Appointment of the Deputy Head (Academic)


Dear Candidate,

A very warm welcome to Sherborne Prep at what is an exciting time for the School.  We are a warm, welcoming and inspiring community of passionate educators committed to doing the very best for every child entrusted to our care.

In joining the School as Head in September 2021, I inherited a superb body of staff who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of others.  Together, we are focussed on providing a magical childhood experience and encouraging the positive development of character and values.  Our collective ambition is to enable our children to become kind, thoughtful, solution-focussed, courageous and intuitive young people well prepared to embrace their future – whatever that may be.

Our recent merger with Sherborne School provides exciting opportunities to expand the breadth of each child’s experience through academic enrichment, the arts, sport, co-curricular activities, innovation and collaboration.

Due to semi-retirement, we are seeking to appoint an outstanding Deputy Head (Academic) to take our School to its next level of pedagogical development.  This is a key Senior Leadership position and will play an important role in the advancement of the School’s strategic priorities.

We are looking for an experienced and dynamic individual to lead and develop a vibrant, engaging and cutting-edge academic programme across the breadth of our 3-13 offering.  Our aim is to achieve high-quality, inspirational and data-driven teaching across all departments, enabling our children to flourish academically while also focusing on their mental health and wellbeing.  The ideal candidate will have strong academic management experience together with inspirational leadership and vision in academic matters alongside an infectious passion for teaching and learning.  The postholder will have my full support to innovate, to challenge traditions and to bring creative ideas to life.

If you think you have the energy, commitment and enthusiasm to achieve outstanding academic outcomes for our School and infuse our children with a life-long passion for learning, then we would love to hear from you.

Natalie Bone

The Context

Sherborne Prep School

Sherborne Prep School (SPS) is a vibrant independent 3-13 day and boarding school which celebrates childhood through a broad and stimulating curriculum. The School prides itself on nurturing happy, enthusiastic and independent children and seeks to instil six core values: kindness, perseverance, awareness, generosity, honesty and independence.

On 1 April 2021, Sherborne Prep School merged with Sherborne School and became part of the Sherborne School Group.  The merger formalised the existing close relationship between the two schools and enables SPS pupils, staff and parents to enjoy the very significant benefits which come with being part of a larger organisation.

A Sherborne Prep Education

Sherborne Prep is a non-selective school committed to enabling every child to develop his or her talents to the full. The school encourages independent learning and thinking. The School has a strong scholarship record with an average of 40% of each Year 8 group gaining scholarship awards to a variety of senior schools. In 2020, 22 out of 39 pupils achieved scholarships, exhibitions and awards.

The Prep has long enjoyed close relationships with both Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls’ School, and each year approximately 50% of pupils progress to these two schools. The school feeds a wide range of other successful senior schools including Blundell’s, Bryanston, Canford, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Clayesmore, Downside, King’s Bruton, King’s College Taunton, Marlborough, Millfield, Milton Abbey, Monkton Combe, St Mary’s Calne and Winchester.  As part of the Sherborne family of schools, the Prep continues to send pupils to a range of senior schools. Whilst transfer to Sherborne School will not be automatic, boys will be prepared to make this transition and it is expected that the majority will continue their education within the Sherborne group. Similarly, it is hoped that many girls will continue to progress on to Sherborne Girls’ School.

Sherborne School

One of the UK’s pre-eminent independent schools, Sherborne School provides an outstanding, all boys, boarding education. Sherborne School is thriving under the leadership of Dr Dominic Luckett who became Headmaster and Chief Executive in January 2016.  Dr Luckett is Chief Executive of the Sherborne Schools Group which includes Sherborne International, commercial subsidies, overseas operations and now Sherborne Prep.

Sherborne Prep – Beyond the Classroom

Sherborne Prep pupils enjoy a broad extra-curricular programme, benefiting from myriad opportunities to develop their skills, talents and interests across an exceptionally diverse range of sporting, musical and artistic pursuits.


Sport is an important part of the Sherborne Prep experience. The School has a thriving sports programme with an approach based on inclusion, aspiration and excellence.  Every pupil has the opportunity to represent the school and there are regular fixtures with other independent schools in the South West as well as regional and national competitions. The Prep is set in 12 acres of grounds, with extensive playing fields, an AstroTurf, netball and tennis courts, and Prep school pupils have access to the sports facilities at Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls.


Music is also a central and thriving element of Prep life, and music specialists introduce the children to music theory and composition.  In addition, there are numerous music clubs, including choir, strings group and recorder club, together with opportunities for individual tuition on a wide range of instruments.


Boarding is an important part of Sherborne Prep and the School offers full, weekly, flexi and occasional boarding.  The boarding house is co-educational with boys and girls sharing common areas and there is a full programme of weekend and evening activities.

Nursery and Pre-Prep

The Nursery, for children aged 3-4, and the Pre-Prep, for children aged 4-6 share the same ethos and are an integral part of the school.  The Pre-Prep building has been completely refurbished in recent years and is housed along with the Nursery in dedicated buildings on the main site. A collaborative approach ensures that the transition from Nursery to Pre-Prep and then on to Prep is seamless. The Head of the Pre-Prep is supported by highly qualified and dedicated staff and reports directly to the Head of the Prep School.

Sherborne and the Local Area

There is a reason why Sherborne is known as the “Oxbridge of the South”.  It is a unique seat of learning, with two major senior schools (Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls’), an international school (Sherborne International) and, of course, Sherborne Prep.

Few other towns offer such a comprehensive range of schooling options, all set within historic surroundings that are characterised by beauty, heritage and a vibrant spirit of community.

Sherborne offers the benefits of a safe rural town along with easy access to and from Heathrow, Gatwick and Bristol airports, and a direct train service to London Waterloo.  With stunning scenery on the doorstep, there is every opportunity to share the joy of the great outdoors with pupils, while giving them a rich cultural experience in a town with real soul.

The town’s medieval buildings, including the Abbey that the Schools use for services and concerts – and its two castles, bring a profound sense of history.  The honeyed buildings of the high street house a range of independent shops and some chains: they provide the perfect setting for the town’s many festivals, including an annual music festival at the Abbey and the popular Sherborne Literary Festival.

Sherborne really is a town unlike any other: the perfect place in which children can be inspired, stretched and stimulated through a first-class education that puts them at the very centre.

The Role

The Deputy Head (Academic) is responsible for the quality of teaching and learning throughout Sherborne Prep School.  He or she ensures that high quality, inspirational and evidence-based teaching is embedded consistently across all departments.  Overseeing all aspects of the academic life of the School, they contribute to the maintenance of our very happy, nurturing and aspirational environment, enabling every child to fulfil their academic potential.

The successful candidate will be a key member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and will play a crucial role in whole-school strategy and development.  He or she will also liaise closely with senior academic staff at Sherborne School, Sherborne Girls, and other schools to which our pupils aspire.

The Deputy Head (Academic) will have a reduced teaching timetable to reflect the demands of the role.  The postholder will be responsible for the strategic development of the School’s academic and intellectual life.  They will guide development of the School’s academic provision so that we can continue to make outstanding provision for all our pupils.  He or she will take on important operational responsibilities whilst working hard to foster positive values, responsible behaviour and an ambitious approach to study and to life.  Above all, the successful candidate will inspire both pupils and staff to achieve the very highest levels of academic performance.


Job title: Deputy Head (Academic)
Job reference: AQ1341


Specifications of this Role

The successful applicant will be an enthusiastic, energetic and experienced teacher with an excellent knowledge and understanding of academic issues.  Reporting directly to the Head and working closely with others on the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and with colleagues across Sherborne Prep School, the successful candidate will assume responsibilities including:

Academic Management

  • To lead, inspire and further develop the School’s academic life.
  • To enable all pupils to flourish academically while also focusing on their mental health and wellbeing.
  • Working in conjunction with the Heads of Department and other senior staff, ensure that curriculum is appropriately balanced, well sequenced, ambitious and forward-thinking.
  • Manage and support Heads of Department to ensure that outstanding teaching and learning prevail across all departments and that excellence is consistently and continuously achieved.
  • To oversee the School’s methods of assessment, and to ensure pupils’ progress is tracked and monitored effectively throughout the School.
  • To ensure each department and every teacher has an effective and supportive system of intervention in place for pupils performing above and below expectations.
  • To oversee the development and review of Department Development Plans and Department Handbooks in conjunction with Heads of Departments.
  • To oversee arrangements for ISI inspections, ensuring appropriate input from the SLT and other staff and that documentation is properly prepared and shared.
  • To advise the Head, CEO and Governors on all academic matters, attending meetings of the Governors’ Academic Committee and producing termly reports on the School’s academic life, performance and plans.
  • To work in conjunction with the SLT deciding appropriate whole school INSET.

Academic Leadership and Development

  • To lead the development and delivery of an inspirational, engaging and dynamic curriculum through the School Development Plan.
  • To oversee the Enrichment, Scholarship and Extension programmes throughout the School in conjunction with Heads of Department.
  • To lead the Heads of Department and others responsible for the academic curriculum throughout the School, organising and chairing meetings as appropriate.
  • To line manage teachers in departments without a specific HOD e.g., ICT and Juniors.
  • To encourage, support and challenge all departments to be academically ambitious for the children in their care and ensure consistently high academic standards in their areas.
  • To request annual departmental reports, including teaching and learning initiatives and analyses of the results of assessments and examinations and prepare an annual report on these for the Head, CEO and Governors.
  • To plan the biennial programme of formal Departmental Review, and to coordinate its execution by SLT.
  • To monitor and support the development of departmental documentation, including schemes of work and materials required for marketing the School (including through its website and social media activity).
  • To have oversight of SEND/Learning Support and EAL to promote access and inclusion.
  • Approve and monitor the professional development courses attended by staff.
  • To develop an effective and engaging programme of in-house CPD for teaching staff in collaboration with SLT, developing teacher expertise and a culture of continuous improvement amongst staff.
  • To support all staff with reflecting and improving their practice through supportive monitoring, observation and coaching opportunities.
  • To assist the Head and SLT in developing and effectively implementing the School’s Performance Management and Appraisal systems.
  • In liaison with other members of SLT, to maintain an up-to-date record of teaching staff
  • deployment and loading and a longer-range teaching staff plan to enable the Head to action the timely appointment of suitable teaching staff.
  • Encourage, authorise and monitor all off-site academic activities, trips and opportunities.
  • To take overall responsibility for reviewing and updating the School’s academic policies.
  • Oversee absence requests and liaise with the Head and HR as necessary.
  • To assist the Head with interviewing applicants for teaching posts and to advise on the appointment of staff.
  • To be responsible for the induction of new Heads of Department and be closely involved in their induction of new teaching staff.
  • To oversee Health and Safety arrangements and documentation for Academic Departments.

Pupil Preparation for Future Schools

  • In conjunction with the Head, to advise pupils and parents on suitable senior school choices.
  • To oversee, organise and administrate future school processes, applications and references for SPS pupils with the support of the Head’s PA.
  • To oversee all school examinations, both internal and external.
  • To oversee the preparation for senior school admissions tests and assessments.

Senior Leadership Team (SLT)

To form one part of the SLT who work closely and collaboratively to:

  • Assist the Head in communicating and delivering the vision for the School.
  • Ensure that the pupils receive the best possible holistic educational experience.
  • Uphold high standards of pupil welfare, discipline, dress and behaviour within all aspects of school life.
  • Deputise for the Head, as required.
  • Exercise academic, operational and pastoral leadership in school.
  • Help ensure that Sherborne Prep School is a great place to work.
  • Ensure all arrangements and documentation for inspections are in place and of a high standard.
  • Enable the Head to exercise strategic leadership and to focus on the strategic vision for the School and to hone key relationships that relate directly to the future direction of the School.



The successful candidate will have strong academic management experience, which is likely to be as either as a Head of Department, Director of Studies or equivalent.  They are also likely to have knowledge and experience of the prep school world, senior school assessment, entry and transition arrangements, the Common Entrance Curriculum or equivalent, and the ISEB pre-test.  He or she will display leadership and vision in academic matters, a passion for teaching and learning, and will:

  • be absolutely committed to the highest standards of professional behaviour and, at all times, to promoting the safeguarding, health and welfare of children.
  • be kind and aim high in all that they do.
  • be devoted to the educational needs of the individual pupil, and every child’s right to fulfil their academic potential.
  • have a good record of leading, inspiring and managing pupils and staff.
  • be motivational, sympathetic, constructive and, where necessary, challenging with colleagues.
  • be an inspirational and expert classroom teacher.
  • communicate clearly and persuasively, both orally and in writing, with staff, pupils and parents.
  • be passionate about driving up standards in teaching and learning and have a clear understanding of excellence and evidence led approaches to teaching and learning.
  • have a strong interest in the latest educational thinking.
  • be highly organised.
  • be able to work accurately and calmly, and show resilience, when under pressure.
  • be a team player, able to work collaboratively with colleagues within the School and with key contacts in other organisations.
  • be prepared and able to initiate, lead and manage change.
  • be committed to their own and others’ personal and professional development and to a culture of continuous improvement.
  • be knowledgeable about issues concerning schools in general and prep schools in particular.
  • be extremely proficient in the use of information technology.
  • act at all times as an outstanding ambassador for the School.
  • be willing and able to contribute to the wider extra-curricular and pastoral life of a busy school, especially through Sport, Co-Curriculum and/or Enrichment/Extension opportunities.

Terms of Appointment

Salary – Competitive.

Pension – You will be eligible to join either the Teachers’ Pension Scheme or Defined Contribution Scheme.

Hours of Work – Term time, plus there may be a requirement to work before and after the beginning and end of term as requested by the Head.

Holidays – No holidays to be taken during term-time.

Fee Remission – The successful applicant would be entitled to 66.6% discount off Day fees at Sherborne Prep School and 50% off Day Fees at Sherborne School and/or Sherborne Girls’ School.

Relocation expenses – A relocation expense allowance is provided to the successful applicant.

Sports Centre/Gym Membership – You will be entitled to reduced membership of the Sherborne School Sports Centre (including swimming pool, gym and classes).



You share with all School staff the responsibility to promote and safeguard the welfare of children and young people for whom you are responsible, or with whom you come into contact.  In doing so, you are expected at all times to adhere to and ensure compliance with the School’s Safeguarding Policy.  If you become aware of any actual or potential risks to the safety or welfare of children in the School, you must report any concerns to the School’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (Child Protection Officer).

Please see our Safeguarding policy here.


The Sherborne Schools Group is an Equal Opportunities employer and is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.  All staff and volunteers are expected to share this commitment.  Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening, including reference checks with previous employers and a criminal record check via the Disclosure and Barring Service.  Sherborne Preparatory School is part of Sherborne Schools Group, a charitable company (number 4002575), registered in England and Wales with the Charity Commission (number 1081228).

Please see our Equal Opportunities policy here.


Please see our Recruitment of Ex-Offenders policy here.

How to Apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Sherborne Prep School.  An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Potential candidates wishing to discuss this post are warmly invited to contact Nicola Reames, Partner, at or on +44(0)7907 574 794.

The closing date for applications is 09:00 a.m. on Monday 21st February 2022

Applications should consist of:

  • A covering letter addressed to the Head, Mrs Natalie Bone.  The letter should explain your reasons for applying.
  • A completed application form – please download here.
  • The following online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Please email your covering letter and completed application form to using the reference AQ1341 in the subject line.

Please note that by providing your documentation, you are consenting to AQ keeping your details on file for recruitment purposes. You can opt out at any time by emailing Further informtaion on our privacy policy can be found here.



  • Closing Date – 09:00 a.m. on Monday 21st February 2022
  • Preliminary Interviews with Anderson Quigley – w/c 21st and 28th February 2022
  • 1st Stage Panel Interviews – Monday 7th March 2022
  • 2nd Stage Panel Interviews – Friday 11th March 2022