Headteacher - Clifton Green Primary School 


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for visiting our dedicated Headteacher recruitment website.

Clifton Green Primary School is, above all else, a school at the beating heart of its community. We serve a truly mixed catchment area and thrive on the vibrant mixture of support and challenge that we are able to offer our children and families.

We are, to borrow the phrase, “on a journey”. We have been graded a Good school and currently have a Requires Improvement grading but might have placed ourselves in the new model as having many good features and potentially able to secure a Good grading in the very near future. As it has for many, COVID has changed things, yet it has also underpinned exactly why we are on the cusp of that level of external approval.

The vacancy has arisen following the departure of our Headteacher who was in that position for 9 years. Since September 2019, we have been working with our Acting Headteacher, Miss N Jones. There has been significant turnover amongst the Governing Body during the same time but with a strong body still in place. These changes set the scene for an appointment which will take Clifton Green forward to secure Good and better whilst maintaining its place as a community driven, children centred provision for learning and growth for all.

We have not stood still during the academic year of 2019/20, nor have we hidden away during Lockdown. Our Curriculum Vision, our drive for Inclusion and development of Quality First Teaching are at the centre of our planning. Budget is well managed but not in surplus yet, Staffing is very secure, highly skilled and just as highly motivated to embrace as an opportunity the challenge of re-opening to all. We work closely with our Local Authority, City of York, and benefit from strong relationships with our nearest Academy Trust schools and Teaching School Alliances.

We are a collaborative Governing Body with high engagement in school strategy and are determined to build on some superb foundations as well as to learn from the past challenges that we have overcome. We have implemented a new leadership structure to underpin our vision and have an open mind in this recruitment process to empowering a new visionary and inspiring leader. This is a true and transparent opportunity to lead our school to an outstanding future.

We look forward to your involvement and participation in this process.

John Kesterton

Chair of Governors

Website:              https://www.cliftongreenprimary.co.uk/

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/cliftongreenprimary/

School videos:

Situated around a mile north of the city centre in the Clifton suburb of York, Clifton Primary is a 2 form entry school with 444 pupils on roll including a Nursery which operates morning and afternoon sessions.

We serve a mixed catchment, predominantly around the Kingsway area of Clifton. This area mainly consisting of estates and terraced properties. Our pupils have a broad range of abilities with some who are very able and who take part in lots of extra-curricular activities right through to children with special educational needs. Some of these pupils receive support in our Hornbeam SEND classroom. Currently, we have 96 SEND pupils including 10 of those who have EHCPs.

Clifton Green serves an area in York that free school meals and pupil premium figures do not represent accurately. The IDACI (Income Deprivation Affecting Children Indicator) shows the area is in the 6% most deprived in England and 2 of the 3 most deprived neighbourhoods in York (out of 120). It should also be noted that York is in the bottom two funded LAs nationally.

Our children are described as enthusiastic, welcoming, friendly and confident. The school has a vibrant feel and benefits from a happy and supportive community. There is some real creative talent in the school.

That said, we have a broad range of behaviours and sometimes these can be challenging but we have a robust behaviour policy in place. Attendance at the school is above the national average.

Relationships with parents and carers are good. The school is positioned in the heart of the community and we endeavour to be a welcoming and open school for all. We maintain communication with parents and carers in a variety of ways including:

  • School Magazine - an opportunity to share the fantastic work of our pupils
  • Website and Facebook - regular communications through online channels of updates and events. This has also provided a platform to share additional learning content during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Letters - important updates given to all pupils to take home
  • Phone calls - during lockdown staff have been making phone calls to check in on wellbeing of pupils, especially those considered vulnerable.

In addition, we offer:

  • In-house breakfast and after school clubs, wrap around care from 7.30am – 5.45pm
  • Snack shack – providing food close to its sell buy date from supermarkets for a donation
  • Mud Pie Arts work closely with young children to develop speaking and listening through drama
  • Educational trips and visits supported by having the school minibus
  • Great use is made of the closeness and facilities of the city e.g. The Rose Theatre Shakespearean productions, the Minster, local libraries, various museums and historical sites.
  • Y5 residential visit to Carlton Lodge
  • Y6 annual trip to London and funded one-week Abbey Farm residential for 10 children
  • Clifton Wood, on school grounds, planted circa 2011 used for Forest School as well as a pond on school property and links with Homestead Park.
  • Sports Day on the beach in Scarborough

We also attend:

We host:

  • Dads’ Breakfast Saturdays
  • Annual Bonfire Night
  • Annual Greenfest
  • Christmas performances
  • Advent fairs

We are also a Partner School with York Theatre Royal (last year performing Julius Caesar)

We also benefit from strong collaborative partnerships with the following:

  • Pathfinder TSA – buying in CPD and will have 2 teaching students on their first placement this year
  • York St John – 2 final year students
  • Ebor Academy Trust – training and support for apprentices and teaching assistant training level 3
  • York College – training and support for apprentices (Apprenticeship Awards regional winners of SME category and highly commended in the National Awards
  • York Schools and Academies Board – advice network is readily available through the regular meetings with the Headteacher

Clifton Green is a thriving primary school in York, where children are supported to achieve their highest potential and experience opportunities that enrich their lives. History and culture is on our doorstep. The city centre of York is only a short walk away and is an integral part of children’s heritage and education at Clifton Green.

Families are fully involved in everyday school life as well as special events and this mutual support is vital to everything we do and achieve. Our school is at the heart of the community, we are proud to live, learn and work in Clifton.

We value the diversity of all our pupils and their families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be mutually enriching for all, as it enables us to focus and reflect on tolerance and respect for each other, as well as considering our individual freedoms and the role of democracy in our country. This helps us celebrate the differences in our community and the wider world. Embracing these British Values correspond with our own school values:

  • Valuing Family and Community
  • Showing We Care
  • Raising Aspirations
  • Excellence in Learning
  • Enriching Childhood
  • Celebrating Diversity
  • Teaching with Passion

These seven key values underpin our School motto, ‘Better Never Stops’ which is part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.

Our school motto and values run through all aspects of our curriculum. We aim to enrich the children’s lives to ensure that they are prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences they may face in later life. Our staff understand that learning is a change to long-term memory and they support children in making links between isolated pieces of information and procedures so they have a solid understanding of the world around them and the subjects they will study.

The school is currently led by an Acting Head (the substantive Deputy) since the departure of the Headteacher in the Spring term. The Senior Leadership team comprises 3 Assistant Heads (one responsible for KS1, one for KS2 and the other for Early Years and SENDCO) and a Business Manager.

Other staff are as follows:

Teachers:              18.91 fte

TAs:                      22.5 fte

Support staff:       12.11 fte

As with all schools, the budget is constrained but well managed, though not yet in surplus. The governors will work closely with the Headteacher to ensure costs are controlled while enabling agility of spending when necessary to maximise the use of resources that become available.  governors have a good understanding of the finances of the school and would take the necessary steps to address any future budget issues.

Financial Monitoring - Summary Report

Budget Forecast

Revenue Forecast

In September 2018, we suffered a data driven Requires Improvement Ofsted Report and although highly rated for our community work, underwent a critical period of scrutiny. A routine Audit identified substantial concerns now addressed by Governors and Staff. There were substantial changes in staffing and in Governance including a co-opted Chair (John Kesterton) and an Acting Head (the Deputy) was installed for September 2019. The Headteacher resigned and departed in Spring term leading to the permanent vacancy. Other changes at SENDCO level as well as the usual maternity and sick leave changes coupled with a small number of routine departures tell us that a period of stability is a priority.

Our community values remain a high priority with process, quality assurance and monitoring arising from the Audit, the reconfigured focus. Curriculum, teaching and learning were the focus of the Deputy Head’s appointment in 2017-18 and have become a strength in the school which has translated into rising achievement. We continue to receive support from YSAB and the Local Authority.

We are now seeking a period of stability for our children, families and staff to concentrate on the core improvement intentions. Potential academisation is considered each school year, based on current context and available support etc. Alongside this, a review is undertaken of the local MATs that we could join as an academy.

Assessment Report, July 2020

Current school strengths (assessed by York Schools and Academies Board, January 2020)

  • KS2 outcomes in Writing, Maths and Grammar as well as combined Reading, Writing and Maths have improved from 2018.
  • A highly positive Teaching and Learning review in May 2019 noted improving monitoring and evaluation by governors and senior leaders, subject leaders have clearer understanding of what is needed to improve provision in their subject, greater consistency of teaching and learning across KS1 and KS2, greater pupil engagement and improved standard of work in books.
  • A Pupil Premium Review has been implemented in conjunction with a Pupil Premium NLE which has resulted in a robust plan being produced.
  • The school has committed to working with FFT as a pilot school on the new pupil tracking system.

Other strengths include:

  • Community focused approach (events, snack shack etc.)
  • Award winning nurture provision

From sustainability section of YSAB:

  • Governors have clear priorities for improvement and a monitoring and evaluation schedule in place
  • Governors seek advice and support to carry out effective performance management of the headteacher
  • Headteacher and senior leaders have a developed schedule of: pupil progress reviews, teaching and learning reviews, work/book scrutiny, analysis of performance data, set targets in line with FFT
  • Pivotal behaviour strategies are firmly embedded and reviewed annually
  • Induction procedures in place for new staff in school systems
  • There is an annual survey of parents, pupils and staff so that any concerns or emerging issues can be quickly addressed and to assess the impact of school improvement priorities including pupil premium
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation to track the progress made since last Ofsted inspection

Current areas identified for improvement

  • Improve progress in reading and mathematics for all pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, by:
    • implementing effectively the use of the school’s recently introduced pupil progress tracking system
    • further developing pupils’ mathematical knowledge, ensuring that recently introduced approaches to teaching number, problem solving and reasoning are consistently established across the school
    • further embedding the consistency of the teaching of reading, particularly pupils’ comprehension skills
    • ensuring that pupils’ attainment in grammar, punctuation and spelling improves.
  • Improve children’s attainment in reading, writing and mathematics in early years so that a greater proportion are well prepared to start Year 1.
  • Improve the effectiveness of leadership by:
    • using available information to arrive at accurate self-evaluation judgements, particularly in relation to pupils’ outcomes and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment
    • further developing the skills of leaders new to their roles, including the deputy headteacher, and subject leaders for English and mathematics
    • developing the level of challenge provided to leaders by Governors, particularly in relation to pupils’ outcomes and the effectiveness of the spending of additional funding such as the pupil premium and physical education (PE) and sport funding.

Ofsted Inspection

September 2018 RI:        https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50033176

May 2014 Good:             https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/2393189

School Improvement Plan

It will be a priority of the appointee to transition from a detailed YSAB action plan to a formalised School Improvement Plan focussing on:

  • High Quality Teaching and Learning evidenced by good progress and achievement.
  • Maintain community profile and commitment to staff and pupil well-being.
  • Secure improved site and building quality for the next decade and beyond.

Improvement priorities:

1. Improve children’s attainment in Reading, Writing and Mathematics across school
a. EYFS & KS1
i. ELKLAN training and Wellcomm intervention
ii. Support from Yorkshire Endeavour English Hub
b. Whole School
i. Curriculum design a key priority, with reading, vocabulary, metacognition and explicit modelling of writing central to implementation
c. KS2
i. Further embed recent changes
1. Focus on developing maths vocabulary and reasoning and problem solving skills throughout school
2. Use Iris Connect for peer support and coaching
ii. Ensure best practice is spread consistently across school
1. Upscaling writing project
2. Assessment of Writing to be reviewed
3. Further embed new Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling progression plan
4. Upscale Reading for Real project
5. Review and develop Reading throughout school with a focus on whole-class skills sessions, improving speed and stamina and structuring answers to comprehension questions
6. Targeted reading groups in Year 6
7. Develop children’s oracy skills
iii. Consistently challenge most able pupils
d. Whole School
i. Review and develop school behaviour policy and engage with Pivotal Education behaviour training package
2. Improve the effectiveness of leadership
a. Provide leadership support to mentor and coach the headteacher and to English and Maths Leads, so that leaders at all levels, including governors, are highly effective by:
i. sharing responsibility to monitor the progress of pupils
ii. Development of work with Huntington Research School, including EEF evidence
iii. Early data analysis with a sharper focus on school-improvement cycle and the key areas of improvement needed
iv. Completion of barriers to learning and cohort flight path documents, including FFT estimates
v. Induction of new staff
vi. Develop a bespoke CPD package for governors
vii. FFT training for teachers and governors

Support from the Governors has improved markedly in the last year

  • Working parties: Return to School, Challenging the Most Able Students (some members of the TLC group) Photocopier & IT Tender.
  • Regular committee meetings (TL, Resources)
  • Visits to core subjects (English & Maths) termly, CoG & VC visit regularly. 2x Governors visited during Covid lockdown to see how school was set up for the Return to School. Governor presence at staff meetings throughout this year for support of SLT and staff as well as Assemblies and Christmas services.
  • Weekly contact between Headteacher and Chair or Vice Chair
  • Chair/Vice Chair attendance at key staff briefings on SEND Adaptations, on Leadership capacity development, on virtual briefings during lockdown and in all cases, appreciation of staff time and commitment to quality first work.
  • Exit interviews conducted.
  • Governor participation in staff appointments.

Quote from Business Manager “I have to say that I have noticed a huge increase in the support governors have offered us since September. Naturally there has been every need for the increased help given the difficult year. That said it is reassuring to know that all of the team of governors are supportive, friendly and genuinely care about the school and those of us employed at CG.

I would have no hesitation emailing questions or picking up the phone to seek advice. It has also been really helpful having individual working parties to achieve jobs like updating the photocopiers and the IT tender as well of course as the COVID working party.

As a member of the leadership team I think I can speak for all of us and say we feel greatly supported.”

Internationally acclaimed for its rich heritage and historic architecture, York is a beautiful, thriving city with low unemployment and highly performing tourism, cultural and entertainment industries.  York’s streets are busy with visitors from all over the world and is the most visited city outside London, and was voted the best place to live in the UK in 2018.  It marries a rich history with cutting edge technology, recently gaining UNESCO status as a City of Media Arts.

York isn’t just a great place to visit: it’s a great place to live.  York has a vibrant atmosphere, great shopping and eating yet is small enough to retain a friendly sense of community.

There are a variety of residential options, ranging from within the city centre to the handsome surrounding villages. There are restaurants, leisure activities and opportunities to cater for all tastes and interests.

York is one of the UK’s best connected cities, served by several main rail lines: you can be in London or Edinburgh in under two hours. In and around the city there are several park and ride services, a comprehensive bus network and good cycle routes.

Looking more widely, Yorkshire has something for everyone: from the rugged Dales and Moors to the gentle Wolds, from genteel Scarborough to the wilderness of Spurn Point and from metropolitan Leeds to market towns like Malton and Beverley. The area was brought to global attention when the Grand Depart of the Tour de France took place in 2014 and the success of the event created the Tour de Yorkshire.

Clifton Green Primary School, Water Lane, York, YO30 6JA


Number on roll: 444 including 39 in Nursery

Start date: January 2021

Contract type: Full Time

Salary: L11-L24

Contract term: Permanent

Clifton Green Primary School is, above all else, a school at the beating heart of its community. We serve a truly mixed catchment area and thrive on the vibrant mixture of support and challenge that we are able to offer our children and families.

We are, to borrow the phrase, “on a journey”. We have been graded a Good school and currently have a Requires Improvement grading but might have placed ourselves in the new model as having many good features and potentially able to secure a Good grading in the very near future.

The governing body is seeking to appoint a committed and experienced individual able to provide the management and leadership needed to further shape and deliver our school improvement plan. You will raise standards, concentrating on high quality teaching and learning and evidenced by good progress and achievement. You will need to be effective and highly motivated with the ability to develop a curriculum that will ‘uplift and extend’ while developing systems and promoting accountability. A skilled communicator, team builder and goal setter, you must also possess the gravitas to succeed in ensuring our partnership work is both maintained developed to meet the ever changing needs of the school and the wider school community.

In return, you will receive support from the governors, parents, local authority, local academies and TSAs.

As you will understand, given the current situation with Covid – 19, it may not be possible to visit our school in advance of your application and it is highly likely that the assessment event will take place remotely. However, for an informal, confidential conversation about the role, please call Steve Cooper (Tel: 07976 653898) who has been engaged by the governors to support this recruitment process.

When applying please take into account the following:

When completing your application, please provide 2 employment references.

Supporting Documentation
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.

Key dates
Closing date: Midnight, Thursday 24 September
Shortlisting: Wednesday 30 September
Assessment event: Thursday 15 & Friday 16 October

Job Description
Person Specification