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Primary Music Specialist
Ark Schools Central
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High quality music education is unparalleled in its ability to stimulate personal, emotional and intellectual development, and motivate social change. Given the right conditions, we believe that every child can be a musician, and enjoy improved life chances as a result. 

Our mission is to ensure that every pupil in an Ark school is set-up to enjoy a life enriched by music and the many holistic benefits that brings. We want our young people to leave school knowing that they are creative musicians who belong to a vibrant artistic community.

Developed over the last 6 years, our thriving primary music programme engages just over 10,000 children per week across 19 schools. We focus on three key areas:

  1. an integrated approach to curriculum development and teacher training which supports primary school teachers to deliver great music lessons
  2. progressive instrumental and vocal learning for every child
  3. weekly enrichment ensembles, regular sharing events and network ensembles

Main purpose of the job

This is an exciting opportunity for an exceptional and innovative primary specialist to lead an inclusive programme for music education. Alongside the Director of Music, you will shape the programme so as it continues to be a hub for innovation and best practice in primary music over the next number of years. You will be joining a network of teachers and music educators equally committed to achieving excellent outcomes for pupils both within and beyond the classroom. You will be an expert classroom practitioner who leads by example and manages a team of primary music associates and Artists in Residence.

The ideal candidate will:

  • be an expert classroom practitioner and have a genuine passion and belief in the potential of every child, regardless of their background
  • have experience of leading and scaling an inclusive music provision across a number of settings (for example in schools, music service/hub, Arts charity/through WCET)
  • be an outstanding educator and/or facilitator
  • have enthusiasm and passion for music and the development of a music entitlement for every child
  • have demonstrable experience of significantly raising attainment through training and coaching of others and through developing strong, coherent teams.

About Ark Schools

Ark Schools is an education charity and one of the country’s top performing academy operators. Our academies are situated in areas of high disadvantage, with over 30% of Ark pupils eligible for free school meals, compared with 16% nationally. We currently work with 38 primary and secondary schools across London, Hastings, Portsmouth and Birmingham. Our vision is to create a group of outstanding schools that radically improve our pupils’ life chances.


Our programme seeks to represent and equally value different kinds of music and musician.


Salary: competitive

Hours: full time

Start date: As soon as available

Closing date for applications: Wednesday 14th November, 12 noon. 


The interview process will be two-fold:

A first round, school-based interview: Monday 19th November

A second round to include a short presentation: Thursday 22nd November


Visit our recruitment portal to apply with your CV and cover letter. I fyou have any question about the role, please contact Margaret O’Shea at Margaret.oshea@arkonline.org.

Ark is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in our academies. In order to meet this responsibility, we follow a rigorous selection process. All successful candidates will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.


Key responsibilities

Primary music programme (PMP)

  • Lead the development of an inclusive model for music education from EYFS – Year 6 which ensures that children leave primary school as fully rounded musicians
  • Manage a team of primary teacher coaches and music educators (Artists in Residence) who are delivering the programme in our schools
  • Lead a programme of professional development for our teachers and teacher coaches, resulting in high quality learning experiences for pupils
  • Ensure that our vocal, instrumental and enrichment curricula are regularly reviewed and continue to evolve to best meet the needs of both children and teachers
  • Design a holistic programme for assessment which supports improved pupil outcomes
  • Identify best practice locally, nationally and internationally in order to inform/refine PMP activity
  • Reference/link work to the Secondary Music Programme as appropriate, ensuring pupils benefit from a joined up learning journey
  • Work collaboratively with the Director of Music to develop a strategy and business plan that supports the expansion of the PMP within the Ark network (and beyond)
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of the PMP, and report outcomes to the Director of Music/Ark’s senior management team.
Beyond the PMP
  • Champion Ark’s community of practice including leading on network Music Leads meetings
  • Develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships both across the primary music programme and the primary network more broadly
  • Work to ensure student achievement is showcased and celebrated through media and public performance
  • Support broader music programme training, rehearsals and network events
  • Play an appropriate role in the running of the Ark network choirs/orchestra

What else is required of you?

  • Some evening and weekend work to facilitate the programme and to meet important deadlines
  • Willingness to travel within the UK, using public transport whenever practicable


Person Specification
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Qualified Teacher Status (desirable)
  • Senior leadership experience in a school, music education hub, charity or equivalent education setting


  • Genuine passion and a belief in the potential of every young person
  • Desire to recognise and equally value all types of music and musician
  • Personal vision is aligned with Ark’s high aspirations and expectations of self and others
  • Outstanding educator with experience working in a senior role for a school, music education organisation or as an AST/Lead Practitioner
  • Experience of developing research-led singing and instrumental curriculum frameworks that offer pupils joined up learning pathways
  • Evidence of raising attainment and participation of all pupils within a challenging environment
  • Ability to reflect on own practice and the practice of others in pursuit of improved pupil outcomes
  • Experience of drawing on a broad range of musical genres to create a rich a varied pupil experience
  • Experience of using evaluation to inform future planning
Skills and abilities
  • An expert in music education at primary level
  • Up to date knowledge of the current music curriculum and assessment requirements
  • An effective coach and developer of adults
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • An ability to communicate our work and our mission to teachers, senior stakeholders and the community
  • Ability to consider both the detail and the ‘bigger picture’
  • Highly effective management style that is both consultative and influential
  • Effective time management and organisational skills
  • Performance orientated – sets and achieves high standards for self and others
  • Flexible and adaptable – responding positively to changing demands
  • Effective team worker and leader


  • Willingness to undertake training and open to receiving feedback
  • A hunger to do things better and a continuous desire to know more about curriculum, pedagogy, practice and music
  • To identify as a musician – you must love music-making for yourself as much as for our pupils
  • Commitment to equality of opportunity and the safeguarding and welfare of all pupils