Head of Grounds

Crosfields School - Reading - Central England
Managerial - Groundkeeper 17 April 2020

Crosfields School is situated in over forty acres, are currently seeking to recruit a Head of Grounds. Crosfields currently educates over 570 boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13. This position arises at an exciting juncture in the school’s history. In 2007 Crosfields changed from being a boys’ school to being co-educational. From September 2021 the school will be extending the age range from 13 to 16 and so this will be when the current Year 7 children are in Year 9. An ambitious building plan to create a new Senior School accompanies this vision and recently was given planning permission.

The School is located on a 42-acre site on the outskirts of Reading near Shinfield. The School consists of a number of purpose built buildings of varying ages in a campus style, including teaching blocks, nursery, theatre, dining hall and sports centre with pool and sports hall. 

The grounds consist of natural sports fields for football, rugby, athletics, rounders and cricket, with an ATP for hockey, netball and tennis plus some artificial wickets and nets area. The extensive grounds are also used for cross-country, has several Forest School sites, an outdoor classroom. The School has an extensive match fixture list each week over a variety of sports and age ranges and annually hosts inter school tournaments for football, rugby and netball. 

Job Purpose 

To support the Estate Manager through the maintenance of the highest possible standard of sports turf, lawns, gardens and grounds at Crosfields School whilst ensuring the most cost effective methods of attaining these aims within the budget allocated. 

Main Duties and Responsibilities 

Reporting to the Estate Manager, the main duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Leading a team of experienced grounds staff, specialists and contractors. 
  • Planning, organising, implementing and recording of team work tasks. 
  • Working in accordance with the School’s Health & Safety policy and carrying out Risk Assessments as necessary. 
  • Ensure the safe use, storage, calibration and disposal of pesticides, herbicides, fuel, oils and substances including a regular review of Risk Assessments and COSHH data. 
  • Ensuring regular checks of the grounds are carried out and recorded. 
  • Ensuring the sports surfaces are maintained in line with the relevant sports best practice. 
  • Ensuring preparation and maintenance work on a range of sports facilities and surfaces for training and competitive play including marking out and preparation of goals.
  • Ensuring preparation and cultivation work to maintain safe quality playing surfaces. 
  • Ensuring an exceptional standard of presentation of formal and informal lawns and gardens especially in preparation for School events. 
  • Ensuring the safe and tidy preparation of hard play surfaces, walkways and car parks. 
  • Ensuring play equipment and surrounds are in a safe and tidy condition.
  • Ensuring the school site is free from litter and bins are emptied regularly.
  • Ensuring hedges are trimmed and clipped regularly and are safe to all users and the public
  • Ensuring leaf and debris clearance across the school site.
  • Ensuring woodland areas are safe, regularly checked and cleared of fallen trees and debris.
  • Ensuring the School’s Woodland Plan is progressed each winter. 
  • Carrying out general horticulture including, seeding, weeding, irrigation and planting. 
  • Carrying out minor forestry work including small tree work, sapling removal and tree planting.
  • Ensuring safe operation and maintenance of all equipment and vehicles associated with the Grounds department including a regular review of Risk Assessments. 
  • Monitoring the Grounds Team’s exposure to risk specifically the use of PPE, manual handling, noise, dust and vibration. 
  • Ensuring work areas are kept clean, safe and tidy and buildings are kept secure at all times. 
  • Liaising regularly with the Director of Sport in short and medium term planning. 
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with all staff, specialists and contractors. 
  • Planning material and equipment purchasing and budgets with the Estate Manager. 
  • Planning and recording equipment servicing and maintenance with the Estate Manager. 
  • Planning, implementation and recording of the Grounds Team’s training with the Estate Manager. 
  • Carry out any other duties within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, the title of the post and its grading, as required by the Estate Manager or Bursar.

Essential Qualifications 

  • NVQ Level 2 Qualification Amenity Horticulture and Sports Turf Management or IOG National Diploma Level 2 in Turf Management or BTEC/HND/HNC in Turf Management or relevant equivalent experience. 
  • A thorough understanding of relevant Health and Safety legislation and how to apply it. 
  • A valid driving licence 

Desirable Qualifications 

  • NPTC Pesticides PA1,2 & 6 Spraying Licence.
  • Formal qualification in Health & Safety (IOSH Managing Safely of NEBOSH) COSHH
  • Formal training in manual handling and risk assessment.
  • First Aid 
  • Training and certification in use of chainsaws. 
  • Training and certification in use of grounds machinery. 

Training will be provided where necessary. 

Skills and Experience 

We are looking for a dynamic member of the team to lead our Grounds Team. Must be able to work to their own initiative identifying opportunities for improvement and organise resources to deliver an effective service delivery of grounds maintenance to the highest standard. Friendly and helpful attitude. Flexibility and willingness to support the wider Estates Team when required. Awareness and practical application of H&S in grounds maintenance. Good communication skills. Ability to plan ahead and organise the team’s workload. 

A proven track record of at least 5 years’ relevant experience as an experienced grounds person including sports turf maintenance. Ability to manage a team with at least 2 years proven supervisory experience. Excellent interpersonal skills to communicate with a diverse range of people e.g. Heads, school colleagues, third party users of the school’s facilities and members of the public. Administrative skills to maintain accurate records as necessary to comply with statutory duties or company procedures. IT skills – use of MS Office.
Clean driving licence. 

Pre-Employment Checks 

All appointments will be subject to two satisfactory references (which may be taken prior to interview). Disclosure check by the Disclosure and Barring Service and medical fitness for the role. Where applicable overseas police checks and prohibition from teaching and management checks will also be completed. All checks must be completed before employment can commence at the School. 

Safeguarding and Child Protection 

As a result of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, employers now have to verify
that new recruits who are not British Nationals are eligible to work in this country. Therefore, any applicant who is offered an interview will be asked to provide official documentation to verify their ID, address and right to work in the UK. It is also normal practice for the School to ask for original qualifications and professional membership documents to be presented at interview as detailed on the application form. 
Crosfields School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare
of young people, and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service. 

Send a letter of application and completed Crosfields Job Application Form to hr@crosfields.com 

This job closes when a suitable applicant has been found.





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