Appointments Vacancies

Head – The Downs Preparatory School

Wraxall, Bristol

RSAcademics are delighted to be assisting the Governors of The Downs School, Bristol with the appointment of a new Head from September 2020, on the retirement of Marcus Gunn after 18 years of dedicated service.

The Downs Preparatory School is a leading independent, co-educational IAPS Preparatory School for approximately 280 children aged between 4 and 13. Situated at the end of a meandering drive in a beautiful 60-acre estate, the school is centred around an imposing Victorian House. The school is owned by a charity and the surpluses generated by the school in recent years have enabled considerable investment in the built environment and the school now enjoys extensive, well maintained facilities.

The Downs is a place of happiness and joy; a place of opportunity and diversity; a place of endeavour and aspiration. A close community, children are known as individuals and can identify the spark that lights their passion for learning. Children are challenged but nurtured in all aspects of their busy school life. At The Downs, the primary aim is to encourage each pupil to be a confident, well-rounded individual who will unreservedly embrace qualities such as respect, kindness and courage.

The new Head must be able to lead, challenge and inspire both staff and children whilst building unshakeable confidence with parents. They will need to have vision, warmth and charisma. They will embrace a child centred approach to every decision and appreciate the privilege it is to be entrusted with the responsibility of making every day for the children memorable and enjoyable. It is important that the new Head works closely with the staff and Board of Governors, embracing collaboration and collegiality. One of the key priorities is to ensure the provision of exceptional teaching and academic excellence whilst maintaining the all-round ethos of the school.

A wonderful opportunity exists for the next Head of The Downs. This is a thoroughly ambitious and forward-thinking school but, above all, it is a school in which the child remains very much the central focus. A highly competitive remuneration package, including exceptional onsite family accommodation, will be offered.

Potential candidates wishing to discuss this post are invited to contact the following RSAcademics consultants:

Angela Short – or 07786 134195

Charlotte Faber – or 07769 740479

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 4th June 2019, 10.00am.

Candidates should complete their application form electronically and email it to RSAcademics, together with a short covering letter addressed to the Chairman of Governors, Mr Mark Burchfield, explaining their reasons for applying. There is no need to submit a CV at this stage.

Please email your completed application form and covering letter (both as PDF files please) to Jonathan Barnes:

The Downs Preparatory School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service.


About this vacancy

Key Dates

  • Deadline for applications 04 June 2019 10.00am
  • Preliminary interviews 12 June 2019 -13 June 2019
  • Long list interviews 20 June 2019 -21 June 2019
  • Short list interviews 24 June 2019 -25 June 2019