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Dames Assistant

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Role Introduction

As a Dame’s Assistant, you will support the pastoral team, including the Dame and Dames Assistant with the pastoral care of the students, as well as supporting central teams with the day-to-day running of the House, ensuring its cleanliness, tidiness, and comfort, and that high levels of health and safety are maintained. You will have frequent contact with the students and in addition to your job role, you will be able to take an interest in the activities of the house such as sports, plays and musical productions.

You will work flexibly and collaboratively with the Dame to ensure that students’ needs are put first, and that you can both take appropriate rest breaks. At all times you will be a visible presence in the House when on duty. Our boarding houses are integral to the students’ lives, and you will have a direct impact on their experience of life at Eton College.

You will report into the Dame for your pastoral activities, and you will report into the Housekeeping Supervisor for the portion of your role that involves cleaning. Your primary reporting line is to the Dame.

This is a ‘live-out’ role. You will provide cover for the Dame during periods of time-off and absence and may, on occasion, be required to cover overnight. Alongside other house staff, you will also support an agreed number of house functions and events during the year, which may be outside of your normal working hours.

This role is for 31 hours per week, 6 days a week during term time only with the exception of up to four days at the beginning and end of each term; you will also work any bank holidays that fall within term time.

Due to the needs of the school and the department, we may interview suitable candidates before the closing date. This job may also close early if a large number of applications are received. You are advised to submit your application as early as possible to avoid missing your chance to apply.

Main Duties

  • Developing positive relationships with the pupils, particularly new pupils. 
  • Using the opportunity with new pupils to induct them into the ways of the house by setting expectations about cleanliness of rooms, dealing with laundry, and respecting their environment, as well as encouraging them to be polite, well mannered, friendly and presentable. Your interaction with new students means that you will be a key component in helping individuals to settle into life at Eton and setting standards within the house.  
  • Supervising laundry, sending students’ clothing and sheets to laundry once a week; checking return of these items and reporting numbers of missing sheets and pillowcases.
  • Supervising Messing Teas, at all times ensuring that health and safety requirements are adhered to, and also taking the opportunity to get to know the pupils, set standards and to provide pastoral support.
  • Assisting the Dame with the general health and wellbeing of pupils in College, liaising with School medical staff as appropriate in order to share any health or medical concerns.
  • Escorting pupils to routine appointments at the School Health Centre or local hospitals as required, responding and providing support during medical emergencies.
  • In the absence of the Dame, liaising with parents on medical, domestic or logistic matters.
  • Supporting the Dame and House Master at functions and events. This is likely to include setting up beforehand, serving and washing up after events along with other members of house staff.
  • As directed by the Dame, undertaking any administration as required for the effective functioning of College, liaising with central school teams (e.g. catering, central cleaning and maintenance) where necessary.
  • Ensuring that all relevant information is communicated to the Dame and that the College’s child protection procedures are adhered to at all times.
  • Covering for the Dame during time off and being available at the required times to give out prescribed (or otherwise) medication to pupils and keep accurate written records and be familiar with medical procedures and know the Health Centre staff.
  • Ensuring that appropriate standards of cleanliness are maintained in allocated rooms and areas of the house by cleaning in line with the expectations and standards set out by the Central Cleaning team. Your cleaning tasks, including relevant training in this area, comes under the supervision of the Housekeeping Supervisor.
  • You will be required to attend all training sessions and meetings that might be necessary for you carry out your professional duties, including pastoral and Health and Safety matters, and training related to the cleaning aspects of your role.
  • Responsible for weekly checks throughout the boarding house, in line with National Minimum Standards and the reporting of any issues in a timely manner (e.g. Checking safety latches on windows, functioning of appropriate lighting, etc.)
  • Where required, undertake regulated activity, such as unsupervised contact with children, ensuring that safeguarding procedures are followed and providing safe and effective care at all times.
  • Good understanding and effective implementation of Child Protection procedures
  • Commitment and promotion of equality, diversity & inclusion
  • Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including by not limited to, completing safeguarding training as required, and ensuring any safeguarding updates issued by the College are read and understood.
  • Understand and comply with procedures and legislation relating to confidentiality.

The Ideal Candidate

To be successful in this role, the incumbent should have:

  • To be successful in this role, you will need:
  • A flexible approach to work and a ‘can do’ attitude;
  • A high standard of verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to flex your style to communicate with a variety of different people;
  • The ability to nurture good working relationships with other departments;
  • The ability to work using your own initiative whilst also being happy to take direction from the Dame House Master and Housekeeping Supervisor;
  • Confidence in your own abilities and to deal with challenging situations;
  • Previous experience of handling administration and good computer skills – particularly Word, Excel and Outlook;
  • An understanding of when to resolve a problem on your own, and when to ask for help.
  • The flexibility to work within a dual reporting line structure.

Ideally, you will also have:

  • Previous experience of working in a pastoral role for children or young adults
  • An awareness of the Children’s Act and Safeguarding and Child Protection;
  • First Aid or relevant medical training;
  • A clean and valid driving license.

Working Pattern

A normal working week consists of approximately 31 hours per week, working across 6 days of the week including weekends. Your exact working hours will be by agreement with your line managers however the hours worked will likely be a combination of mornings and afternoons (breakdown of hours to be discussed at interview). You may be required to provide overnight cover in emergency situations.

Including your annual leave entitlement, your working year comprises of 40.6 weeks. This working pattern covers the College’s term-time plus up to four days before the start and at the end of each term.

Benefits

Eton College offers a wide range of benefits, including an 11% employer contribution to your pension (with 4.9% employee contribution), Employee Assistance Programme, enhanced Maternity / Paternity scheme, free eyecare vouchers, a cycle to work scheme, subsidised lunches during term time, free access to the College’s sport and leisure facilities and discounts at local retailers and businesses.

About the College

Disclosure check 

We are an equal opportunities employer and are seeking applications from suitable candidates from all backgrounds. We are dedicated to creating and sustaining an environment that values individuality and difference and celebrates the diversity of both staff and pupils by fostering perseverance, tolerance and integrity. We believe in equal opportunity for everyone, irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or socio-economic background.

DISCLOSURE CHECKS

Eton College 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 checks with past employers and an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service. If you are successful in your application, you will be required to complete a DBS Disclosure Application Form.  Any information disclosed will be handled in accordance with any guidance and/or Code of Practice published by the DBS. The College is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings (including those which would normally be considered as “spent” under the Act) must be declared, subject to the DBS filtering rules. It is a criminal offence for any person who is barred from working with children to attempt to apply for a position at the College.

Eton College

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