CPE6.17 - Learning Assistant

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Posted: 09/08/2017 12:03
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £21,921 pa (rising to £22,369 after probation)
Location: Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
Level: Experienced (Non Manager)
Deadline: 21/08/2017 10:00
Hours: 35
Benefits: See "Working for us" on the Home menu
Job Type: Full Time

Job title and reference:        Learning Assistant (ref: CPE 6.17)

Salary:                                    £21,921 per annum rising to £22,369 after probation

Hours of work:                      35 hours per week: 9am-5pm Mon-Fri

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in south east London has been open since Victorian times, when the tea trader and philanthropist, Frederick John Horniman first opened his house and extraordinary collection of objects to the local community. Since then, our collection has grown significantly and includes internationally important collections of anthropology and musical instruments, as well as an acclaimed aquarium and natural history gallery – all surrounded by 16 acres of beautiful Gardens offering breathtaking views across London.

The Horniman provides learning experiences for a diverse range of visitors, including schools, families, and community groups, using our spaces and a Handling Collection of over 3500 objects. We are looking for a Learning Assistant to support the smooth running of these programmes and the Learning department; through greeting and orientating school and family groups, preparing spaces and resources, and liaising with staff from multiple departments.

You will be experienced providing excellent customer service to a diverse range of visitors, including schools and families, in a museum or similar setting. Your outstanding communication and organisational skills will help you deal with multiple priorities, in a calm and flexible manner. You will enjoy working within a team and taking initiative independently, to deliver a high quality Learning service.

The closing date for completed applications is 10am on Monday 21 August 2017.  Interviews will be held on Thursday 31 August 2017. 

The Horniman is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. 

How to Apply

Click on “Apply Now” at the top or bottom of this page. When you apply you will be asked to upload a covering statement in Microsoft Word format (the document must be in .doc  format and the maximum file size is 2 MB). Please also ensure that you have uploaded your CV as a separate document which you can do when you create an account or login.

In your covering statement please answer the following question in not more than 200 words:

Give an example of how you have helped multiple groups who needed your assistance at the same time.  How did you provide excellent customer service?

In your covering statement, please also provide an overview of no more than 2 pages describing your experience relevant to the role as outlined in the Job Description and Person Specification.  You will need to upload this and your answer to the questions as a single document.


Job title                                  Learning Assistant

Section                                   Learning and Volunteering

Reports to                              Schools Learning Manager

Responsible for                    No responsibility for staff but some oversight of volunteers and freelance tutors required

Hours of work                       35 hours per week. Occasional bank holiday working.                                            

Main purpose of the job                  

To support the operational delivery of our schools sessions, providing an informative welcome for booked school groups and assisting with practical aspects of their visit.

To support the delivery of our programming for families during school holidays.

To play a key role in the administration and maintenance of the Handling Collection.

Section description             

The Learning team sits in the Horniman’s Curatorial and Public Engagement directorate. The Learning and Volunteering team connect people with the Horniman’s collections, displays and gardens, designing inclusive opportunities where enjoyment, inspiration, respect and understanding can flourish. Highly-regarded formal, family, adult, youth, community engagement and volunteering programmes address a broad range of people’s interests and needs with the aim of enhancing wellbeing, inspiring a lifetime of curiosity, and creating access to cultural opportunities.

The Learning and Volunteering team is broadly split into three teams (Community Learning, Schools Learning, Volunteering). The team is collectively responsible for the care and management of the Handling Collection, numbering over 3500 objects. The Handling Collection is probably the best in the country and forms the heart of many learning and volunteering programmes.

Main responsibilities

Operations support for schools visits (50%)

  • Welcome and brief school and college groups preparing them for their visit to the Horniman Museum and Gardens
  • Assist the Schools Learning Officers in the setting up of objects and equipment required for each session
  • Set up and clear away education spaces for daily use. This involves moving furniture and equipment
  • Liaise daily with the Learning Bookings Assistant and Information Desk staff to ensure the smooth running of schools visits
  • Order and prepare resources linked to the schools programme
  • Support the delivery of projects with targeted school audiences, e.g. after-school clubs

Bookings, administration and communications (20%)

  • Provide information to teachers about our extensive schools offer to ensure we provide a session that best meets their learning needs
  • Operate our booking system for visiting school groups via telephone and email, providing excellent customer service
  • Communicate regularly and effectively with the Learning Bookings Assistant and Visitor Experience team to ensure a seamless service to visitors
  • Maintain accurate records and accounts and generate statistical analysis and reports as required
  • Support the effective marketing of the schools programme, in print and digital media

The Handling Collection care and administration (20%)

  • Lead on collections management and basic documentation of Handling Collection, liaising with other colleagues, including the use of collections management databases
  • Administer the Handling Collection acquisitions and disposals process
  • With the Handling Collection group, lead on the development of the collection’s content, storage, and display
  • Actively participate in the care and development of the Handling Collection, ensuring the proper documentation, storage and use of objects

Community Learning programme support (10%)

  • Support the Community Learning Team in their delivery of family and community activities in the Museum and Gardens during school holidays and other busy periods. This will include the organisation and movement of chairs, tables and equipment. It will also involve facilitating family learning through object handling, art and craft and other activities.

General responsibilities

  • Act in a professional manner and uphold the Horniman’s Code of Conduct
  • Follow and promote safe systems of work and observe health and safety regulations
  • Any other duties that may be required to ensure the effective running of the Learning service

Job activities may vary and evolve over time to meet business needs.



  • Evidence of high levels of literacy and numeracy (E)

Knowledge and experience

  • Experience of communicating appropriately with school pupils and teachers in a museum or related setting (E)
  • Experience of communicating appropriately with family groups of all kinds in a museum or related setting (E)
  • Experience of communicating appropriately with vulnerable groups such as disabled people, mental health service users, asylum-seeker groups, groups from diverse cultural backgrounds or others in a museum or related setting (E)
  • Experience of administering a booking service in a museum or related setting (E)
  • Experience of supporting the administration and maintenance of a museum collection (E)
  • Experience of supporting learning activities using museum objects (E)
  • Experience of liaising successfully with other departments (E)
  • Experience of supervising others to deliver a service (D)

Skills and abilities

  • Ability to carry out manual handling tasks, including the movement of chairs, tables and equipment (E)
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills, including telephone customer service (E)
  • Ability to deal with a variety of ongoing activities in a calm, organised yet flexible manner (E)
  • Excellent customer service skills, especially when under pressure (E)
  • Ability to prioritise own workload in order to meet deadlines (E)
  • Ability to work successfully as part of a team and on own initiative (E)
  • Ability to work with accuracy and attention to detail (E)
  • Relevant ICT skills including the use of Outlook, Microsoft Office suite, museum collections databases, website content management systems and online booking systems (E)

Personal attributes

  • An empathy with the Horniman mission and an interest in its exhibitions, activities and events
  • Commitment to equality and diversity
  • Willingness to work flexibly to achieve corporate objectives
  • Commitment to own learning and professional development


  • An Enhanced (Regulated) DBS check is required for this post.

August 2017


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