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Head of Gardens and Grounds

Tudor Hall School
Banbury, Oxfordshire
£28,000 - £33,000 dependent on experience and qualifications
Closing date
27 Sep 2021
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Tudor Hall is an independent boarding and day senior school of approximately 330 girls, of whom 75% are full boarders. The school is situated in beautiful parkland surroundings approximately one mile outside Banbury. The 48 acre-estate comprises formal gardens, woodland, paddock, sports pitch, astroturf and four hard courts.

Carrdus School was purchased by Tudor Hall in 2011. It is an independent co-educational day nursery and prep school. The school is situated just outside Banbury in a rural setting in 11 acres of grounds including hard courts and an outdoor swimming pool.

Both schools are 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 the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Head of Gardens and Grounds for Tudor Hall School and Carrdus School

Job Description


Working closely with the Property Services Manager, assisted by an Estates Administrator, and reporting to the Bursar, the post-holder will have responsibility for maintaining the grounds, pitches and other specialist sporting facilities to the highest standard. S/He will be required to plan and maintain all new and existing gardens. The post-holder will be an experienced gardener and grounds person with a genuine interest in the natural world.

The Head of Gardens and Grounds leads a team of two full-time staff with additional support during the summer season. The team works primarily at Tudor Hall but will provide occasional assistance to the gardens/grounds person at Carrdus School.  It is a small team and, as well as providing leadership, the incumbent will be expected to be fully involved in routine work and projects.

This is a demanding and varied role and as such the job description includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Taking the lead role in planning the preparation and maintenance of the gardens and grounds, guiding and supporting the team, and addressing any technical issues;
  • Preparing, implementing and monitoring weekly, monthly and annual works programmes to provide the required standard of gardens and sports surface presentation, taking into account budgets, priorities, level of use and standard of play;
  • Advising on planting schemes for new projects and reviewing existing planting schemes;
  • Maintaining grass, advising on pitch conditions and requirements for resting pitches, maintaining current standards and making improvements as necessary;
  • Contributing to the annual budget setting process by providing full and accurate information on material and sports equipment requirements;
  • Advising on forestry including succession planting and tree maintenance, arranging for surveys and tree surgery as required;
  • Leading the team, managing day to day operations undertaken by the team to meet the requirements of the School, ensuring standards of work are maintained, tasks are completed in the most efficient and appropriate way, and that the team members work as a cohesive unit;
  • Ensuring effective communication with both the Property Services Manager and the sports department;
  • Demonstrating an understanding of the School requirements and giving impartial advice based on best practice, budgetary considerations and factors such as timing, manpower available, weather, etc;
  • Ensuring the grounds requirements for all sporting programmes, external lettings, and special events are planned for, and the grounds and gardens prepared accordingly; the gardens and facilities are expected to be prepared to a high standard;
  • Effective machinery management via regular inspections and arranging services;
  • Carry out pest control for the grounds and buildings, ensuring a prompt response and that service contracts are maintained;
  • Snow and ice preparation and clearance;
  • Site bin clearance and litter picking;
  • As a member of the Risk Management Team, demonstrating a full understanding of health and safety, a knowledge of regulations that apply to the areas of responsibility including pesticides, chainsaws and use of machinery, the use of personal protective equipment, CoSHH, induction risk assessments, maintaining records and training schedules and on-going updates as appropriate.

Person Specification

The successful candidate will have:

  • An enthusiasm for and interest in gardens and grounds;
  • An appropriate horticultural qualification is desirable;
  • A grounds qualification such as sports turf maintenance, certificate in turf science, and/or sports ground management is desirable;
  • Recent and relevant experience in horticulture;
  • Recent and relevant experience in groundsman ship including the maintenance of pitches and artificial surfaces;
  • Experience in the operation of grounds maintenance machinery;
  • An ability to manage a team, plan and organise workloads and deploy staff effectively;
  • Excellent inter-personal skills;
  • Initiative and an ability to work in a busy, demanding and varied environment;
  • A commitment to setting high standards with a good eye for detail;
  • Capability to climb ladders and work at height;
  • A hands on approach; be practical, realistic; and able to lead by example;
  • Good literacy, numeracy and IT skills;
  • Knowledge of health and safety regulations and procedures;
  • A full driving and towing licence;
  • Commitment to customer service and a desire to engage in school life;
  • Willingness to look forward and continually challenge the ‘norm’.

All staff share the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children and must adhere to, and comply with, the school’s Safeguarding Policy. If in the course of carrying out his/her duties the post-holder becomes aware of any actual or potential risks to the safety or welfare of the children in the school, he/she must report any concerns to the Deputy Head (Pastoral Care).

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