Assistant Librarian

  • Job Reference: 00001056-1
  • Date Posted: 2 July 2021
  • Recruiter: Highgate School
  • Location: Highgate, North London
  • Salary: £17,055
  • Sector: Schools
  • Job Type: Permanent, Part-time

Job Description

Highgate School supports anonymous recruitment. This means we hide your personal, identifying information to remove bias from the hiring process. We encourage applications from candidates who experience barriers and inequity due to their ethnicity, gender identity, physical or mental health, sexuality, and/or socio-economic background. 

Highgate is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children. Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to this post, including checks with past employers, overseas police check if necessary and the Disclosure and Barring Service.


A culture of community, kindness and belonging

Highgate is a different kind of independent school.  We are a school whose charitable ethos is an inextricable part of both staff and pupil DNA. Highgate doesn’t exist in a bubble, but is connected to, and part of, a community. We have partnerships with over 60 state schools across 7 London boroughs, and, in 2017, Highgate co-founded the free sixth form school, The London Academy of Excellence Tottenham (LAET), with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club as principal business sponsor.

From the Pre-Prep right up to the Sixth Form, we are actively seeking to embed a real sense of belonging at Highgate. Everyone who works and studies with us deserves to feel they are part of an environment that:

  • welcomes them
  • enables them to be themselves
  • understands them
  • encourages questioning, self-knowledge, and self-expression
  • helps them not just to manage, but to thrive, to discover and pursue their passions, and to develop as individuals and members of a community.

To do this, we are evaluating diversity in our professional, curricular and co-curricular life, exploring how to attract pupils and staff from all backgrounds to work and learn at Highgate and providing opportunities to share our own experiences as well as learning from alternative perspectives. Our work on inclusion at Highgate involves pupils, staff, alumni, parents and carers.

Award-winning success

Founded over 450 years ago in 1565 by Sir Roger Cholmeley, Highgate is one of the UK’s leading co-educational independent schools for pupils aged 4-18. There are currently in the region of 1,850 pupils split across our Pre-Preparatory School, Junior School and Senior School sites, in conjunction with approximately 600 teaching and support staff. We are proud to be able to claim some of the top academic results across the UK, as well as titles of Independent School of the Year 2019 and Independent School of the Year for Social Mobility 2019. Highgate has recently been named the Sunday Times London Independent School of the Decade by Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide. “Ranking in the top 25 independent schools in the UK for its results in the examination hall, Highgate achieves well for its children. But it also makes a difference for many more children beyond its own gates.” Alistair McCall, The Sunday Times.

Staff wellbeing

Highgate recognises the value of staff wellbeing which we promote by encouraging a strong work-life balance, trying our best to support flexible working requests, providing a nutritious food offering and offering access to sporting facilities including our recently renovated swimming pool. Our ethos is to be a reflective community and we encourage mindfulness throughout our school, for example by offering weekly prayers in our chapel. We also encourage an open culture throughout our school, with our directors having an open-door policy and making use of regular staff surveys.

We also encourage our employees to be continuously engaged in their role by providing opportunities to participate in the wider life of our school, such as taking part in trips or societies and getting involved in partnership projects.

Charitable work and sustainability

We remain committed to our original status as an educational charity. Highgate offers a significant number of bursaries to pupils who would otherwise be unable to access our excellent teaching and enriching activities. We are also the principal educational sponsor of the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham, which was opened to provide an academically-selective, well-governed free sixth form in a community where such opportunities are lacking.

Alongside this, our staff and pupils undertake a number of charitable activities throughout the year. These range from staff giving up their time to neighbourhood schools and charitable organisations, to pupils undertaking community work in the local area or further afield. For example, we also sponsor the Great Lakes High School in Uganda.

Highgate endeavours to be a sustainable school and we support a number of environmentally-friendly local and national initiatives on a daily basis. For example, our staff have embraced our initiative of no longer having single-use cups and, by providing everyone with a re-usable cup, our usage of plastics cups has fallen by 1,000 per week! We also encourage and have been recognised for a number of green transport initiatives.


Based on the Sir Martin Gilbert Library, the Assistant Librarian will support the Senior School Librarian in the provision of a high quality, efficient day to day library service for the School, in line with School’s Curriculum and Development Plan objectives. An interest in working with pupils at secondary and sixth form levels is essential, as well as working collaboratively with teaching staff under the direction of the Senior Librarian.

Permanent. Part-time (27.5 hours p/w), term time plus 2 weeks (pay is based on a 43 week year including paid holidays).

Normal working hours are Monday to Friday between 12pm and 6pm.  This post will involve lone working from 5pm-6pm once the postholder has been provided with the required induction and training.

Main responsibilities

  • Ensuring the provision of an effective library service throughout the day, including after school
  • Supervising pupils working in the library and promoting appropriate behaviour in the library as per the library ethos
  • Assisting with all general library duties: circulation, shelving, cataloguing
  • Assisting with the selection, processing, and organization of resources, as well as with cataloguing and classification of library items using the Dewey decimal system
  • Assisting with user enquiries regarding library resources from staff and pupils
  • Providing support for teaching and learning by assisting with reading and research lessons in the library as required
  • Assisting with library inductions for pupils and new staff
  • Assisting with the Pupil Librarian programme
  • Promoting and encouraging reading for pleasure for staff and pupils
  • Mounting displays of fiction and non-fiction to highlight new stock in the library and to promote topical events when requested
  • Administration of overdue notices, working with the Librarian to follow appropriate protocols for overdue books in accordance with School Policy and liaising with the Fees Officer regarding replacement charges for lost items
  • Advising pupils and staff in the use of the library facilities including the use of IT facilities, photocopier etc
  • Deputising for the Senior School Librarian when required
  • Maintaining confidentiality at all times in respect of School related matters
  • Promoting safeguarding and ensuring the welfare of pupils at all times
  • Sustaining a high level of personal professional knowledge and development
For more information and to apply, please click on the Apply button.