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Head, Chiltern Nursery & Training College

Chiltern Nursery & Training College

The Head of Chiltern Nursery & Training College is a multifaceted role, with a need to be both operational and strategic. Bringing your passion for and commitment to providing high-quality early-years education, care and work-based training. Working to support the Board of Trustees and leading a small and capable leadership team, you will continue to ensure a sustained future for the Nursery & Training College for the benefit of the children in our care and the trainees who learn with us.

  • Location: Reading, Berkshire
  • Salary: Up to £65,000 + pension

About the role

As Head of Chiltern Nursery & Training College you will need to have a passion for and commitment to providing the highest quality early years care, education and work-based training. The role is multifaceted with a need to be both operational and strategic, working with the Board of Trustees to sustain the future of the organisation.

Whilst each day will be different to the next, the Head assumes the following key responsibilities:

  • Day-to-day leadership and management of the organisation,
  • Liaison with parents, staff members, trainees and key stakeholders to maintain/develop current and future relationships,
  • Leading and working closely with the Finance Manager to ensure clear oversight of the finances and funding,
  • Leading and working closely with the Nursery Manager to provide direction and leadership and ensure adherence to statutory policies and procedures,
  • Working with parents, staff members, trainees, local authorities, regulators, awarding bodies and local employers to promote the ethos of the organisation and act as the key contact for all matters arising.

You will need to be forward thinking in your approach to the future of both the nursery facility and the work-based training provision. The landscape for early years care, education and early years training is changing and the organisation needs to be ready for change and challenge over the coming years.

The organisation has a very caring ethos when working with their children, trainees and the staff team to ensure they provide the very best experience and work as a community to deliver outstanding care, education and work-based training.

With this in mind, you will bring current knowledge and understanding of early years principles, practice, pedagogy and policy. You should be professionally qualified and experienced in early years care, education and/or training with a track record in leadership of a similar setting, along with successful management and oversight of finances, HR and meeting the requirements of associated regulatory bodies.

You will need to work in partnership with the local community in the engagement of new parents and carers, the provision of available facilities to local groups and develop positive partnerships with the local authority and relevant regulatory bodies and act as an ambassador for both the organisation and the sector.

Who we are looking for

To be the Head of Chiltern Nursery & Training College you must be a qualified early years professional. Your experience might be varied, and you may come with experience gained in a similar setting, or as an experienced educationalist from a different setting who has the experience and drive to, once again, move the organisation forward.

You will ideally be an experienced and qualified safeguarding lead and have previous experience of CACHE compliance, Ofsted inspections, internal verification of qualification frameworks.

You should have experience in teaching, training and/or assessing early years qualifications and understand the importance of developing staff to provide the highest level of care and education. As a natural leader with a strategic mind, inspiring style and a ‘can-do’ approach, you will respond well to operational challenges and national policy change affecting the sector.

The Trustees are a supportive Board who wish to ensure the organisation’s caring and nurturing ethos in weaved throughout their future strategy.  You will need to have the ability to work to them and develop the organisation’s long-term plans to ensure this 90-year-old nursery and training college grows and adapts with the level of care, quality and leadership that it deserves.

CNTC has a strong commitment to inclusion and safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, we expect all staff to share this commitment.  They follow safer recruitment practices and successful applicants will be required to provide satisfactory full background checks, references and an enhanced DBS disclosure.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential chat, please contact our executive search advisers at Peridot Partners:

Sarah Szulczewski | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017 043

Laura Burchett | laura@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07985 431 599

Closing date: Monday 29th March 2021

Further education recruitment with Sarah Szulczewski

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Sarah Szulczewski

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Welcome from the Chair of Trustees, Karen Hillier

Dear Candidate,

As Chair of the Board of Trustees of Chiltern Nursery & Training College (CNTC) I welcome your interest in the position of Head.

Chiltern Nursery & Training College began life in 1931 in Caversham as a mother and baby unit founded by Miss Elizabeth Halliday. Her dedication to providing high quality care enabled it to grow into one of the leading training colleges for Nursery Nurses (now called early years practitioners).

In the early years children and students were all residential but with the changing times Chiltern developed and today it is now one of the leading providers of early years care and education in the Reading area and enjoys an outstanding reputation.

Rather than residential training we now offer work based early years training. Trainees gain their practical experience in our nursery rooms and receive tuition and ongoing assessment from a dedicated Tutor/Assessor. Throughout these times Chiltern has always maintained excellent standards of care, education and training.

The trustees are looking for a highly motivated person with experience of the early years to be the new Head of CNTC. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront in the care and education of children and the early years training we offer our trainees, setting the highest standards. Whilst we will always acknowledge and appreciate our long history we are, nevertheless, forward thinking. In our Strategic Plan we want to develop our charitable initiatives in the local community and to make the best use of our buildings and land.

The Head is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the overall running of CNTC and we have always worked closely together. As a charitable organisation Trustees take an active interest in all Chiltern life, at the same time ensuring that the future is secure.

My personal experience began as a residential student, followed by using all the knowledge and skills learnt for various roles within the early years education field. I returned as head of day care and eventually, following retirement, to joining the board of trustees. At its heart CNTC is much more than a day care and training provider; it is a caring community of staff, trustees, children, families and trainees.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Hillier
Chair of Trustees

About Chiltern Nursery & Training College

Originally based from a small house in Caversham, Chiltern Nursery & Training College (CNTC) was founded in 1931 as a mother and baby home, with many mothers and their newborn babies being cared for and supported during the early stages of their infancy.

Over time the organisation grew, moved to larger premises, and began providing residential care to children from several local authorities. They developed residential NNEB training and recruited students from across the country. When local authorities stopped placing children in residential care, the organisation once again transitioned and began providing early years care and education for children in the local community. Training early years practitioners has always been at the centre of what they do. Throughout CNTC’s long history they have adapted and changed to meet the needs of the times. Today CNTC consists of a large day nursery, educating and supporting up to 130 children, which also serves to provide on-site work-based training for early years practitioners.

The spacious buildings and large well-established gardens and grounds provide an excellent environment in which children can play, learn and develop. Staff and trainees are in the ideal setting to work with the children and nurture them, whilst developing their own practical skills and knowledge as early years’ practitioners. They provide care and education for children from two months to five years of age in the beautifully situated and well-resourced nursery.

Alongside and in conjunction with the nursery setting they also provide high-quality early years work-based training for early years trainees and qualified nursery staff members, which is key in providing the best possible care and education for children.

The nursery provides a warm, welcoming and stimulating environment in which children are cared for in homely family groups by fully qualified key staff. The nursery team aims to ensure that each child develops at their own pace and to their full potential. They believe that young children learn best through play and interaction with other children and caring supportive adults.

Chiltern Nursery & Training College is a registered charity with clearly defined charitable objectives to provide:

  • The education and training of early years practitioners,
  • The provision of education and training in all aspects of childcare and education,
  • The provision of early years, pre-school and primary care and education.

The nursery is registered and inspected by Ofsted and were judged ‘Good’ in their last inspection (November 2018).

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Job Description & Person Specification and please fill out the Equality Monitoring Form.

    If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Sarah Szulczewski | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017 043

    Laura Burchett | laura@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07985 431 599

    Please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Head of Nursery & Training College – CNTC” into the subject field.

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.


    Closing date for applications: Monday 29th March 2021
    Candidates informed of outcome: w/c 29th March 2021
    Interviews: w/c 5th April 2021

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Chiltern Nursery & Training College are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

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    The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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