Expiring tomorrow

Headmaster's Assistant

Cokethorpe SchoolWitney, Oxfordshire

Headmaster's Assistant

Reporting to: Headmaster

Purpose: To provide a full and confidential secretarial service to the Headmaster whilst ensuring the smooth running of his office and diary.


• Providing confidential support to the Headmaster

• Acting as first point of contact for the Headmaster’s telephone calls and post; drafting correspondence on behalf of the Headmaster at his request

• Maintaining the Headmaster’s complex diary including scheduling regular appointments at the beginning of the year, liaising with others regarding availability for ad hoc meetings and arranging catering where appropriate 

• Taking minutes, to include Staff Briefings, Senior Management Team Meetings and Governor Meetings, ensuring that the Headmaster has all relevant papers to hand in a timely fashion

• Pre-empting routine work to alleviate pressures on the Headmaster, including maintaining a robust carry forward system for reminders

• Communicating, as necessary, with pupils, parents, teaching and non-teaching staff and Governors

• Liaising with the Registrar’s Office regarding prospective parent appointments

• Liaising with the HR and Compliance Officer regarding staff interview schedules and recruitment matters

• Maintaining the Headmaster’s filing system and archiving as necessary

• Organising functions and events (for example the Annual Dinner, Epiphany Reception and Prize Giving), including liaising with catering and maintenance staff

• Undertaking general administration

• In conjunction with the Bursar’s Office, providing secretarial support to the Governors as required

• Handling all matters relating to professional bodies (for example, Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, Society of Heads and Independent Schools Inspectorate)

• Co-ordinating the annual update of School Policies in conjunction with the Headmaster and Senior Management Team

• Ensuring that all documentation held on the School’s Independent Schools Inspectorate inspection portal is updated in a timely fashion and overseeing its review by the Headmaster and relevant members of staff


• Liaise closely with other members of staff/School departments to fulfil the role. 

• Be committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adhere to and ensure compliance with the School’s Child Protection 


• Promote fundamental British values 

• Comply with the requirements of the health and Safety at Work Regulations. Taking reasonable care for the Health and Safety of him/herself and for others affected by his/her works and to cooperate with the employer in ensuring that Health and Safety responsibilities are carried out. 

• Duty of confidentiality towards the School. To acknowledge that in the course of employment you will have access to Confidential Information. You agree that you shall not divulge or communicate to any person, corporation, company or other organisation; use for your own purposes other than those of the School; or otherwise disclose or make use of any Confidential Information relating to or belonging to the School. 

No job description can fully cover all aspects of this varied and busy role. The list of duties above is not exhaustive and the job holder may be required to undertake duties which are broadly in line with these responsibilities.

Person Specification


• The ability to operate in an environment of absolute confidentiality and discretion.

• Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to liaise with people at all levels, establish rapport easily and be courteous, friendly and tactful.

• Developed verbal communication skills with an authoritative yet friendly telephone manner.

• Excellent written communication skills with the highest standard of literacy and numeracy including exceptional spelling, grammar and punctuation.

• Excellent secretarial and organisational skills; fast and accurate typing with a high standard of presentation and attention to detail.

• A high level of computer literacy with first-rate IT skills and a good knowledge of Microsoft Office and database applications.

• Forward planning: the ability to think ahead and anticipate needs before they arise.

• The ability to process information quickly, manage constantly changing priorities and multi-task.

• The ability to work under pressure, with some flexibility of hours during particularly busy periods.

• The ability to work to deadlines with minimal supervision and own initiative.

• A professional manner when dealing with staff and visitors.

• The highest standards of personal presentation

• A good sense of humour.


• Experience of providing support at executive or management level in a similar educational environment.

• Previous knowledge and use of WCBS/PASS.

• Shorthand

Further details and a full job description can be found on the vacancies page of the School's website:www.cokethorpe.org.uk/about-us/working-at-cokethorpe/current-vacancies

About Cokethorpe School

Cokethorpe is an HMC and IAPS, independent day school providing a liberal education to boys and girls from the age of four to eighteen. Situated in beautiful parkland just ten miles outside Oxford, the School has a strong reputation for providing a rigorous, broad curriculum underpinned by a firm belief in the principles of a liberal education, and a knowledge that all pupils have the capacity for excellence if encouraged to be ambitious and take responsibility for their learning. The School is proud of the fact that its admissions process credits pupils who show a wide-range of skills, leading to a dynamic and diverse learning environment. Students leave Cokethorpe to study at a range of different institutions, including Oxbridge, Russell Group and other equally reputable institutions. Results at GCSE and A Level are very positive, with a strong emphasis on the value that is added to students through excellent teaching and learning. Success at Cokethorpe is bolstered by the Leadership Programme, which runs through the school and encourages pupils to develop particular traits: ambition, courage, integrity judgement, empathy and responsibility. The aim is for pupils to take ownership of their own development.

The School has a strong extra-curricular programme and, whilst excellence in the classroom is paramount, all members of the Common Room are encouraged to see themselves as playing a role in this wider curriculum.  It is a busy, purposeful school in which positive relations develop and exciting and varied opportunities arise.

To apply

Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically (as separate PDF documents in one email) the documents listed below to recruitment@cokethorpe.org before the closing date: midday Tuesday 28 September 2021.  Interviews will be held on Wednesday 6 October 2021.

Please note, we reserve the right to interview and appoint prior to the closing date, so early applications are encouraged. 

• A covering letter addressed to Mr Damian Ettinger, Headmaster.

• A fully completed Cokethorpe School support application form.

• Personal CVs are not required.

Please note that for candidates invited to interview, referees will be contacted prior to the interview date.

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