Deputy Headteacher - North Huddersfield Trust School 

Welcome

Dear Deputy Headteacher Applicant,

Thank you very much for your interest in the position of Deputy Headteacher at North Huddersfield Trust School (NHTS). We hope that you find the information provided a useful introduction to our school, offering you an accurate and honest overview. After reading the information, our successes and the challenges we still face, we hope you will take the opportunity to apply for the post.

We are seeking to appoint a confident and highly capable school leader who can support the Headteacher in delivering an excellent education as part of the drive to raise the aspirations of the whole community. There is a strong team that are committed to doing this – all stakeholders, including a very strong Governing Body, a loyal staff, Trust partners, the local authority, the wider community, parents and carers, and our fantastic pupils are all committed to the success of NHTS. This is a tremendous opportunity for a school leader to play a key part in the further development of NHTS in pursuit of excellence. At the same time, the experience you gain will enhance your career, putting you in a strong position to gain your own headship.

Following the closure of the underperforming predecessor school (Fartown High School) and a tender process run by Kirklees Council, North Huddersfield Trust School was established in 2011. I chaired the IEB (Interim Executive Board) of Fartown High School prior to closure and have chaired the Governing Body since the new school opened. The set-up at NHTS is unique; it is not a Multi-Academy Trust arrangement, but a Local Authority maintained Trust School. Building strong community relationships has been at the core of our improvement and we are supported by a passionate and committed Trust Board comprising of educational establishments, community organisations, representatives from the local authority, and local and international businesses.

NHTS faced some significant challenges in its early years. The existing staff largely transferred from the failing school, where pupil numbers continued to fall. The former school suffered with very poor pupil behaviour, a lack of engagement of staff and pupils and a budget position that was not sustainable. Through strong leadership, hard work and the outstanding dedication of staff and pupils, school finances are now stable and strong, intake numbers have more than doubled and staffing is increasing year-on-year. Behaviour is a real strength of the school – pupils and staff alike understand the high expectations we have of them.

Ofsted recognised, in March 2013, March 2015 and April 2017, NHTS’s improvement journey. Leadership and Management were deemed ‘good’ at each inspection, however, a legacy of underachievement meant that the overall outcomes weren’t awarded ‘good’ until the most recent inspection. The first cohort of pupils to be entirely educated at NHTS achieved startling examination results in summer 2016 and some good results have been maintained, but strong academic achievement remains a challenge to us and further improvement in results is required. Pupils’ personal development and welfare were awarded ‘outstanding’ at the latest inspection.

We seek a professional who has experience of working in schools that have maintained continuous improvement and knows what an outstanding school looks like. We have gone through some difficult times; our challenge is to maintain the progress we’ve made and continue the improvement in pupil outcomes and progress in particular. Our Headteacher, appointed at the end of April 2019, is developing a new strategy to achieve the level of excellence to which we aspire. This strategy will be set against a backdrop of increasing pupil numbers and managing the infrastructure and resources of an expanding school.

We are very optimistic about the future for NHTS. We hope you share that optimism and can see the great potential for our school and your own career.

I would encourage you to visit the school 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 would like to visit the school, please email Rachel Wales, Resourcing Business Partner at North Yorkshire County Council, who has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role (rachel.wales@northyorks.gov.uk).

For an informal conversation about the role, please call Rachel on 01609 532597.

On behalf of the Governing Body, thank you again for your interest in North Huddersfield Trust School.

Yours sincerely

Phil Weston

Chair of North Huddersfield Trust School’s Governing Body

Dear Deputy Headteacher Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the currently advertised position of Deputy Headteacher at North Huddersfield Trust School.  It is a wonderful opportunity for the right person to play a key strategic role in the continuing growth, development and improvement of a truly unique community based educational establishment.  Our ethos is to provide a challenging, ambitious, inclusive education designed to create engaged, critical and resilient learners equipped to become the people who define, shape and transform society.  As highlighted in the enclosed letter from Phil Weston, Chair of Governors, the narrative of the school is remarkable and I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to lead the next phase of its history.

If successful, you will join a senior leadership team that was newly formed in September 2019.  I took up post in May 2019, with two new Assistant Headteachers being appointed from the beginning of this academic year.  The remaining members of the senior leadership team are two further Assistant Headteachers who have been in post for one and two years respectively.  Two of the team were internally promoted to these positions, having played key roles in the improvements seen since the school opened in 2011.  The significant changes in personnel are as a result of three former colleagues gaining promoted positions in other schools whilst the current flat structure – the advertised position is an addition to the team - is a temporary measure following a decision I made with the governors to delay this appointment.  Our projected numbers for September 2020 indicate pupil numbers will be above 800; this figure was 667 in November 2017 and currently stands at 756. From the beginning of next academic year, we are likely to be fully subscribed in both Years 7 and 10 which is an indication of our strong and improving reputation in the local community and across Kirklees.  Given the rise in pupil numbers, the decision to expand the senior leadership team has therefore been ratified.

The advertised role focuses on Standards, Achievement and Community; as sole Deputy Headteacher, the role has an emphasis on quality assurance and raising attainment across both Key Stages 3 and 4 and is key to ensuring our three priorities – Closing the Gaps, Consistency and Community – are the bedrock to significant and sustained improvement.  Whilst behaviour, attendance and personal development are strong across the school, this is reflective of good leadership, attainment remains disappointing.  I have no doubt, this will not deter you from submitting an application; with a largely new senior leadership team and a renewed energy and focus across the staff body, we are confident of both short and long term improvement.

Please take the time to read the contents of this pack carefully and to look at our website which provides lots of information about the school, its values, links and identity.

I hope that, having read through all the available information, you are keen to submit an application and look forward to receiving it.  If you would like to visit the school, please email Rachel Wales, Resourcing Business Partner, who has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role (rachel.wales@northyorks.gov.uk).  Thank you again for your interest in the position and, should you choose to make an application, I wish you the best of luck.

Yours Sincerely

Andrew Fell

Headteacher, North Huddersfield Trust School

North Huddersfield Trust School (NHTS) is a calm, friendly and welcoming mixed secondary school, located 2 miles from Huddersfield town centre. Despite being situated in an area of dense population, the school is surrounded by attractive grounds, with fields and trees wrapping around the site.  The school serves a community where there is significant deprivation; most pupils live within walking distance.  Set within a very diverse community, we have strong professional relationships between staff and pupils.  We are working closely with parents to improve their engagement, and have supported whole families through their child’s high school education.  We work collaboratively with local primary schools and are also a strategic partner of the West Yorkshire Teaching Alliance.

As a Trust school, partners include both international and local businesses, community organisations, the Local Authority, Kirklees College and the University of Huddersfield.  Trust members deliver unique benefits to the school and help to ensure tight linkage to the local community.

There are 756 pupils currently on roll which will increase to over 800 for next academic year.  We have been through enormous and very successful change in recent years and believe that the well-being and safety of our pupils comes first.  We are supportive of all our pupils, whatever their background or needs, and work closely with them to achieve and excel to the best of their abilities.  Our school has been recognised across the local authority as being at the leading edge of behaviour management and we are the only school in Kirklees to receive an Excellence in STEM award.

Ofsted said “The school's system to promote excellent behaviour and positive attitudes to learning is highly effective. Behaviour both in lessons and about the school is good. Pupils treat each other and adults with respect”.

Our school building was built in the 1960s and, despite its age, is well maintained.  Situated in woodland grounds, it has a number of facilities onsite including a swimming pool and a lecture/performance theatre.  There is an additional detached building which houses our Alternative Provision and Student Development Centre, both of which deliver accredited education to small groups of pupils who extra intervention alongside mainstream classes.  Recently, we have converted what was previously the caretaker’s bungalow into a well-being centre where our Year 7 nurture group and mental health support provision is housed.  There are a number of key developments planned for the current and forthcoming academic years, which will add great value to our school.

The school offers a full extra-curricular programme which enriches the lives and raises aspirations of pupils, affording them opportunities which may not otherwise exist.  A group of pupils scooped the prize for Best Opera in the Young Audiences Music (YAM) awards, an international award celebrating the arts, for their performance of ‘A Shoe Full of Stars’; Tai Kwondo is very popular; and we have many performers at an annual dance festival at the Lawrence Batley Theatre.  We also regularly perform at expressive arts events and have healthy representation in local sporting competitions and fixtures.  Our school has a minibus service which can take pupils to these activities.

The school’s Student Leadership model allows pupils from all year groups to develop leadership skills through a variety of activities, including primary school transition events, sports competitions and the Student Council.

Great emphasis is placed on career advice and guidance across the school, along with work experience for those pupils in Key Stage 4.  Trust partners play an integral role in this provision and their support and commitment mean that pupils are offered an enhanced experience of the world of work.

Our Senior Leadership Team currently consists of a Headteacher, four Assistant Headteachers and a Business Manager.  The advertised Deputy Headteacher position is in addition to the current structure.  We have 57 teaching staff and 68 support staff.

Teaching Assistants play a vital role across the school in supporting pupils with additional needs, as well as some general classroom support.  Higher Level Teaching Assistants take additional responsibility for working with small groups and some full classes to improve literacy and numeracy standards.

Staff morale is generally high with staff surveys reflecting this.  This is further reflected by staff turnover which is low, though many staff members have been employed since the relaunching as a Trust School.

Ofsted Inspection 

North Huddersfield Trust School is currently rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted – April 2017

Key Findings

  • The headteacher and his senior leadership team have an uncompromising ambition for the school. Their strong leadership has led to better teaching, much improved behaviour and higher achievement for pupils.
  • The school's system to promote excellent behaviour and positive attitudes to learning is highly effective. Behaviour both in lessons and about the school is good. Pupils treat each other and adults with respect.
  • This is a very inclusive school. School staff, especially the pastoral team, support not only the pupils but also their families and carers. People value this support and both pupils and their families have great trust in the staff of the school to help them resolve any issues which arise.
  • Leaders have taken effective action to eradicate weaker teaching and increase the proportion of good or better teaching. As a result, teaching is good overall and the progress made by pupils has accelerated over time. However, pupils do not always know how to improve their work and move on to the next stage in their learning.
  • Governors have the right expertise and skills to provide robust challenge to senior leaders. Governors know the school well and are clear about what more needs to be done. Work with partners in the North Huddersfield Trust has developed the school's role in the community and brought real benefits to pupils
  • Safeguarding is effective. Staff are well trained and pupils feel safe. They know who to go to if problems arise, and have real confidence that staff will help them resolve any issues which arise
  • The school's work to promote personal development and welfare is outstanding
  • Support for disadvantaged pupils, pupils who speak English as an additional language and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is effective. As a result, they make good progress
  • Middle leaders play a key role in checking the quality of teaching and they are an emerging strength of the school. However, some are less experienced than others and senior leaders will need to continue to support them
  • Leaders have put great emphasis on catering for the needs of the increasing number of higher-ability pupils in the school and this was seen clearly in many inspection activities. However, leaders and governors are aware that they will need to continue this focus to ensure that teachers provide the appropriate challenge for the most able pupils in every teaching group.
  • Leaders see homework as central to ensuring that all pupils make good progress, and inspectors saw evidence of this work. However, there is still some work to do to ensure that pupils develop the skills to work independently

 

School Strengths

  • Strong leadership with uncompromising ambition
  • Highly effective behaviour management systems
  • Inclusive support for pupils and their families
  • Strong governing body and Trust board
  • A safe learning environment
  • Outstanding personal development and welfare
  • Pupils who fall into categories of vulnerability make good progress
  • Middle leaders are an emerging strength of the school
  • NEET figures for 2019 (subject to change) are at 1.7%
  • Attendance is currently above national average due to the hard work of pastoral staff in actively managing pupils
  • Strong relationships between staff and pupils
  • Building greater independence into pupils’ learning

 

Areas for improvement (from the 2017 Ofsted report)

  • Improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment by:
  • Embedding the work on homework so that pupils develop the skills to work independently outside of lessons
  • Making sure that all pupils know precisely how to improve their work and have the confidence, skills and positive attitudes to move to the next stage of their learning
  • Ensuring that work set for the increasing number of high-attaining pupils and the most able pupils in each teaching group challenges them to achieve as well as they can

As a school, we are addressing all areas identified for improvement and continue to progress the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

 

Budget
The school is in a healthy financial position with a focus on growth and development.

The wider community is multi-cultural and diverse in socio-economic factors.  Unemployment and the percentage of benefit claimants are higher than both local and national averages.

There are excellent relationships between staff and pupils; something which is frequently acknowledged by visitors, agency staff and parents as one of the key elements in the success of our school, and one which the leadership team has been instrumental in developing through leading by example.

We have an outstanding system of pastoral care for both pupils and their families and Ofsted said:

“This is a very inclusive school. School staff, especially the pastoral team, support not only the pupils but also their families and carers. People value this support and both pupils and their families have great trust in the staff of the school to help them resolve any issues which arise”.

We have strong community links and are the founding member of the local Community Hub.  This links the ten schools serving the immediate area, in order to work efficiently with outside agencies such as health, council, police and further education, forming partnerships to serve the needs of local families.  It addresses needs around adult education, accessible family events and activities, social issues and general mental and physical wellbeing.

As a local authority maintained Trust school, we benefit from support of the local authority and our Trust partners who bring a wealth of additional opportunities including pupil bursaries, work experience, career guidance, aspirational awards, staff training and community links.  We have a positive relationship with the local authority and it has been extremely supportive of the school and its financial position, providing services above and beyond in order to secure resources for pupils.

Our Trust partners provide pupils with many opportunities beyond the classroom and the set curriculum.  Trust partners represent the worlds of business, leisure, education and charity; these strong relationships bring a unique richness to the school through opportunities for both staff and pupils.

As well as a successful partnership with key stakeholders, links with local primary schools remains one of our key strengths.  Under the banner of the North Huddersfield Learning Community, we work together to ensure that our young people have the best opportunities.  We hold a full and varied programme of transition activities each year, helping young children to gradually adapt to life in a high school environment.  Our school is also represented at many events at our local primary schools.

We are a strategic partner of the West Yorkshire Teaching Alliance and through this body, our school provides support for trainee teachers, specialist behaviour advice and teaching and learning strategies.

Whether you want to escape the hustle of the city, improve the opportunities for your family with safe communities and great education, or pursue your personal interests and hobbies….. West Yorkshire has it all!

West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county of Northern England, and consists of five metropolitan boroughs: Calderdale, Kirklees, and the city of Bradford in the west and the cities of Leeds and Wakefield in the east.  It has a population of approximately 2.2 million and is surrounded by breath taking valleys and the moors of the Pennines.  The Peak District National Park is only a short drive away and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Nidderdale and the Forest of Bowland Areas of Outstanding Beauty are less than 90 minutes away.

There is lots to explore in West Yorkshire from music festivals to museums, art galleries, contemporary dining to quirky cafes, an outdoor swimming pool nestled in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside with the moors as its backdrop and a number of iconic towns to enjoy and discover.  You’ll be amazed at all the incredible things you can do.

There really is everything to offer you and your family as a place to work, live and enjoy!  Our history of strong educational attainment, safe communities, rich heritage and culture offer a variety of pastoral pursuits that makes Yorkshire a residence of choice.

Travelling further afield we have convenient connectivity to the M62 and M1, as well as the internal urban motorways in Leeds and Bradford. We border the counties of Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, and South Yorkshire with all they have to offer!

The Role

North Huddersfield Trust School, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Post: Deputy Headteacher

Number on Roll: 756

Commencing: April 2020

Salary: LPS20 – LPS24 £65,561 - £72,306

Do you have the vision, drive and ambition to lead our school through a time of dynamic change and development?

This is an excellent opportunity for a highly motivated, ambitious and strategic senior leader to shape and further develop our school.  You will be working alongside the new Headteacher, a newly formed senior leadership team, an exceptionally committed staff and a governing body with high aspirations for all pupils and members of its community.  Since opening as a new Trust School eight years ago, we have gone through a period of significant, positive change.

Set in the large town of Huddersfield, North Huddersfield Trust School (NHTS) is a mixed secondary school with 756 pupils on roll, 57 teaching staff and 68 support staff.  Situated in a socially deprived area, most of our pupils live within walking distance to school.  We have excellent links with our wider community and are the founding member of the local Community Hub.

Currently rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted (April 2017), our school is warm and welcoming, offering a calm and happy place to learn.  We offer all our pupils the opportunity to excel in their academic achievement, vocational opportunities and personal fulfilment, through a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular activities.  Our school has been through enormous and very successful transformation in recent years; our values and ethos have supported us in successfully managing these changes.  They are at the core of everything we do and we strive to ensure that everyone respects themselves and others, working towards our ‘PRIDE’ agenda together.

We are seeking to appoint an inspirational, resilient and experienced professional, who is able to effectively motivate, inspire and influence our pupils, staff and stakeholders.  This position represents a genuine opportunity to make significant impact in a school which has clearly identified objectives, centred on raising standards as pupil numbers increase.  If you have the knowledge, the skills and the ambition to deliver strong, clear, principled leadership in pursuit of our mission, this is the perfect opportunity for you.

Financially astute, you will build partnerships, while delivering an outstanding, distinctive secondary education provision that is sustainable for the long term.  In addition, you will promote equality and high expectations, whilst engaging positively and respectfully with our parent/carer/family community, ensuring we meet the needs of our pupils and promoting excellence.

For an informal conversation about the role and/or to gain details of how to apply please call Rachel Wales at North Yorkshire County Council on 01609 532597.

We very much welcome school visits.  If you’d like the opportunity to visit, please email rachel.wales@northyorks.gov.uk  Dates when we can accommodate visits are detailed below: if these are not possible for you please contact Rachel, we may be able to offer alternatives.

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.

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