which monthly repayments are deducted from the employee’s salary before tax) and the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme. Discounted gym membership; all Ark Schools employees receive a minimum 20% discount at Fitness First clubs around the country.
JOB DESCRIPTION ACADEMY RECEPTIONISTS Reports to:
Circa. £17,500 (full time, term time only)
The Role To answer any incoming calls and deal with them accordingly in order to provide a high level telephone support service to the school. To provide a comprehensive administrative support service to ensure the smooth running of either the secondary or primary reception office and support academy wide administrative tasks as requested to ensure that projects are completed in a timely and efficient manner and staff are able to make effective use of their time and meet their commitments. Key responsibilities Reception • • • • • • • • • • • •
Act as the one of the academy’s main receptionists, providing a first point of contact for all incoming calls to ensure that they are answered in a timely and professional manner. Ensure that all calls are correctly routed to their intended recipients, or an appropriate member of staff, to assure a quick and effective communication system. Log telephone calls and ensure that relevant information is passed on in a timely manner. Greet visitors to the reception area as required, ensuring that visitors are welcomed into a friendly, professional environment. Listen to the schools voicemail, recording all messages and ensure that they can be dealt with by an appropriate member of staff in a timely fashion. Check that any changes to the school main voicemail are made to ensure that callers receive up to date information, should their call not be answered. Use texting systems to inform parents/groups of parents of urgent issues. Ensure that queries are dealt with effectively, taking the initiative to identify and handle issues that arise on behalf of the Leadership team and others. To deal with post. Ensure all deliveries are moved to the appropriate location asap. Ensure plasma in reception is working and up to date. Ensure reception area is clean, free from clutter and well presented as first impression of Ark Academy.
Ensure that internal and external perceptions of the academy are managed and protected within favourable boundaries, maintaining confidentiality wherever appropriate. The role holder will need to liaise with colleagues and external contacts at all levels of seniority with confidence, tact and diplomacy.
Administrative Support • This will vary according to location but will include one or more areas of administrative responsibility. In addition to general clerical, administrative support e.g. photocopying, filing, emailing, some of these duties will require using the admin IT system for the Academy. Other • To undertake training and development relevant to the post and in line with the Academy’s developing profile. • To undertake any task as directed by the Principal or line manager.
PERSON SPECIFICATION Qualification Criteria • •
Relevant qualifications Right to work in UK.
Experience • Good communication skills • Experience of running effective administrative and clerical systems within a school or similar context. • Good administrative and organisational skills • Understanding of the importance of confidentiality and discretion • Competent with computers and other technology • Previous experience of working as a receptionist desirable. Personal characteristics • • • • •
Helpful and positive nature, calm, diplomatic and “front of house” awareness Excellent/adaptable “people skills” Understands the importance of confidentiality and discretion Able to follow instructions accurately but make good judgments and lead when required Keen to learn and develop own skills.
Specific skills • Excellent literacy and communication skills, including written and oral • Professional telephone manner • Highly competent computer skills, in particular using Word, Excel, Internet and Email • Excellent administrative and organisational skills • Ability to deal with minor incidents, first aid, and the personal health and hygiene of the pupils • Understands the importance of confidentiality and discretion. Other • •
Commitment to the safeguarding and welfare of all pupils This post is subject to an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure.
ARK Academies, Safe Recruitment Procedure ARK Academies is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in its academies. In order to meet this responsibility, its’ academies follow a rigorous selection process to discourage and screen out unsuitable applicants. This process is outlined below, but can be provided in more detail if requested. Disclosure This post is classified as having substantial access to children, and appointment is subject to an enhanced police check of previous criminal convictions (CRB). Applicants are required, before appointment, to disclose any conviction, caution or binding over including ‘spent convictions’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exemptions) Order 1975. Non-disclosure may lead to termination of employment. However, disclosure of a criminal background will not necessarily debar individuals from employment – this will depend upon the nature of the offence(s) and when they occurred. Shortlisting Only those candidates meeting the right criteria will be taken forward from application. Interview 1. Candidates will be expected to bring identification to the final round interview and also sign a copy of the declaration on their application form at first interview 2. Candidates will be subject to an in-depth interview (of which there may be two such sessions; a screening at ARK followed by academy specific interview and, where appropriate, lesson observation) 3. Candidates will be asked to address any discrepancies, anomalies or gaps in their application form. Reference checking References from the previous and current employer will be taken up for shortlisted candidates, and where necessary employers may be contacted to gather further information. Probation All new staff will be subject to a probation period of six months (which may, in certain circumstances, be extended by up to 10 weeks). The probation period is a trial period, to enable the assessment of an employee’s suitability for the job for which they have been employed. It provides the academies with the opportunity to monitor and review the performance of new staff in relation to various areas, but also in terms of their commitment to safe guarding and relationships with pupils.
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