The Perse School, Cambridge

Head Groundskeeper

Client details:
The grounds department is primarily based at the Upper School on Hills Road.  The Head Groundskeeper line manages six full-time groundskeepers (including the Deputy Head Groundskeeper), a Gardener and a Grounds Assistant. 

The grounds and gardens department is responsible for the maintenance of 76 acres split between the Upper School, Prep School, Pelican School, Porson Road sports field, and the Perse Playing Fields at Abington. Using the grounds vehicles the team works flexibly across all sites.

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.

Candidate profile:
The Head Groundskeeper is responsible for the upkeep of all sports pitches, gardens and outdoor spaces at the school sites to the required standard.  He/she is required to line manage the grounds team, oversee the grounds budget, and ensure the sports pitches are safe and fit for use at all times and that all planted areas are attractive and well maintained throughout the year.  The post-holder is expected to have a hands-on approach as well as a management role in the Grounds team, and to work closely with the Deputy Groundskeeper and the Estates Manager.

Key Accountabilities:
Grounds maintenance
> Responsible for ensuring the preparation and maintenance of the School’s sports and amenity surfaces (all sites). This is to include grass cutting, rolling, seeding, pruning, lopping, root works, watering, drainage and irrigation.  Prepare, implement and monitor weekly, monthly and annual maintenance programmes to ensure the required standard of surface presentation.
> Responsible for ensuring outdoor sports facilities are prepared for use on a timely basis. This can include the marking out of pitches, erection of goals, nets, site screens and distribution of sports equipment as required by the School/Sport calendar.
> Preparation and regular maintenance of AWP. This includes inspection and repairs of the equipment and surfaces, monitoring of the fencing and gates for damage and ensuring spaces remain weed free.

Team Management and Communications
> Communicate with key stakeholders (Director of Sport, Head of Prep and Pelican) including attendance at weekly coordination meetings held at the Upper and Prep. and subsequently lead and run routine (weekly) grounds team meetings.
> Lead and manage the grounds and garden staff, ensuring efficient allocation of tasks and effective teamwork. Support, train, develop and motivate team members for the better performance of duties.
> Meet regularly with Estates Manager and Deputy Groundskeeper to plan and review programmes of work. Delegate effectively to the Deputy.

Health and Safety
> Be fully knowledgeable of and implement health and safety and COSHH legislative requirements within working procedures. Ensure safe working practices and compliance with Health and Safety legislation and school procedures by Grounds staff and contractors.

Gardens maintenance
> Maintain all areas of planting (including pots and containers) around the sites of the 3 schools to a high standard throughout the year, including replacement programme for annuals and bi-annuals.
> Strategic planning for the gardens including developing existing planting areas and creating new planting areas as required.

Operational management
> Estimate resources required for work projects. Schedule and allocate activities.
> Maintain a budget overview of operational and capital expenditures to maximise cost efficiency.
> Gather and record information to develop trend analysis and make recommendations for, and to oversee, improvements to the grounds and gardens across all sites.
> Manage the application of suitable fertilizers and weed killers at an appropriate time to ensure that the Schools’ sites are always maintained in optimum condition.

Site maintenance
> Ensure the maintenance of paths, borders, hedges and roadways including the clearance of litter. Inspection of trees especially after high winds and make recommendations for the attendance of an external agency (tree surgeon).
> Ensure pathways, pavements and roadways are clear of ice and snow to ensure safe access for pedestrians and vehicles.   This is to be achieved by advance gritting to avoid the formation of frozen surfaces, and prompt clearance of any ice and snow which does develop.
> Clearance of drains, gullies and gratings to ensure free-draining of surface water.
> Liaise with the occupiers of neighbouring properties in the sensitive maintenance of boundary fences hedges and other such issues.

> Oversee the management and maintenance (internal or specialist, as appropriate) of grounds’ and garden equipment and ensure a planned maintenance scheme is in place for the existing, and future equipment, and that the resultant work is implemented.
> Make recommendations for the replacement, upgrading or modification of equipment, procedures or buildings to improve overall performance of the department.  This work to include technical appraisal, where necessary.

Other duties
> Along with team members, undertake stewarding duties for major events (e.g. Speech Day), as required.

Essential requirements:
> Relevant NVQ or similar IOG management  level qualification
> Certificate in Horticulture, or part qualification in a relevant field and willingness to undertake further qualifications
> Full UK Driving Licence
> PA1 & PA6 spraying licence

> Able to demonstrate relevant knowledge of Grounds maintenance.
> Knowledge of safe operation of tractors, ride on mowers, strimmers, etc.
> High level of knowledge of horticulture and associated works (tree surgery, control and application of chemicals or equipment maintenance). 
> High level of knowledge of sports pitch preparation and maintenance including for cricket, rugby, football and hockey.
> High level of knowledge of the maintenance of artificial surfaces.
> An understanding of COSHH requirements.
> An understanding of good practice manual handling techniques.
> An understanding of Health and Safety Legislation and good practice procedures.
> A good level of computer literacy including use of email, word and excel.

Relevant Skills and Abilities
> Line management skills including the management of external contractors.
> Budget management skills.
> Sports pitch maintenance skills.
> High degree of organisation skills and forward planning, with the ability to prioritise and meet deadlines.
> Ability to communicate effectively with all levels of staff.
> Self-motivation.
> Flexibility to adapt and the ability to respond quickly and calmly to urgent requirements and changes.
> Ability to lead a team and establish good teamwork and morale.
> Takes ownership and pride in their work.
> Sympathetic to the educational, as well as the practical, requirements of the School.

Process to apply:
For more information and to apply using the online application form please click here

Web site:

Permanent, full time

Monday to Friday 8.00 am – 4.00 pm, with a half hour lunch break (unpaid)

Closing date:
Friday, 22 November 2019 - 11:45pm

Salary will depend on skills and experience

London & East


01223 403800 >