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Headteacher - Dringhouses Primary School


Dear Applicant

Thank you very much for taking an interest in the position of Headteacher at Dringhouses Primary School. I hope that you will find the information provides 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 children are happy, well-behaved and enjoy learning.

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

We would encourage you to come and visit in advance of your application and see for yourself the enthusiasm that our pupils 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.

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 Dringhouses Primary School.

Yours faithfully,


Jamie Kew-Robson

Vice Chair of Governors

Dringhouses is a popular, larger than average (NOR 311) school located in the south west of the city of York. It is just off Tadcaster Road with good connections to the city centre and to the A64 and A19 (Leeds/Selby). The school is maintained and is part of the Local Authority maintained schools network. We are part of the South Bank cluster network (where our current Headteacher is chair) and regularly provide support for other schools, commissioned by YSAB (York Schools Academies Board).

The school has been extensively refurbished over the last six years and boasts excellent facilities including a music room and well-stocked library.

The school’s atmosphere is welcoming. We have an exciting, engaging curriculum with strengths in many non-academic subjects including PE and music. Currently wrap around care is provided by Dringhouses Out of School Club (opposite the school gates).

Our standards are very high and confirmed by Ofsted:

‘High aspirations and inspirational leadership lead to pupils receiving an exceptionally high standard of education.  The Headteacher, and other school leaders, have created a culture of high expectations that has led to exemplary teaching and excellent standards of work produced by pupils. The Headteacher’s passion for all pupils to do well is shared by all staff and morale is exceptionally high. Parents and carers are exceptionally confident that their children are benefiting very well.’ (Ofsted May 2019).

The school’s work to promote positive behaviour and attitudes is a priority. This in turn leads to exceptional behaviour and attitudes: our pupils are polite, respectful and well-behaved. Their attitudes to learning are impressive and their knowledge of British values is well embedded in their actions. Pupils listen well to each other in class, supporting each other with their learning and playing exceptionally well together at break times.

The percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, is generally below the national average (15 = 5%), this had increased from 2010 (3%) but is now decreasing. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils attracting the PPG (as defined by the DfE; Ever 6, LAC and AFC) stands at 12.5% (January 2019) and has, similarly, shown a decreasing trend. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and / or disabilities is generally below the national average at 11.3% (January 2019) – all SEN Support (although one has just received an EHCP and two are in the pipeline). The majority of pupils are of White British heritage.

Dringhouses Primary School lays the foundations for children to become life-long learners and builds confidence, independence and enthusiasm. We care for, support and value every single child and encourage each one to achieve the highest possible standards through offering an enjoyable and stimulating curriculum which develops creative, enquiring, understanding citizens.

We aim to:

  • Provide a well-designed curriculum that engages learners, ensuring they all acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the next stage and beyond
  • Have high expectations for learning, behaviours and outcomes within a well organised school environment
  • Develop confident, resilient and independent learners who take pride in their achievements
  • Support learners in caring for themselves, others and the environment leading to responsible, respectful, active citizenship
  • Develop strong partnerships with parents/carers and the wider community

Our Philosophy:

Education at Dringhouses Primary School is based on an overarching structure with a strong emphasis on the development of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC). Tolerance, inclusion and respect are threaded throughout daily life in school – made explicit through a focus on the Dringhouses Values. These link through to British Values.  The philosophies behind ‘growth mind-set’ also underpin this structure. We believe that high performance is primarily down to self-belief, hard work and good teaching. All classrooms reflect this. There is no ‘setting’ for any aspect of the curriculum with the children engaging in many lessons/activities in mixed ability pairs/groups and supporting each other with peer feedback. As a result, children develop skills of co-operation, team-work and resilience from an early age. Our aims, values and curriculum combined with high expectations and ambition for all ensure that all children can enjoy and succeed.

The school has 11 classes, one of which is taught by a job-share partnership. The staff are split into two effective teams led by the assistant headteacher (KS2 – 6 classes) and the deputy headteacher (EY/KS1 – 5 classes). There is also a team of 11 Teaching Assistants allocated according to skill sets and need. Staff morale is exceptionally high (Ofsted May 2019). The Dringy team is vibrant, youthful and high performing.

The school currently has a full-time dedicated Business Manager who is assisted by two support staff.

Budgetary Position

Pupil numbers are positive for the future.  The school has a secure financial position but will expect the head to play a part in future income generation. There are no plans for academisation at the moment.

Our School data is available here

We had a Short Section 8 Ofsted inspection on 23 May 2019. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in June 2015.

Outcome: This school continues to be good.

'The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. Based on the evidence gathered during this short inspection, I am of the opinion that the school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in specific areas. This may indicate that the school has improved significantly overall. Therefore, I am recommending that the school’s next inspection be a section 5 inspection.' - Ofsted

Pupils consistently achieve well across the school – as reflected in the statutory assessments at EY, KS1 and KS2 and their work across the curriculum. There is no particular pattern to any underachievement – rather there are cohort related foci e.g. EY exceeding boys, KS1 greater depth girls, gender gaps at KS2 which do not mirror national. The school is forensic in its analysis of the individual cohorts and individual disadvantaged/SEND pupils and takes prompt action to address identified / emerging issues.

  • Pupils’ engagement with learning in lessons and work presented in books indicates a deep understanding of the knowledge and skills being taught across the curriculum;
  • Pupils enjoy school life. They are confident, independent learners who are consistently encouraged and supported to be resilient, use setbacks as opportunities and be productive over the school day;
  • Parents are kept informed of their child’s achievements in relation to national standards and are guided in further supporting their child’s learning;
  • Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the education and care that their child/children receives at Dringhouses (Parent View 2019).

School Strengths

SSE – Summary - Currently the school and Local Authority are evaluating the school to be strongly good / outstanding. The school remains cautious in its judgement but recognises that, as a result of continued and sustained improvements made since the last inspection, it fits the challenging and exacting judgement of outstanding with all criteria for good under each judgement met securely and consistently. Exceptional performance in a number of areas was noted at the Ofsted Section 8 inspection in June 2019:

  • Key leaders (both in school and governance) consistently communicate high expectations and aspirations for all pupils;
  • The school successfully supports other schools through school to school support commissioned by the Local Authority. The Headteacher is chair of the Cluster (Southbank) and the mathematics network meetings are led by senior leaders in the school;
  • Governors are systematic in their challenge of senior leaders – around staffing, pupil premium, sports premium and SEN funding and associated outcomes for pupils;
  • Safeguarding is effective. Training is extensive (including safer recruitment) and there are clear systems for identifying and following through actions for vulnerable pupils;
  • A strong emphasis on the development of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC), is in place. Tolerance, inclusion and respect are threaded throughout daily life in school – made explicit through the ‘Dringhouses Values’ (strongly linked to British values). The philosophies behind ‘growth mind-set’ also underpin this structure. We believe that high performance is primarily down to self-belief, hard work and good teaching. All classrooms reflect this. There is no ‘setting’ for any aspect of the curriculum with the children engaging in many lessons/activities in mixed ability pairs/groups and supporting each other with peer feedback;
  • The quality of teaching continues to improve as a result of accurate monitoring (involving headteacher, SLT and SPO in joint observations), bespoke CPD (involving in-school coaching), robust performance management and a determination on the part of the teachers that the pupils achieve well. Currently quality of teaching, learning and assessment stands at 100% good or better with a significant proportion of outstanding practice (46%) in place;
  • Staff morale is high with strong, cohesive teams supporting planning and development. Managing workload is a priority with the recent DfE guidance used to support this agenda;
  • Literacy skills are a strength across the school. This is due to a strong focus on ‘teaching the basics well’ including phonics, cursive script, spelling, grammar and writing for a purpose. The teaching of reading is a priority across the whole school and curriculum, with considerable impact. Mathematics outcomes are consistently high due to well-structured fluency and problem-solving. Music is taught to all by a specialist teacher (and is a key strength of the school), as is French and some elements of PE;
  • Subject leaders work cohesively to ensure continuity and progression. The school is well placed to ensure pupils are equipped with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life with subject leaders supporting staff development and continual use made of York’s heritage;
  • The quality of education as evidenced through outcomes is consistently high – for each year group and across the curriculum, including the more-able. Any underperformance can be explained on an individual /small group basis. Disadvantaged pupils perform well when compared with non-disadvantaged nationally;
  • Stakeholders (parents and community) are very positive about the direction in which the school is moving with high attendance at (and support for) curriculum and achievement meetings;
  • Pupils are confident, resilient learners – they enjoy coming to school and engaging with all it has to offer;
  • Financial resources are managed efficiently with spending linked to the key priorities of the school improvement plan. The premises are continuing to improve year on year, with support from the Local Authority;
  • Early Years provision is effective – ensuring children make a good start whilst in reception, which can then be built upon as they move through the school.

Current areas identified for improvement

Quality of Education:

  • Continue to focus on the intent and implementation of the Dringhouses curriculum ensuring:
  • It is challenging, ambitious and diverse – meeting the needs of all learners, including the disadvantaged and those with SEND;
  • Mathematics planning and assessment supports pupils to develop fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills through challenging tasks;
  • Spelling, planning and assessment supports more pupils to achieve higher outcomes in writing;
  • Teachers’ and leaders’ practice continues to be developed using the latest evidence based research on ‘long term memory’.

Behaviour and Attitudes:

  • Continue to ensure that no pupils / groups of pupils are at a disadvantage by low attendance – with a renewed focus on persistent absence;
  • Develop pupil / parent / staff voice through e.g. the School Council;
  • Continue to develop the behaviour policy to support those pupils who need additional structures or a different route to achieve the same outcome as their peers.

Personal Development:

  • Continue to ensure online safety is given a priority through focusing on teacher CPD, curriculum content and parental awareness;
  • Ensure the curriculum reflects the new relationships and sex education and health education curriculum (RSE) statutory from September 2020;
  • Continue with the identification and support for pupils who may need help with their mental health.

Early Years:

Evaluate and adjust the early years’ curriculum so that:

  • It continues to reflect the high expectations and ambition the school has for all its pupils with meaningful learning at its core;
  • The content, sequencing and progression in the seven areas of learning are secured having regard of where the pupils have come from and where they are going to;
  • Reading is taught well, nurtured and developed so all children access Y1 ready to learn.

Leadership and Management:

  • Build on, develop and expand the coaching model across the school as a key aspect of professional development;
  • Continue to develop the strong governing body in line with the Governance handbook;
  • Continue to support schools across the city (commissioned by the Local Authority) – including intensive support for schools in challenging circumstances.

The school has strong links with and is well regarded by the parents (see Ofsted May 2019) and there is a thriving FODS (PTA – Friends of Dringhouses Primary School). Parents are regularly in school and actively support pupil learning.

The school has strong links with the local church and takes part in many musical events across the city.  We regularly invite members of the local community to school events and concerts. We have a wide range of after school clubs and activities, ranging from representative sports teams, to arts and technology.

The school also has a very good and productive relationship with the Local Authority. It is maintained and provides school to school support commissioned by the Local Authority. School partnerships in York are strong and collaborative work takes place across maintained schools and academies.  The school uses a range of Local Authority services including IT, Finance, Property and Health & Safety.

The governing body is diverse and includes a range of skills, expertise and experience.  School governance is strong, Governors are supportive of the school and know it well because they visit the school regularly and are well informed by leaders. They take nothing for granted and commission external reviews of the school to check out the views of leaders. Governors seek the views of parents, staff and pupils and use this as a measure of the school’s success. They are holding leaders to account and challenging them to continuously improve the school. To ensure all are abreast of feelings within the school, feedback was sought last year from the children, governors, teachers and parents. The results were produced as a Four Way Feedback Word Cloud.

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.

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, the success of the event created the Tour de Yorkshire.

Dringhouses Primary School, St Helen's Road, York YO24 1HW

Post:  Headteacher

Number on Roll:  311

Commencing:  September 2020

Salary:  L15 – L21   £57, 986 - £67,183

Dringhouses is a happy, successful school where each child is 'enjoying an excellent education'. Located south west of the city of York, we have a friendly, inclusive atmosphere and are often described by the community as a 'village school in York'. The children, parents, staff, governors and community are committed to working together to ensure the continuing success of the school. As a team we strive to ensure that a well planned curriculum means every child enjoys learning, feels proud of what they can do and is confident that they can learn new skills and achieve their very best.

Currently rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted (May 2019), we are rightly proud of our school where high aspirations and inspirational leadership lead to pupils receiving an exceptionally high standard of education. Our pupils are polite, respectful and well-behaved while our staff are fully engaged and high performing.

We are seeking to appoint a committed and experienced professional with a demonstrable ‘growth’ mind-set and the ability to further shape our improvement plan.

An effective leader, motivator and team builder, you must have the ability and presence to inspire and influence pupils, staff and stakeholders, leading by example and encouraging collaborative working. As well as assuming responsibility for all aspects of school life, you will also direct the school’s strategic planning, lead the development of the curriculum and deliver an outstanding provision which meets the needs of all our young people.

Inclusive and emotionally sensitive, you must possess well-developed leadership skills, a talent for developing and motivating others and the ability to manage resources and finances effectively.

In return, we can offer you strong governor support, the freedom to shape the future of the school, and the opportunity for your continued professional development.

If you have real aspiration, we look forward to receiving your application.

For an informal, confidential conversation about the role, please call Steve Cooper who is supporting this recruitment process on behalf of Dringhouses Primary School and can be contacted at North Yorkshire County Council on 01609 536578 / 07976 653898.

We strongly recommend that you visit us so we can share with you why we are so proud of our school, allowing you the opportunity to see what we have to offer.  If you would like the opportunity to visit, please email

Key dates:

  • School Visits: Monday 27 January @ 1:30pm, Friday 31 January @ 9:30am, Tuesday 4 February @ 9:30am
  • Closing date: Midnight, Sunday 9 February
  • Shortlisting: Thursday 13 February
  • Interviews: Wednesday 26 & Thursday 27 February

Supporting Documents

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 application, please provide two employment references.