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Deputy Headteacher - Applegarth Primary School


Dear Deputy Headteacher Applicant

Welcome to Applegarth Primary School.

Aim High….Be Happy….Celebrate....Together
On behalf of the governing body, thank you for taking an interest in the position of Deputy Headteacher. I hope that you will find the information provided a useful introduction to our school and that you will take the opportunity to apply for the post.

Our governors are seeking to appoint a leader who will build on the school’s many strengths. The pupils, staff, parents, governors and our community are proud of our school where the children thrive in a ‘vibrant, exciting and happy school’ with a ‘friendly feel’’.

Applegarth Primary School; a ‘Heritage School’, is a warm and friendly school located in the market town of Northallerton; serving a number of small villages in the surrounding area.

We wish to appoint a Deputy Headteacher who will ably support the Headteacher and, in doing so, continue to take our school forward. The school has the benefit of a highly committed, experienced, and loyal team of staff, supportive parents and governing body. In the changing educational environment, there will be many exciting challenges ahead.

I hope you find the information provided useful and informative and that it will encourage you to apply. On behalf of the governing body, thank you again for your interest in Applegarth Primary School.

Yours faithfully,

Sharon Fyfe

Chair of Governors


Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the Deputy Headteacher position at Applegarth Primary School.

We are a highly ambitious, inclusive and oversubscribed local authority maintained school judged ‘Good’ by OFSTED (Short inspection April 2018). Our children come from a variety of backgrounds and the vast majority want to do well, demonstrate good behaviour and have excellent attendance.

When the school opened in 1909, it was intended to be the flagship school in North Yorkshire providing the highest standard of education in the county. I am seeking to appoint a deputy who strives to provide this for the 280 children we serve. It is my belief that leaders should have unwavering high standards and support staff to share this sense of efficacy. We can change everything if we truly believe that our actions can make a difference and we pursue our goals without faltering.

Following my appointment (September 2019), and in the transition time leading up to taking up post, I have learnt that Applegarth School has a supportive and committed governing body who work well together with the SLT on a strategic and day-to-day basis. In turn, the wider staff body are hardworking and open to change and the challenge of further improving what is a good school. This is a very exciting time in the development of the school and one of my first tasks is to appoint a Deputy Headteacher who is an excellent classroom practitioner and whose educational philosophy and practices are in accord with the ethos and vision we share at the school.

We know that our journey will require us to build on our existing strengths to sustain improvement. Under my leadership the school will continue to focus on developing outstanding classroom practice and improving outcomes for all. Applicants should have experience coaching and mentoring colleagues with demonstrable impact.

I hope that you find the prospect of joining Applegarth Primary School and working alongside me to be an exciting opportunity. If you have the experience, knowledge and qualifications we are looking for and can demonstrate that you are committed to inclusion and excellence for all, we would very much like to hear from you.

Finally, I would encourage you to visit our school in advance of your application. You will get a sense of the warm atmosphere and see for yourself the enthusiasm that our children have for their education. Such a visit is not part of the selection process, and whether or not applicants have visited will not influence the final outcome. If you’d like the opportunity to visit, please email Steve Cooper at North Yorkshire County Council or call him on 01609 536578. Steve will also be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Yours faithfully,

Justin Peoples



School Website: (a new website is currently being built)

Applegarth Primary School is situated in the market town of Northallerton. Set within a very diverse community, we have good relationships with parents and the local authority. We currently have 280 pupils on roll and while our main catchment area is Northallerton, some children travel from neighbouring villages. We work collaboratively with local primary schools under the ‘Beacon Cluster’ and are also a partner school in the Swaledale Alliance, with good links with Rosendale (a research school) and the local nurseries.

Ofsted said that our children “thrive in a ‘vibrant, exciting and happy school’ with a ‘friendly feel’’.

Our school is a mix of old Victorian and new buildings, with a dedicated wildlife area within the school grounds and access to an offsite facility. Inside the building, a large hall is used for themed based assemblies, amongst other activities. There are 10 classes in the school; four in Reception and KS1 (ages 4-7) and six in KS2 (ages 7-11). The local area has a rich historical heritage and this is a key aspect for which we have been awarded national accreditation as a ‘Heritage School’.

We also have a breakfast club and after school clubs, with activities including sports & athletics, gardening, art and drama. Annual featured activities for pupils include residential visits to an outdoor activity centre (Years 5 & 6). Educational visits for all year groups are organised to enhance the children’s learning experience, including visits to the Sea Life Centre, Dorman Museum, Runswick Bay and the local library.


  • Head (DSL)
  • Deputy (1 day teaching and SENCO) – It is not essential for the new Deputy Headteacher to fulfil the SENCO role.
  • 11 class teachers for 10 classes including 1 x SLT (TLR) – KS1 lead

All teachers have subject responsibility.

  • 2 x HLTAs with teaching responsibilities to cover PPA time (1 is educational visit co-ordinator the other is link support to SENCo)
  • 5 x ATAs & 4 x GTAs with links to classes in KS1 and deployed where required within KS2 depending on pupil learning needs and delivering interventions for which they have been specifically trained
  • 2 x admin staff and 1 x part time bursar
  • 7 x MSAs
  • 4 x breakfast club staff (2 County/2 school)

Values & Ethos

Aim High, Be Happy, Celebrate, Together
At Applegarth we strive to provide a challenging and relevant curriculum that ignites pupils’ love of learning and successfully unlocks the true potential of each child.

We have high expectations of all of our learners and recognise that a unique approach is often required to meet the needs of individuals.

We believe reflective learning and resilience should underpin children’s learning in order to promote rounded, productive citizens who are ready to make a positive contribution to society.

Our ‘Applegarth Values’ help pupils to develop tolerance, respect diversity and care for others and the world around them in a safe environment. Each child is given the chance to be healthy and happy both mentally and physically.

The learning process is valued and we celebrate effort, attitude and achievement in equal measure.

Applegarth is a family where children take pride in themselves and their peers and support one another. Parents/carers, governors and the whole community are active participants in our school’s development.

Current attainment & progress

Outcomes for all pupils – 2019:

• GLD 66% compared with 72% nationally

Year 1
• 81% of pupils achieved the expected standard in the PSC

• Reading: EXS+ 76.2% GD 28.6%
• Writing: EXS+ 64.3% GD 9.5%
• Maths: EXS+ 76.2% GD 19.0%

• Reading: EXS+ 62.9% GD 25.7%
• Writing: EXS+ 68.6% GD 0%
• Maths: EXS+ 68.6% GD 17.1%
• Combined: EXS+ 54.3% GD 0%

Latest OFSTED Report

Key findings
Following the school’s previous inspection, the school was tasked with improving the quality of teaching to raise standards, particularly in mathematics. The school has taken a robust approach to improving the teaching of this subject. The new teaching method, recently introduced, shows some rapid improvement in mathematics achievement. This is particularly the case for the younger pupils who quickly move from using concrete apparatus to finding their own solutions.

Mathematics books of the older pupils, and in particular the most able, show that they are able to explain their mathematical reasoning in considerable depth. This skill is also reflected in comments from parents, who say that their children are developing good critical-thinking skills.

Pupils’ mathematics work in their books is set out clearly, helping them when writing down their calculations. Pupils’ ‘workings out’, sometimes in the form of pictorial representation for the younger pupils, is also recorded neatly, providing a clear picture of how they have concluded their answer.

Achievement in reading at the end of key stage 2 improved last year to be in line with the national average. The school has reviewed its provision and support to promote reading. Newly purchased books have inspired pupils to read a range of literature, including the classics such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’. Pupils talk enthusiastically about their enjoyment of reading both at school and at home, but are not always confident in discussing similarities and differences between authors.

The teaching of reading is not consistent throughout the school. While pupils show well-developed skills to sustain concentration during ‘silent reading’, time is not always well spent in lessons. Teachers do not always take the opportunity to teach skills to improve pupils’ understanding of unfamiliar words or explain how authors use language. Independent activities, planned for pupils, do not always help them to infer meaning from a text and develop as confident and proficient readers by the end of key stage 2.

Performance management is used to improve the quality of teaching. Leaders’ lesson observations provide detailed and comprehensive feedback to teachers, including the impact of their teaching on pupils’ achievement and progress.

Leaders have a secure understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and have accurately identified areas for improvement. The school’s improvement plan sets out the principles of raising achievement, but lacks clarity in setting out clearly the end of year expectations. This vagueness is reflected in subject leader action plans, which lack milestones or quantifiable targets by which to measure the impact of their work against improvement in pupils’ achievement.

Newly appointed subject leaders and governors are getting to grips with their strategic role. They are about to receive training to help them step back and review the impact of initiatives and expenditure on raising pupils’ achievement. Governors are actively involved in the school and do challenge leaders about pupils’ performance. However, they do not use the school’s plans for improvement sufficiently well to hold leaders to account.

School strengths

  • The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.
  • Successfully established culture for improvement within the school.
  • Pupils have good attitudes to learning. In lessons, they are keen to offer their suggestions, confident enough to clarify their own misconceptions in front of their peers and are motivated to challenge themselves. This culture of self-improvement is also evident from research as well as that of the staff. They are fully committed to their own professional development and participate in a range of projects and collaborative partnerships. This is helping to raise pupils’ achievement and is already having a positive impact on improving the teaching of mathematics and starting to have an impact on pupils’ achievement in reading.
  • The proportion of children who leave the early years’ foundation stage with a good level of development and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics is at least equivalent to the national average.
  • Parents are complimentary about the good provision at this stage of their children’s education and refer to the good start they get.
  • Pupils’ achievement in writing has improved since the school’s last inspection.
  • By the time pupils reach the end of key stage 2, pupils have made good progress in writing. This is also reflected in their attainment, which is similar to the national average, including those pupils writing at a higher standard.
  • The teaching of phonics has been improved. Younger pupils gain a solid foundation in learning their letter sounds so they acquire early reading skills. This is further secured at the end of key stage 1, where pupils’ achievement in reading is in line with the national average for the expected standard as well as at greater depth.
  • This good start has not been consistently reflected in achievement at the end of key stage 2. The school is now tackling this with new approaches to the teaching of reading in key stage 2, and this is starting to have an impact on improving pupils’ enjoyment of reading.
  • Achievement in mathematics, at the end of both key stages, has remained static over time. However, the school’s new teaching method, recently introduced, shows that some pupils are making rapid improvement. This is particularly so for the younger pupils and the most able pupils in key stage 2.
  • Safeguarding is effective.
  • Responses to the staff and parent questionnaires show confidence that the school provides a safe environment for the pupils. Pupils spoken to concur with this view. They understand how to stay safe in different situations including on the internet. They have a good understanding of what constitutes bullying and the procedures for dealing with it. They are confident that teachers use discipline fairly.
  • Leaders have created a safe culture to take care of the school’s pupils and ensure that procedures are implemented to protect them. Staff and governors understand their obligations for safeguarding and take appropriate action when necessary. They liaise with outside agencies, and this provides pupils and families with the support they need. Procedures and policies are fit for purpose. All members of staff are checked for their suitability to work with children. There was an omission in the record of the checks made on the verification of staff at the start of the inspection. This was rectified within the day. The school is highly vigilant in ensuring that pupils attend school regularly. There are robust systems in place to follow up absences on the first day. Where necessary, staff involve external agencies to ensure that pupils are safe when not in school.

Areas for improvement

Leaders and those responsible for governance should;

  • Develop the roles of new leaders and governors so that they can devise improvement plans clearly linked to pupils’ achievement and effectively review the impact of their initiatives.
  • Improve the teaching and delivery of phonics, early reading and reading in key stage 2 so that pupils’ progress and attainment are in line with national averages.


The financial forecast (dated 04/06/2019) was approved by the Governors. It shows an in year revenue deficit (2019/2020) of £1.4K, but a carry forward of £25.8k from 2018/2019, leaving an estimated year end revenue surplus in March 2020 of £24.4k. The school was funded on 277 pupils (as per the October 2018 census).

Moving forward, the school was predicted to have a small revenue deficit at the end of the 2020/2021 financial year of £8.0k, but these figures will be updated and revised for current estimates/ known factors later this term. If the revised figures still show a deficit, then the Governors will take action to address this.

The Governors have a good understanding of the finances of the school and would take steps to address any future budget issues.

Short term priorities

Quality of Education

  • To establish a robust system for the teaching, learning and assessment of phonics and early reading (RWI).
  • To improve reading progress and attainment to consistently above national (to ensure pupils are taking part in high impact reading activities on a daily basis)
  • To improve writing progress to consistently above national (to ensure writing and feedback is purposeful and impactful)
  • To diminish the difference in progress between disadvantaged pupils and others
  • To adapt the curriculum in line with pupils’ needs. (To enhance delivery of identified Foundation Subjects)

Behaviour and attitudes

  • To improve overall attendance and reduce persistent absenteeism for vulnerable learners and others (3.4%)
  • To increase the focus on reflection and restoration (To develop pupils’ self-regulation strategies) by adapting the behaviour system for KS2 (upper KS2)
  • To enhance the positive learning environment for vulnerable pupils (to improve ASD families experience of school)

Personal Development

  • Work towards an Online Safety Accreditation
  • Make links with a multicultural school in a deprived urban context
  • To further develop Middle Leaders’ curriculum development, analytical and reporting skills.
  • Rapidly improve safeguarding in school

Leadership and management

  • To develop provision to maximise entitlement to literacy activities
  • To increase progress and attainment in Literacy

Long term priorities

  • Continue to raise standards and progress at KS2
  • Further develop the wider curriculum while achieving national expectations
  • Diminish the difference between disadvantaged and other pupils
  • Improve early reading provision and foster a love of reading for all pupils

Future opportunities

  • The population of Northallerton is increasing, with a number of ongoing housing developments. This, together with the possibility of a new school being built, may mean a change to our current catchment area.
  • Building on collaborative approach with neighbouring schools

Future challenges

  • Popularity – increasing population in town
  • The space available in school is very limited and particularly outside areas. The footprint of the school allows no room for further expansion
  • Building is old but in relatively good condition and well maintained with few problems
  • Average numbers of pupils attracting pupil premium funding
  • Increasing number of children with lower language skills on admission

Wider Community

We attract a large diversity of families, with parents regularly choosing out of their catchment area. We continue to attract parents new to the area and need to continue to be a school of choice.

Parents are supportive of the school and tell us that the school is often recommended to them by other parents. Our engagement with parents/carers is imperative and we maintain communication via weekly newsletters, parent-blogs, information evenings and an active PTA who organise regular events within the school, raising funds which allow for many enhancement activities as well as improved facilities across the school.

Staff are positive and are fully supportive of the leadership team to continue to drive for better outcomes and consistently high quality Teaching & Learning. SEN support within our school is a strength.

Relations with the wider community are strong. The Town Council invites our school to events and the children have been involved with community projects, such as, the addition of a zebra crossing within the local car park, which the children now use when walking to events. While not a faith school, we have good links with 3 Churches in Northallerton, with members of these churches visiting and hosting whole school assemblies. Pendragon Community Trust is the school’s chosen charity.

We have a positive relationship with the Local Authority for HR support, financial support (bursar), catering, cleaning, grounds and buildings maintenance and a close working relationship with our School Improvement colleagues. We continue to maintain strong links to secondary schools and our children attend a local secondary school for familiarisation trips.

As well as a successful partnership between the school, the parents and the pupils; our partnership also extends to working closely with other schools, including Rosendale Research School, London and local nurseries. We work collaboratively with local primary schools under the 'Beacon Cluster', which provides opportunities for schools to share resources and provide shared events and experiences for children.

We are also a partner school in the Swaledale Alliance and are an out of area partner school for Schools North East. All members benefit from collaborative support to improve learning outcomes for pupils and continued professional development (CPD) of teachers and potential teachers.

Lying in the centre of a large rural area, Northallerton was established as a market town in 1200 by Royal Charter, and there is still a market in the town today. Northallerton is a thriving town with good facilities, especially for sports and cultural activities and is the major retail centre for the local area, with close proximity to the Yorkshire Dales and coastal resorts, it is an ideal base to explore the nearby moors, historical cities and picturesque villages. Northallerton benefits from easy connectivity to the A1M, M62, A19, A64 providing convenient connectivity to  Durham, Teesside, Darlington, Newcastle, York and Leeds. Travel time to London is a little over two hours by train.

About living and working in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is England's largest county and one of the most rural. The area comprises the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Pennines and a stunning coastline around Scarborough and Whitby. The area hosted the phenomenal Tour de France in 2014, and due to its success has created the Tour de Yorkshire with global recognition. There are ruined castles and abbeys, serene gardens, unique breweries, thrilling rides and industrial heritage. Something for everyone!

North Yorkshire has plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast. From the hard gritstone of Almscliff and Brimham rocks to the limestone of Malham, Gordale and Kilnsey, climbing venues are in abundance. The Yorkshire Dales is the premier area for caving and for mountain biking; there are the bridleways of the Dales and North York Moors as well as the renowned trail centre at Dalby Forest. There are a small number of sailing clubs on reservoirs around the county and fantastic surfsport venues and sea kayaking on the east coast.

While the county is rightly known for its wide open spaces, it also incorporates attractive market towns including Pickering and Helmsley, traditional seaside towns, the Spa town of Harrogate and the ancient city of York - the most visited city outside of London. There are a wide range of shopping, leisure and cultural facilities as well as excellent schools, universities, road and rail links, there really is everything to offer you and your family as a place to work, live and enjoy!

Travelling further afield we have convenient connectivity, with close proximity to metropolitan cities of Leeds and Newcastle, with little over two hours commute on the main train line to London. We border the Lake District, Lancashire, County Durham, and Yorkshire & Humber regions with all they have to offer.

Aim High, Be Happy, Celebrate, Together

Applegarth Primary School, Upwell Road, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL7 8QF
Number on Roll: 280
Post: Deputy Headteacher
Commencing: April 2020
Salary: L6 - L11   £45,213 - 51,234

Currently rated as Good by Ofsted (April 2018), our school is comprised of a mix of old Victorian and new buildings, with a dedicated wildlife area within the school grounds and access to an offsite facility. Our local area has a rich historical heritage and this is a key aspect for which we have been awarded national accreditation as a ‘Heritage School’. A very popular school, we are over-subscribed and working on plans to manage the increasing demand for places.

Situated in the market town of Northallerton, we are a warm, happy school where we value our community and have an ethos of kindness and support for each other, placing a high premium on creating a learning environment in which children thrive in a ‘vibrant, exciting and happy school’ with a ‘friendly feel’.

Working closely with the Headteacher, you will promote high expectations across all areas of the curriculum, in regards to pupils’ attainment and progress, behaviour, attitudes to learning; supporting our pupil’s wellbeing and supporting families; providing an atmosphere in which all pupils can learn, play and grow and showing support to each other.

To succeed, you must be an outstanding classroom practitioner with proven leadership experience and the ability to motivate and inspire. Approachable and determined, you must be able to evidence success in supporting and developing colleagues; leading change for improvement and, above all, maximising pupil achievement.

There is clearly much potential and with highly committed, experienced, and loyal staff, strong relationships with parents and carers and a supportive LA and governing body, there is much to look forward to.

In return, we can offer you strong support and the opportunity for your continued professional development.
We very much welcome school visits. If you’d like the opportunity to visit, please email Steve Cooper at North Yorkshire County Council or call him on 01609 536578. Steve will also be happy to answer any questions you might have.

For an informal conversation about the role and details of how to apply please call Steve Cooper at North Yorkshire County Council on 01609 536578 or email:

Key dates:

School visits: 10am, Friday 22 November & 2pm, Tuesday 26 November  

Closing date: Midnight, Sunday 8 December

Shortlisting date: w/c 9 December

Assessment event: Thursday 9 & Friday 10 January


When applying please take into account the following:

Supporting Information

The supporting information section of your application should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification. The information in Supporting Information will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested.


When completing your application, please provide 2 employment references. A faith reference is not required.

For an informal, confidential conversation about the role, please call Steve Cooper who is supporting this recruitment process on behalf of Applegarth Primary School and can be contacted at North Yorkshire County Council on 01609 536578.

We very much welcome school visits. If you’d like the opportunity to visit, please email Steve. Dates when we can accommodate visits are detailed above - if these are not possible for you please contact Steve, as we may be able to offer alternatives.

Supporting Documents
Person Specification
Job Description

When applying please take into account the following:

Supporting Information
The supporting information section of your application should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification. This will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested.

When completing your online application, please provide two employment references.

Last updated: March 2019