Ashford School - Bursar

Bursar Candidate Information Pack


AGES 0 -18





About Us

About Ashford

The Role

Job Description

Person Specification

Application Process

Page 4 The Estate

Page 5 Buildings

Page 3 Welcome


Ashford School is planning to substantially invest in specialist facilities and grounds over the next five years. The school’s intention is to remodel the East Hill Campus to provide extensive, high quality facilities that meet the future needs of the school and match the current excellent quality of pupils’ experience.

The school will grow from the existing 800 pupils aged 3-8 to 1000 pupils, 450 pupils aged 3-11 and 550 pupils aged 11-18+ including 175 boarders.

The Ashford School International Centre (ASIC) has been open since September 2015. This section of the school has been designed to meet the needs of non-native English speaking pupils, from the outset becoming a world-class centre of excellence. ASIC is an 18th-century Grade II listed building which has undergone a multimillion-pound refurbishment, providing state of the art teaching classrooms alongside boarding rooms. Close financial management and planning are fundamental to the success of the school. The school is expertly supported in this by United Learning, from which comes all capital development funds. The school’s “all-in” fee is attractive and the fees are highly competitive.

Michael Hall Head of Ashford School

ABOUT US Ashford school is a coeducational independent boarding and day school in East Hill, Ashford, Kent. The school was founded in 1898, originally as a girls’ school. In 2005 it merged with Friars Prep school in Great Chart and became coeducational. There are now 480 students in the senior school (ages 11 to 18) and 360 in the prep school (ages 3 to 11). The school is located within walking distance from Ashford international railway station, which is just 37 minutes from London by high-speed train. Ashford School was recently ranked one of the UK’s top 20 coeducational, independent schools and was voted Independent School of the Year 2010. The school was a winner in the Good Schools Guide award in 2011. The school was also voted one of the country’s top five boarding schools at the Archant Good Schools Show. The school was endorsed as outstandingly successful in every category during the most recent inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in 2014.

“ A forward-looking school with a strong international contingent which is going from strength to strength, benefitting in part from the huge growth of Ashford town. The school has ‘changed beyond belief in the last eight years’ and appeals to a wide range of families with its strong pastoral care and adventurous learning programme. ” (Good Schools Guide)

At Ashford School, our educational philosophy is based on a very simple assumption: if a pupil is happy and secure, they are more likely to be successful. To achieve this, we believe that learning should be challenging, motivating and lead to a sense of fulfilment. This is why we strive to provide an environment that en- courages growth and adventure so that our students can develop into all they are capable of being.

“ Ashford School’s teaching fosters higher level thinking and application, enabling pupils to progress rapidly ”

ABOUT ASHFORD The Kent town of Ashford is on the south edge of the North Downs, about 61 miles (98km southeast of London and 15.3 miles (24.6km) northwest of Folkestone, with a population of 118,000 (2011 Census). The history of Ashford as a market town dates back to 1243, becoming one of Kent’s most important by the 1600s. With the opening of the international passenger station, the town of Ashford is now an important European transport hub with new lines running between London and the Channel Tunnel (via High Speed 1). The M20 motorway also links Ashford to those two destinations for road traffic. Ashford has been targeted as a key area for population development since the 1960s. In 1959, the London County Council negotiated 5000 new homes to be built in Ashford as overspill from London, which created most of what is now South Ashford and Kennington. The Buchanan Report, published in 1967, identified Ashford as a major town for growth. In 2001, Ashford was identified as one of four key areas for expansion in South East England.

Subsequently, the Ashford’s Future Company was set up to support a mix of publicly and privately funded projects in the town.

Ashford’s population and economy continues to grow year on year, making the area a popular choice for more people to live and work.


The Role Ashford School educates over 900 children and young people, employs 250+ adults and has a turnover of nearly £14m. Our sole purpose is to help our children to be successful learners and progress to university. We seek to achieve this through adventurous, well-focussed teaching in a stimulating and well-resourced environment where initiative and high quality outcomes are prized. Nearly £13m has been invested in the school in recent years and there is more to come. We are growing and have a target pupil number of 1200. To achieve this we must increase our market share and ensure the experience of our existing pupils and parents is outstanding. The success and direction of the school is the responsibility of the Governors, Head and senior staff. As part of the United Learning, we are provided with central services and advice in the areas of accounting, H&S, HR, ICT and people development. The daily operation of most of these functions is devolved to the school. The Bursar will be a key member of the senior team, reporting to the Head of Ashford School, Head of the Prep School, Director of the Senior School and Director of Teaching and Learning and will be expected to play a significant part in its future development. With close working relationships to the Head of the Senior School and Head of the Prep School. Key factors in the future of the school in the next five years include: • Strong leadership focussed on outcomes • Further development of our buildings and facilities - to create a whole leading estate • Continued generation of substantial surpluses from our trading company and main school accounts • Financial discipline in a demanding national and international context • Clarity of purpose and unending drive for quality • Creation of a purpose built sixth form centre • Development of an additional nursery • Embedded links with the community through engagement programmes and use of facilities

Accountable to

Head of Ashford School

Responsible for

Strong leadership and the effective management of the school’s finances and Estates so the school can deliver its aims to be judged as excellent or outstanding in every area.

The Bursar will manage the finances, purchase ledger and local billing of the school.


Prime Function: To have primary responsibility to the Head of Ashford School for the management of operations functions so that the school can deliver its aims and priorities in the most efficient and effective way. Operations departments within the post-holder’s remit to be: Facilities and Maintenance, Site Security, Grounds and Gardens, Transport, Housekeeping and Cleaning. Key Function: Prepare appropriate estates and operational project documentation and project manage (as required) all estates development matters. Have overall responsibility for the condition of Ashford School estate, its grounds, buildings, facilities and boundaries and manage an extensive and detailed budget that supports this. Oversee the effective implementation of and compliance with Health and Safety requirements, appropriate management of Risk in general and specific plans and procedures relating to areas Together with the Head, assist, where appropriate, in the negotiation of contracts for the supply of external services to the school, including, but not limited to, utilities, consumables, architects, planning consultant, services and maintenance contracts. Oversee the management of the daily functions and operations of the above named operations departments. Facilities Management (including site security) Be responsible for the condition of Ashford School’s estate, its grounds, buildings, facilities and boundaries. As part of this, ensure that the school’s buildings are maintained to a high level of repair within resource and time constraints. Coordinate the infrastructure, services and utilities of the school. This will include being accountable for the management of various service contracts (excluding catering) and in conjunction with the Head, for the tendering of service contracts (excluding catering) with a view to achieving cost effectiveness and appropriate levels of service. Liaise with solicitors and professional services as appropriate, including the management of the day-to-day administration of the schools’ insurance policies in conjunction with the Head of Ashford School. In conjunction with the Head, agree work and project priorities within agreed budget constraints and timescales. Provide to the Estates Committee advice and guidance on building projects during their planning and implementation stages. including critical incident responses, fire evacuation etc. Generate and manage sources of letting and other income.

Job Description Key Responsibilities


Be responsible for the safety and security of the school campuses and buildings and for the effective implementation of all relevant Health and Safety related activities to support this. Manage and control annual maintenance expenditure within agreed budgets. Ensure equipment, such as telecommunications, mobile phones, photocopiers, CCTV etc., are suitable and cost effective for purpose, renewing contracts and/or putting them out to tender, where appropriate. Grounds and Gardens Manage and control grounds and gardens expenditure within agreed budgets and ensure grounds and gardens are maintained to the expected high standard and upkeep. Together with the grounds staff, liaise with sports departments to ensure sports pitches are prepared to the satisfactory standard necessary for the school’s sports matches and activities. Housekeeping, Matrons, Cleaning Have overall responsibility for the management of staff and the operation of all laundry, cleaning services etc. within and across the school. Be responsible for the contribution these roles make to the welfare and care of the pupils who are members of the school. Environmental Responsibility In conjunction with the Head of Ashford School and other nominated staff, ensure that the school is active regarding its environmental responsibility. Facility Lettings Oversee the management of the day-to-day administration of this letting process and the 3rd party customers with whom the school is working. This will include having line management responsibility for the commercial sports staff. General Leadership and Management Liaise with other functional and departmental managers so as to understand their requirements of the operations and facilities teams. Identify and implement cost savings, without reducing service levels, across all operations and facilities teams. Act as a professional and positive ambassador for the school in order to support the school’s vision and profile. Promote and manage the school’s own and third party use of the school’s facilities. Liaise with the sports department regarding use of the school’s sporting facilities.

Job Description Key Responsibilities


Manage staff effectively including taking responsibility for appointment, induction, holiday-and-sickness management and in conjunction with the Head, to deal with grievance and disciplinary matters for those staff who have line management responsibilities to the Bursar. Be responsible for performance management of all direct reports, including the setting of strategic, individual and team objectives. Financial: The Bursar will be responsible specifically for; Ensuring the school has appropriate financial systems and procedures; managing all aspects of the school’s financial systems (including salaries and wages, superannuation, National Insurance etc. as well as scrutinising all invoices for payment and school procurement strategy) in accordance with agreed policies and timetable; ensuing accurate financial records are maintained, preparing management accounts and cash flow and reporting on a regular basis to the Head and Board of Governors. To ensure that the financial transactions in the school are carried out in an appropriate manner and that the financial regulations of the school are observed Preparation, for approval by the Board of Governors, of an annual estimate of income and expenditure including recommendations on fee levels. To ensure that payroll is run effectively with all PAYE and other returns to HMRC provided as necessary. Manage the administration of the pension schemes provided for staff and ensure that all auto-enrolment and other legislative requirements are met. To determine the financial impact of particular projects and the development of long term initiatives for the school. To co-operate, initiate and manage audit procedures as necessary. Attend Board of Governors and Sub-committee meetings, distributing agendas and papers in advance of such meetings and maintain minutes of the meetings. To write bids for funding from charities and other sources as applicable. Managing the tendering for all service contracts; monitoring all insurance policies, with a view to cost effectiveness. Monitoring and control of capital expenditure on buildings and grounds, placing of contracts, appointment and monitoring of contractors. Promoting the school activities and premises with the objective of maximizing letting income, within agreed policies. Supporting staff responsible for designated budgets with procedures which enable them to monitor these budgets.

Job Description Key Responsibilities


• Relevant professional qualification in finance • Demonstrable success in substantial financial management • Evidence of and ability to influence positively the work of individuals • Evidence of highly developed interpersonal skills and resilience

Person Specification

• Good organisational and effective time-management skills • Eagerness to identify and respond to new challenges • Demonstrable sound judgement and decision making • Ability to communicate confidently with pupils, parents and staff • Strong commitment to the values and ethos of the school • Excellent oral and written communication skills together with developed ICT skills • Calm, authoritative and determined leadership with the ability to improve underperformance • Broad and strategic vision • A love of detail; an eye for quality and sophistication • Initiative and the ability to plan and implement change • Resilience and energy • Ease with and interest in young people • The demeanour and personality to inspire respect from colleagues, to represent the school convincingly and to act as an appropriate role model. Salary Up to £68k, dependent on experience, skills and qualifications Contract This is a full time appointment. Normal office hours of work are 40 hours per week for the full year. However the Bursar will be expected to work such hours as are necessary to fulfill his/her responsibilities including occasional weekends without further remuneration Start Date TBC Holiday 30 days excluding Public Holidays Pension Scheme United Learning Pension Plan for Support Staff (normally 3% employer’s contribution) Accommodation Living accommodation is not provided with this position. Applicants are expected to live within 40min travel of the Ashford site where he/she will be based Fee discount One third discount for the first child and 50% for each subsequent child simultaneously attending the school Health Care Free membership of the United Learning scheme (currently BUPA) Meals When working, staff are entitled to a free lunch from Monday to Friday during term time and at other times when the Dining Room is open.

APPLICATION PROCESS For a confidential conversation please contact our advisor Lawrence Clark of The Management Recruitment Group on E: T: 020 8892 0115. Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than 4 pages) and a relevant projects list (not more than 2 pages, to include project type, value and contract type).

Applications should be sent to;

Closing date for applications: Sunday 21st October 2018.

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