The Perse School

Head of Philosophy & Religious Studies
Cambridge Cambridgeshire
Head of Subject

Job Description

The Perse School are looking to appoint an inspiring teacher of Philosophy and Religious Studies to lead this vibrant and dynamic department. This is a senior middle management position in the School, with responsibility for leadership and management of the academic subject and staff in the department. 

Full details about the School, its locality, teacher benefits and staff profiles can be viewed at the school website  

The Department

Philosophy and Religious Studies is an energetic, supportive and collegiate department. The successful candidate will have a genuine enthusiasm for the subject and be well placed to generate and sustain a high degree of motivation in all pupils, who are mainly of a high ability. 

Religious Studies is taught throughout the school, and is compulsory for all pupils in Years 7 to 9. Years 7, 8, and 9 undertake in-house courses focusing on key themes in religion, religious pluralism, and philosophy, respectively. At Year 10 pupils have the option to select Edexcel’s IGCSE in Religious Studies. 

The department has offered AQA A Level Religious Studies (covering Ethics and Philosophy of Religion) since September 2010 and has chosen to continue with AQA for the reformed specification. The first examinations for this new course will be sat in June 2018. The department also began delivering the CIE Pre-U course in Philosophy and Theology in September 2014, having taught AQA Philosophy for many years with consistently strong results. 

Significant numbers of pupils go on to read Philosophy, Theology and/or Religious Studies and related disciplines at University with a healthy proportion at Oxbridge. Candidates well-qualified to teach philosophy to sixth-formers and on to Oxbridge level are particularly encouraged to apply. 

The successful applicant will have a genuine enthusiasm for the subject, and will generate a high degree of motivation in all pupils and staff and actively promote Philosophy and Religious Studies. 


The School operates to a ten-day timetable cycle, consisting of 80 periods. Most members of staff teach about 59 periods per cycle including games and enrichment sessions. The Head of Department receives timetable remission for the role. 

Applicants without formal teaching qualifications or experience

Applicants without formal teaching qualifications will be considered for this position. However, we would expect the successful applicant to have relevant experience and skills to lead a successful department. 

2016 ISI Inspection Report The Pelican, Prep and Upper were inspected during the spring of 2016. The inspection report can be viewed at 

Safer Recruitment

The Perse School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post including: references from previous employers, a Disclosure and Barring Service check at the enhanced level, as well as eligibility to work in the UK (in compliance with UK immigration regulations). Interviews will be conducted in person, and they will explore candidates’ suitability to work with children. 

Recruitment Policy

The School’s Recruitment, Selection and Disclosure Policy and Procedure is available for your information on the School website. 

Applications and Interviews

Candidates will be invited to spend a day at the School and to meet the Head and Deputy Heads as well as the department. Candidates will be asked to teach a lesson as part of the selection process. 

The closing date for applications is 23 January at 2.00pm and interviews will be on 30 January.


The School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. 


The Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies is ultimately accountable to the Head through the Senior Deputy Head. 

The following responsibilities shall be deemed to be included in the professional duties which the post holder may be required to perform: 

Management and Leadership

  • To shape the profile, vision and longer term strategic planning of the department.
  • To continuously review the effectiveness of the provision — assessing strengths, areas for development, resources and implementation of policies.
  • Responsibility for the line management and professional development of the department staff, liaising with the Senior Deputy Head.
  • Liaising with the Senior Deputy Head re ISI inspection compliance (e.g. curriculum, safeguarding, health/safety and recruitment).
  • Liaising with the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) re Schemes of Learning.
  • Liaising with the Deputy Head (Extra-curricular) re extra-curricular provision.
  • Liaising with the Deputy Head (Curriculum and Operations) re timetabling.
  • Liaising with external agencies and individuals e.g. INSET, curriculum development, Awarding Bodies, representation of the Department’s interests and activities at meetings and via the Communications department. 

Teaching and Learning

Overseeing all aspects of the teaching and development of their academic subject(s), including:

  • Schemes of learning, departmental handbook and assessment of pupils.
  • Ensuring the departmental resources are well organised and available to staff.
  • Leading and coordinating the departmental extra-curricular provision, for example: extension clubs and societies, competitions, trips and visits.
  • Ensuring a frequently changed vibrant montage of student work, articles, posters etc. in the rooms and defined corridors and communal spaces of the department. 


Line management of all members of their department, including:

  • Ensuring an effective team culture and setting an example of professional standards of behaviour.
  • Assisting with the recruitment of new teaching staff.
  • The departmental induction of NQT’s and other new members of staff, and supporting and monitoring their probationary period.
  • Ensuring continuing professional development and contributing to staff appraisals.
  • Providing feedback on effective, efficient and stimulating teaching styles to maximise progress by all pupils whilst allowing for creativity and individuality of teachers.
  • Guiding and supporting staff to ensure their effective performance and wellbeing.
  • Holding regular formal departmental meetings, with an agenda and summarising minutes, as well as frequent informal discussion.
  • Informing staff of relevant school policies and procedures.
  • Allocation of staff to teaching groups and where appropriate subject setting. 

Professional Development

  • Keeping up to date with developments in their subject area, and promoting their subject, for example: trips, lectures and visiting speaker.
  • Disseminating all information from Heads of Department and other meetings, for example: exam board and subject organisations.
  • Effective liaison with the relevant subject leader at the Perse Pelican and Perse Prep schools.
  • Marketing the department effectively (with support from the Communications department). 


  • Selecting appropriate examination qualifications to follow in line with school policy and the needs of our pupils.
  • Providing accurate and prompt information to the Exams Office about the external examinations and predicted grades.
  • Where appropriate ensuring that appropriate arrangements for coursework/controlled assessment are in place, including where appropriate task setting, marking, internal moderation and despatch of samples and documentation to external moderators.
  • Submitting assessment data for pupil tracking systems.
  • Organising mock exams, end-of-year exams and where appropriate scholarship and entrance exams (including setting and marking scholarship papers). 

University Entrance

  • Providing individual focused advice to students on relevant university courses.
  • Organisation of additional classes for subject based university additional tests and subject based practice interviews for candidates who will receive university interviews.
  • Provision of advice on task and marking of submitted work where required for university entrance. 


  • Ensuring that all relevant Health and Safety measures are in place and adhered to in the department.
  • Responsible to the Bursar for drawing up and administering a departmental budget and ensuring effective expenditure.
  • Utilising administrative support from the School Office team as needed, via the School Office Manager. 

Responsibilities as a Teacher 


  • Teaching throughout the school in a manner appropriate to students' ages and abilities.
  • Assessing and recording students' progress in accordance with departmental and school policies.
  • Developing and sharing teaching and learning resources;
  • Monitoring the work and progress of pupils, including those with specific learning needs.
  • Maintaining professional skills through INSET and our Professional Development programme.
  • Being proactive in exploring innovative ways of delivering ICT through the curriculum;
  • Producing displays to create an attractive learning environment.           


  • Contributing to the extra-curricular life of the school through Games, the Enrichment Programme or other appropriate commitment.


  • Taking part in the pastoral life of the school as a form tutor.
  • Contributing to the PSHE programme, if appropriate.


  • Promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children and young persons for whom you are responsible and with whom you come into contact. 


  • The job specification will be reviewed biennially as part of the professional development cycle. Any changes may only be made by agreement with the Head of Department and Senior Deputy Head. 



  • High Class Honours Degree in Philosophy, Religious Studies or a related subject.
  • PCGE desirable but by no means essential.

Personal competencies and qualities

  • An outstanding, reflective teacher with a genuine passion for the subject.
  • Demonstrates high standards of behaviour and is able to model the School values (intellectual curiosity and scholarship, endeavour, breadth and balance, and valuing one another and our environment).
  • Proven communication and interpersonal skills.
  • High level of literacy, attention to detail and ability to use initiative.
  • High order administrative skills, effectively managing commitments and deadlines.
  • A vision for the future of the subject and capacity to lead and inspire a department.
  • Concern for the wellbeing of staff and ability to balance the needs of pupils, staff and the School’s operations.
  • Respects and values the different experiences, ideas and backgrounds others can bring to work and to teams.
  • Emotional resilience to cope with and learn from challenging situations.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of its pupils and the successful applicant will be subject to all recommended checking procedures including an enhanced DBS disclosure and a check against the Children’s Barred List

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