0113 293 0282 or 0113 204 4990 office@parklandsleeds.org.uk

The Takeover Challenge

What is The Takeover Challenge?

The Takeover Challenge is a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England. The event gives children the chance to work alongside adults for the day and puts them into decision-making roles. It also allows the children taking part to gain an insight into the world of work and make their voices heard. In return, adults will not only be inspiring children (even more than normal!) but will benefit from gaining a fresh perspective on their work and daily routines.


We knew this day would eventually come – the day when children would take over the school!

On Friday November 20th we took part in our first Takeover Challenge and are pleased to report that it was a huge success!


All of the key stage 2 children had the opportunity to participate and submit an application. We had a total of 15 jobs available; from the caretaker of the school and lunchtime server to the business manager and head teacher. We had a phenomenal response; a total of 91 applications to be exact. Miss Weatherby had the arduous task of short listing for each post. The school council then had the responsibility to make the final decisions. As if this was not difficult enough already, the applications were kept anonymous to ensure a fair voting system.


As this was our first experience of the Takeover Challenge, we were not sure what to expect. However it turns out that any worry we had for the day was completely unnecessary! Friday November 20th 2015, the day the children took over the school, was deemed a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by participants, supporters and visitors to our school alike.


Alex Mason and Kayleigh Thompson, co-ordinators in Leeds for the event, heard of our plans for the day and asked to join us. After spending only the morning with us, they were both really impressed with the takeover” and “blown away by the response from students (applications) and also the commitment from the staff”. They said they “both left on such a high, and there was a real buzz within the school.”


Thank you to all of the staff who participated in the event, the children who had jobs to take over and also the 76 children who also applied to take part in the day. It is because of all of your support and hard work that we were able to make the day so successful.

Each year group was represented as was every key stage 2 class. The following children took part in the Takeover Challenge:

Head Teacher – Rayzan (5H)

Deputy Head Teacher – Christine (5H)

Business Manager – Leo (5H)

Office Support – Sophie (6D)

Morris (5W)

Lunchtime Supervisor – Karlie (4B)

Kaylie (6D)

Lunchtime Server – Harrison (4C)

Mairtin (3T)

Caretaker – Christian (3T)

Sous Chef – Riley (3N)

Edouardine (6D)

Assembly Reader – Kane (6D)

Reception Teacher – Karina (6R)

Ellie (5W)

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Employee Specification

Detailed below are the types of skills and qualities that are required of applicants applying for each job.

Read each of the job descriptions and decide what role you would be best suited to. Remember to include key facts about yourself that will make you stand out from the other applicants.

Why should the school council choose you for the position?




Head teacher

Have you ever had the desire to be in charge of the whole school? To pop in and out of class whenever you fancy? Well now’s your chance.

The role of the head teacher requires a natural born leader; someone who is responsible, fair, willing to listen to all of the information before making a decision and a problem solver.

As head teacher, you will be responsible for and oversee everything that goes on in the school; the learning, the safety and general well-being of all the staff and children. You will be presented with problems, both large and small, and be expected to find a solution. Do you think you are up to the challenge? Excellent communication skills are a must as you will be interacting with children, staff members as well as parents / carers and visitors.

Above all, you must be friendly, approachable and ooze Parklands positivity!



Deputy Head Teacher

The deputy head teacher is second in command and supports the head teacher. This job requires someone who is fair, trustworthy and adaptable, as you never know when things may change at the last minute. Of course you will also need to be full of Parklands pride and always follow the school rules.

As a deputy head teacher, you will need excellent organisational skills as you will not only be dealing with management issues but you will also be responsible for teaching a year 6 class.

Just like the head teacher, you too will be faced with problems throughout the day. However, if you have a talent for solving problems along with fantastic communication skills, you will most definitely be able to rise to the challenge.

So, if you are a people person, approachable and think you would be able to manage a team, this could be the perfect job for you.





Office Support

The office support staff are, without doubt, the backbone of any school.

This role requires someone who is organised and able to meet deadlines. Accuracy and attention to detail are vital as this job includes inputting the daily attendance figures, managing dinner money and recording lunchtime numbers.

This job needs someone with good communication skills (both written and oral) and good manners are obviously a must! The office staff are often the first people to greet visitors to the school and the first to answer the phone. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Above all, the applicant for this post must be a happy, welcoming person who is full of Parklands team spirit.



Business Manager

The Business Manager’s job requires someone who is organised and can work to a deadline. For this role, you will need to have good communication skills (both written and oral) and good manners are obviously a must!

It is also the Business Manager who does a lot of the “behind the scenes” organising for our school trips. You may be required to deal with external companies and contractors, therefore a good phone manner is essential.

If Maths is your thing, this may just be the job for you! An essential skill for the Business Manager is numeracy. In this role, you will be responsible for counting and accurately recording any money paid into the school as well as making sure that all of the school’s bills are paid on time. Do you think you could do this AND stay within budget?



Lunchtime Supervisor

Lunch times are a time for children to relax, let off steam and chill out without the boundaries of the classroom. But whether inside or out, children’s safety is always our top priority Most fallouts and misunderstandings between friends seem to happen during lunchtime and so as a supervisor, you will need to be able to listen to both sides of the tale and help solve the problem immediately so that it is not carried into the classroom.

Good observation skills are a must as lots of children will be playing together. (Having eyes in the back of your head will also work.) You will need to be punctual to make sure that all of the classes get to the dinner hall in time to get their lunch.

If you have you ever noticed someone sat alone in the dinner hall and decided to join them, or invited a new child to join in your games so that they have someone to play with, you would make a fantastic lunchtime supervisor.



Lunchtime Server

Applicants for the lunchtime server job must be tall enough to comfortably and safely reach over the serving bar.

A dollop of good manners, a splash of good hygiene with a sprinkling of patience.

This job needs someone who is efficient; there are a lot of mouths to feed and not a lot of time to do it! Do you think you could encourage a reception child to try a spoon full of beans? Or maybe even persuade a year six boy to try something new to eat? If you have a kind yet persuasive manner, you will be perfect in this role.



Attendance / Punctuality / Team Points Reader

Can you grab someone’s attention just by walking into a room? Are people hooked from the moment you start talking? Are you full of energy? If you answered yes, this is definitely the job for you.

As the attendance, punctuality and team points reader, you will lead the Friday morning assembly alongside the head teacher or the deputy head teacher. This is the assembly children eagerly await, wondering if their class will beat last week’s attendance score and which team will be crowned this week’s winner.

This is not a job for the shy or the timid. The applicant for this position must have Parklands spirit running through their veins, a voice loud enough to carry to the back of the hall and most importantly, the confidence to speak in front of the whole school.

Piece of cake!




The caretaker is really the one who holds all the power…or rather keys! As the key holder, you will be responsible for opening all of the school gates and the school building ready for the staff and children to start their day. However don’t forget that the main gate needs to be locked from 8:45 – 9:15 and again from 2:45 – 3:15.

After-school, when all of the children and staff have gone home, it is the caretaker’s job to check the whole school making sure that every window and door is closed, every blind is down, all the lights are switched off and that everyone is out of the building before locking up for the night.

The caretaker isn’t often spotted around school but without this role our school would not be the lovely place it is today.

This job is ideal for a quieter person yet someone who is keen to take part in the challenge and help make our school the best it can be.




Do you fancy yourself as the next Jamie Oliver or Delia Smith? If so, this job has your name all over it!

As sous-chef, you will working around sharp objects and hot ovens and will therefore need to be someone who is sensible, responsible and mature. There are a lot of mouths to feed and it is crucial that you are able to work to a deadline (if not, there will be a lot of rumbling tummies!).

There is more to the job than just cooking. All of the food needs to be prepared and you may need to use your maths skills to double or even quadruple a recipe depending on the numbers that day. Don’t forget that the dishes will need to be washed and the kitchen cleaned before finishing for the day.

Good hygiene is essential for this role.



Reception Teacher

It takes a very special kind of person to be a reception teacher. This role requires someone who is kind, caring and patient.

Cast your memory back to your first year in school. Do you remember how big everyone and everything seemed compared to you? Can you remember feeling excited about learning something new and being full of questions about the world around you? Well that is exactly how the children in Miss Thubron’s class are probably feeling. They need someone who will be able to answer their questions and explain things in a way they will understand.

You will need to be an excellent role model and someone who always follows the school rules. To work in reception, you will need an endless amount of energy as well as oodles of positivity and praise. You must love to have fun while you learn and be ok with getting a little messy every once in a while!


I would just like to thank yourselves, Miss Wetherby and the students at Parklands for allowing myself and Alex to come and visit you on Friday for Takeover.   Firstly, we would just like to say ‘WOW’! We were really impressed with the takeover, and I was blown away by the response you had from students (applications) and also the commitment from the staff at your school. It really is incredible that 15 of your students got to experience undertaking jobs within the schools. Myself and Alex both left on such a high, and there was a real buzz within the school. So congratulations to all involved.   We obviously want to promote the work you have done as a ‘good example’ to other schools, and also include this in our report that will be distributed locally and send to Children’s Commissioner. Miss Wetherby mentioned that the students involved would be giving their feedback at the end of the day, would it be possible to have a copy of this along with some ‘action’ photos for the day that we can use this to show the great work you have done at Parkland’s as part of Takeover.   Secondly, I would also just like to say how impressed I was to hear about the work the School Council are doing. I think this is fantastic. And a real credit to your school.   Thanks again for allowing us to visit on Friday, and I look forward to receiving the children’s feedback and photos.

Kayleigh Thompson & Alex Mason

This is absolutely brilliant – I watched the video too. I didn’t realize what a huge production this was – such a lot of preparation and effort.  Everyone involved deserves a medal. I can see other schools will want to use this as a model for how it should be done. Well done you – I’m chuffed to bits for you !!
Lee Weatherby (Miss Weatherby’s Dad in Canada!)