Head Of Support For Learning

Vacancy posted: Friday, 13 January 2017

Salary: £Schools' own scale, dependent on qualifications and experience
Location: Edinburgh

Closing date: 27 January 2017

A Head of Support for Learning is required from August 2017 to lead a very successful, established Department.  Candidates will be well qualified graduates and experienced teachers, who combine leadership qualities with management skills and enthusiasm for teaching.

The Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools comprise Stewart's Melville College, The Mary Erskine School and the ESMS Junior School.  The post entails leading the Department across the two Senior Schools and liaison with the Junior School.  The schools are governed by the ESMS Governing Council.


The Mary Erskine School and Stewart’s Melville College are two of the three schools administered by the Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh.  Since 1989, powers have been devolved to the ESMS Governing Council, a sub-committee of The Merchant Company Education Board.

Since 1978 there have been two Senior Schools and a single Junior School.  An overall roll of approximately 2750 pupils reflects parental belief that sons and daughters are obtaining an ideal combination of co-education and single-sex schooling.  The complete ‘twinning’ of the Sixth Form since August 1999 was the logical culmination of two decades of parallel and complementary development by the two Senior Schools.

The schools are predominantly for day pupils, but there are two boarding houses for approximately sixty girls and boys in the grounds of Stewart's Melville College and these reinforce a powerful sense of community.  All three schools are characterised by high academic standards and by fine reputations in music, sport and a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

The values of the schools rest on the belief in the uniqueness of each individual boy and girl.  The schools attach great importance to pastoral care.


The three schools are supported by site specific ancillary staff and by the staff responsible to the Bursar, the Director of Administration and the Director of ICT.


The Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools are committed to the all-round personal development of all children in their care.  Their education is underpinned by nine values: appreciation, commitment, confidence, enthusiasm, grace, integrity, kindness, respect and responsibility.

The school follows its own curriculum prior to examination years.  The Curriculum for Excellence is not followed.  Boys and girls generally sit the public examinations prescribed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.  It is normal for boys and girls to sit a combination of eight subjects at National 5 and to proceed to Higher courses in S5. The majority will return for a final year in Sixth Form, with a high proportion taking Advanced Highers.  ‘A’ Levels are offered in Art and in Music.


There are approximately 80 teachers in each of the schools.  They rely on an excellent team of support staff, whose high standards contribute greatly to the quality of the schools.


All teaching and support staff participate in a three-year cycle of professional review.


Teachers are expected to play a full and active part in the extra-curricular life of the school.  The ability to contribute to the Games programme, the Combined Cadet Force (particularly the RAF Section) or the Duke of Edinburgh Award would be most welcome.


The department works across both senior schools. There is a full-time APT on the MES site and there are two additional full-time and two part-time teachers in the department. The latter two also have other roles within the schools. The department has a dedicated part-time secretary who supports all aspects of administration, including Alternative Assessment Arrangements.



The Head of Support for Learning is accountable to the Principal, through the Directors of Studies, for the management of the Support for Learning Department at The Mary Erskine School and Stewart’s Melville College.  He/she is required to lead, co-ordinate and allocate the work of the Department and to foster departmental morale.  He/she is responsible for the effective management of the teaching and support staff of the Department.  He/she participates in the school Professional Review and Development Scheme as Line Manager of departmental members.  He/she is also expected to keep abreast of the latest developments in teaching and with curricular issues and debate.


The Head of Support for Learning is accountable to the Principal through the Deputy Heads for establishing and administering the departmental budget.  He/she is also accountable to the Principal through the Deputy Heads for overseeing good maintenance of departmental equipment and for departmental adherence to health and safety procedures. The Head of Support for Learning is accountable to the Principal through the Directors of Studies for his/her key tasks.


The Head of Support for Learning has delegated authority for the day-to-day running of the Support for Learning Department.


The Head of Support for Learning works closely with the Deputy Heads to agree the departmental budget.  He/she works closely with the Directors of Studies on all curricular matters relating to the Department.  He/she works closely with the Schools’ Examination Officers on necessary paperwork in relation to public examinations and on Alternative Assessment Arrangements (AAA) of candidates.  He/she works with the Staff Development Co-ordinators on matters relating to Professional Review and Development.  He/she also co-operates and liaises with teachers at The Mary Erskine School and Stewart’s Melville College, the Junior School, other educational establishments, and external agencies as appropriate.


1.  Teaching

The Head of Support for Learning teaches as required within the Support for Learning Department and undertakes all the duties outlined in the Job Description of a Head of Department.

2.  Departmental administration

The Head of Support for Learning has day-to-day management responsibilities for overseeing appropriate support for pupils in all senior school year groups at The Mary Erskine School and at Stewart’s Melville College. This will include the formulation, monitoring and revision of courses appropriate to pupils who come to the department at all stages of the school and of all abilities. The Head of Support for Learning is also responsible for carrying out the procedures relevant to AAAs, screening and monitoring of pupils, testing/assessing pupils for learning difficulties as well as liaison with, and making referrals to, outside agencies.  He/she is responsible for overseeing the appropriate implementation of whole school policies within the Support for Learning Department and for defining Support for Learning Department policies and strategies, including the setting, monitoring and reviewing of targets. He/she also arranges departmental INSET appropriate to these targets, in conjunction with the Staff Development Co-ordinator.  He/she encourages, guides and supports probationary teachers and students.

The Head of Support for Learning co-operates and liaises on Support for Learning matters with teachers at The Mary Erskine School and Stewart’s Melville College, the Junior School and other educational establishments, as appropriate.

3.  Meetings

The Head of Support for Learning attends Heads of Department meetings and plays a full part in the discussion of all matters relating to the academic welfare of the school.  He/she also holds and records regular departmental meetings and attends Guidance meetings as requested.


Remuneration will be on the school’s own scale which is above that paid in the State Sector and is dependent on qualifications and experience. All teachers are entitled in term time to school lunch, free of charge, in return for supervisory duties.

Please note that the school operates a no smoking policy and smoking is not permitted on the school campus at any time.


Teachers with children at ESMS are entitled to discounts of 60% of fees for classes P4 to P7 and 75% for both senior schools.

Contact Name Lydia Lawson
Telephone 0131 347 5870
Contact Instructions Applications should be in the form of a letter addressed to Mr J N D Gray, Principal, Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools, and should be supported by a full Curriculum Vitae along with the names, addresses and contact details of two referees. They should be sent by email to recruitment@esms.org.uk or by post to the address below. Further information can be found on our website, www.esms.org.uk.
Address HR Administrator
Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools
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