Headteacher - South Kilvington CofE Primary School


Dear Applicant

On behalf of the governors and members of the school community l would like to thank you for taking an interest in the position of Headteacher at South Kilvington CE Primary School.  We hope that you will find the information provided to be a useful introduction to our School and that you will take the opportunity to apply for the post.

We are a small, family focused school with a strong Christian ethos.  Our children are valued, happy and well-behaved who enjoy learning.  Rated as Good by Ofsted and SIAMS, we are committed to continuous improvement and maintaining a broad and creative curriculum. The school is regularly praised for its inclusive ethos and has a well-established reputation for supporting SEND pupils effectively.

We wish to appoint an inspirational and innovative Headteacher who will nurture, guide and motivate our children and staff to reach their full potential.  There will be many exciting challenges ahead and we are seeking a passionate leader who understands and can demonstrate outstanding teaching, together with the vision and drive to lead the school forward.  On this journey you will be supported by experienced and loyal staff, good relationships with parents/carers, a dedicated governing body and strong links with the Church.

I would encourage you to visit our school in advance of your application 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 call Sarah Smith, School Administrator on 01845 523191. If you have any questions about the role, please call Steve Cooper at North Yorkshire County Council on 01609 536578.

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 South Kilvington CE Primary School.

Yours faithfully,


Andrew Leeming

Chair of Governors


South Kilvington is a small village (population around 200) about 1.5miles north of the market town of Thirsk (population of the built up area is around 11,000).

We have very good road connections, the village being just off the main A19 (Teesside 20mins/A1 10mins and York 30mins). In addition, we are only 10 minutes away from the main County town of Northallerton.

The village itself has a beautiful historic church of St Wilfrids, used by the school for many events and services. There is also a village pub (The Oak Tree) which is part of the joint community activities with the school and church.

The village is currently seeing some very small scale housing development including 3 new dwellings south of the village and 5 new dwellings proposed to be built next to the school. There are also further small scale developments to the north of Thirsk, just south of the village.

Thirsk is a growing Market Town with a major 2000 home development to the south/west at Sowerby that is significantly increasing the population of the town. This development has its own new school proposed but the view is that this will likely not adversely affect our school.

Thirsk has many amenities and is a very well-serviced and attractive market town. Well-located with a mainline rail station with a regular main line service between the north east and Manchester airport and direct services to London.

The school was built in 1875 and has since had an extension (built 2008) at the rear. The newer extension accommodates two classrooms and the main hall. It is well maintained and has modern ICT equipment. The school also rents an adjoining grassed school playing field.

A very welcoming school we have a single entrance to a small school playground across to a series of entries. One at the side for Class 1, one at the other side for Class 2 and 4 and one more central for Class 3. There is also a main door to the school office for visitors and guests. It is a small school so not over imposing and very friendly for pupils, parents and other visitors to the school. A very safe environment.

There is a recent planning approval for the development of a new school field and car park as part of a development next to the school on the current school playing field. This could offer improved facilities for the school. The limited school site and buildings are a challenge but offer opportunities for the innovative utilisation of space.

The official school catchment area is the village and hamlets/farms. 12% of children live in catchment but most pupils live in the wider Thirsk catchment. A few families travel some distance (Easingwold and Kirbymoorside) which has affected the secondary school choices in recent years.

The school offers a good range of extra-curricular activities which may vary each term. These include:

  • After-school sports clubs in football, netball, dance, cricket, multi-skills
  • After-school art, choir and digital leaders
  • Instrumental teaching through external peripatetic staff in violin, guitar, keyboard and woodwind
  • 10 swimming lessons every year for all pupils in Years 1-6

As our site is quite small, we also actively plan educational visits and learning beyond the classroom to enrich the curriculum each term. This year, we have visited:

The Local library, churches, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Segedunum Roman Fort, The Captain Cook Museum and Thorp Perrow Arboretum. We have also participated in the cluster school games programme for a range of sports and large scale events with other schools including The Young Voices Concert at Sheffield Arena.

Our children are very well-behaved, polite, engaged, keen to learn and enjoy school. We also have a very active school council.

The school is very inclusive and some pupils have SEMH needs but, in the main, are generally addressed and dealt with to the benefit of the child, the parents, the other children in the school and the school.


Our school vision is to make South Kilvington Church of England School a place where

everyone is:

  • unique and valued;
  • caring and respectful;
  • thoughtful and reflective;
  • encouraged to explore faith;
  • responsible and fair;
  • inclusive and forgiving;
  • learning and achieving;
  • encouraged to do their best.


  • Headteacher + equivalent 4 full-time teachers
  • 35 hours admin
  • 2 midday supervisors
  • 6 part-time teaching assistants (including 1 trained ELSA & 1 trained HLTA) who also work as midday supervisors

The school employs a caretaker / cleaner, school cook and kitchen assistant through Local Authority traded services.


Overall school finances are in a good position and we hold a surplus balance.

The school budget is well managed and over seen by the Governors Finance and Premises subcommittee. The view of the Committee is that although the finances are managed prudently, funds should be used to benefit the children currently attending the school. To this end the Governors have set an in year deficit budget to utilise the balance surplus to benefit teaching capacity and improved facilities. The current position is that the 3 year projection still maintains a surplus budget position.

OFSTED full inspection 2012 – improved to GOOD

Section 8 short inspection June 2017 – confirmed GOOD

SIAMS inspection took place on 6th June 2019

Overall Judgement:

'How effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?':  Grade Good

Additional Judgement

The impact of collective worship:  Grade Good

School Data - Gov.uk

2019 Data

Small cohorts, with variable % SEND produces very variable data and can be significantly affected by a single pupil. Over time, attainment is in line with national averages but in 2018 and 2019, exceptional circumstances affected a pupil in each y6 cohort, with a very detrimental impact on attainment and progress scores in maths.  At the other extreme, EYFS 2019 were a cohort with no SEND and attained 100%.

School Strengths

  • A strong, supportive and experienced Governing Body,
  • A family atmosphere
  • Christian values – very strong relationship with the church
  • Mutual respect
  • Good communication
  • Celebrated within the community – strong relationships with the local church and village community with joint events and activities
  • Inclusive – positively supporting all children of all abilities and a range of additional needs
  • Pupils seen as individuals (not just a number)
  • Enriched experience – good range of experiences for such a small school
  • Welcoming and supporting staff
  • Attendance consistently above national average

School Improvement Plan – main priorities

  1. PUPIL ACHIEVEMENT: Raise pupil achievement in maths at KS2 to ensure all pupils make at least expected progress from KS1-KS2, including those in vulnerable groups.
  1. CHURCH SCHOOL: Continue to develop closer working with the Thirsk Parish Team to further develop spirituality and pupil participation in leading worship; and closer links with the parish community.
  1. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: Following revision of the long term plan (intent), develop active learning strategies and maximize staff expertise to engage, inspire and maximize pupil achievement and experience of the wider curriculum (implementation) and develop effective subject leadership to evaluate standards, identify areas for development and sustain improvement (IMPACT).
  1. LEADERSHIP: Plan for the long term future and sustainability of the school through:
  • Succession planning for leadership of the school
  • collaboration with other schools to develop subject leadership
  • securing the long term viability of the school site and playing field provision.

Future Considerations

The buildings and site do not facilitate the potential for further expansion yet pupil numbers have increased from around 50/60 to over 90 over the past 5 to 10 years. They are at maximum so the pressure is now more in maintaining numbers rather than growing them.

Academisation has been carefully considered in the past by the Governing Body but was not considered to be in the best interests of the school at that time. The School is very proud to be the only Church school in Thirsk, maintaining a good financial position, with a great reputation and providing a local authority maintained school offer in Thirsk.

North Star Alliance – staff access subject leader CPD in English, Maths, Early Years and Science each term; the headteacher attends a heads update breakfast meeting each half term and we work in partnership with three other schools in the Alliance to share practice, monitor aspects of school improvement, moderate pupil work and enable staff to work together.

This supports the school in keeping up to date with new research and national initiatives. It is also especially important in a small school to ensure staff have the chance to work with colleagues in other settings to compare and moderate practice regularly. In addition to these core elements in the Service Level Agreement, the Alliance offer some bespoke or costed CPD events.

Thirsk School Cluster

The school is part of the Thirsk Cluster and has worked closely with these schools for many years, however, as five of them have converted to Academies, the cluster meets less frequently and its role is reduced. We now meet 2/3 times a year to liaise with our feeder secondary school. We all pay into a Cluster School Games organisation and, occasionally, collaborate to arrange joint CPD.


We have very good relationship with parents. Communication is good and, though this is primarily through a weekly newsletter, there is an open policy of communication on an informal basis wherever required. The School prides itself on being welcoming and open to discussion and feedback. We are proud that we have a very high response rate to questionnaires and that attendance at parent/teacher evenings is almost 100%.

Wider community

We have a good relationship with the community of South Kilvington and hold joint village/church events each year.

Local Authority

The school buys into the Local Authority Service Level Agreement and headteacher performance management. Staff access networks for SEND, EYFS moderation, English, Maths, Science, PSHCE and statutory assessment updates and moderation.

The school has not had any additional support from the Local Authority over the last ten years due to its good OFSTED rating.

All teaching staff have participated in Middle Leadership CPD with the Local Authority during this academic year.


We have a good relationship with Diocese. The school buys into the diocese Service Level Agreement and accesses CPD and a local RE network. The diocesan adviser makes 3 visits over a two-year period to support & advise on SIAMS, church school development, RE and collective worship.

Friends of the School

Friends of School (FOS) is exceptionally well supported. It raises money for the school and runs social events for families. The headteacher also seeks parental views from FOS members.

Funds raised by the Friends of School have recently paid for:

  • 10 swimming lessons for every child in Years 1-6
  • a portable climbing wall for 1 day
  • Bushcraft for all Class 1 children
  • all children to visit a pantomime
  • visiting musicians
  • £500 new reading books
  • outdoor furniture
  • carpets for Class 1
  • the upgrade to this website

Support from Governors

We have a very supportive Governing Body. They visit the school on a regular basis, provide direction wherever necessary and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. The Chair meets with the head each half term; the foundation governor attends all services, diocesan visits and collective worship occurs termly as a minimum; the Teaching & Learning committee meets during school time and includes monitoring activities; link governors for Health & Safety, SEND and Safeguarding complete audits with headteacher. Most governors engage in some training each year.

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. There are ruined castles and abbeys, serene gardens, unique breweries, thrilling rides and industrial heritage. The area hosted the phenomenal Tour de France in 2014 and has since created the Tour de Yorkshire, an annual event with global recognition. Our success in supporting these events led to Harrogate hosting the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2019.

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.

South Kilvington CE Primary School, Stockton Road, South Kilvington, Thirsk, United Kingdom, YO7 2LR

Number on Roll: 94
Post: Headteacher
Teaching commitment: 0.2 fte 
Commencing: September 2020
Salary: L8 – L14   £48,808 - £56,579

Rated as Good by Ofsted (2017) and by SIAMS (2019), we are a thriving Church of England school located just over a mile to the north of Thirsk. Our ethos is very much child centred and incorporates distinct Christian values. We provide a stimulating and structured curriculum which allows self-esteem to flourish within an environment which is welcoming, nurturing, inclusive and supportive to all. Our aim is to create an imaginative, inspirational teaching environment where every child is happy at school, enabling them to achieve their full potential. The core of our children live within the catchment area with the remainder travelling from further afield.

Our location ensures we benefit from excellent connectivity with easy access to the A19 and A1(M) and East Coast Mainline railway stations in Thirsk and nearby Northallerton.

We have strong links to the North Star Alliance which supports teaching staff with professional development opportunities. In addition, we are active in the community and benefit from good relationships with parents, local authority, Diocese of York and our local church.

An effective leader and communicator, your role will be to inspire and influence children, staff and stakeholders while developing and promoting our Christian values. As well as assuming responsibility for all aspects of school life, you will also direct the strategic plan, lead the development of the curriculum and deliver an outstanding provision which meets the needs of all our children.

A creative thinker with high expectations for all, you must be able to demonstrate well-developed leadership skills, a talent for developing and motivating others and the expertise to effectively analyse school data and manage the budget.

In return, we can offer you an extremely supportive governing body and the freedom to shape the future of our school.

We very much welcome school visits, so if you would like the opportunity to come along and find out more please call Sarah Smith, School Administrator on 01845 523191. If you have any questions about the role, please call Steve Cooper at North Yorkshire County Council on 01609 536578.

We look forward to receiving your application.

Key Dates:

  • Closing Date:  Midnight, Sunday 8 March
  • Shortlisting:  Wednesday 11 March
  • Assessment Event: Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 March

Key Documentation:

Job Description

Person Specification


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.