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School houseparent

Alternative titles for this job include Boarding school houseparent, resident houseparent

A school houseparent looks after the welfare, safety and pastoral care of pupils in boarding schools.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends at short notice

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a school houseparent

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could take a relevant college course that would give you useful skills to apply for jobs. For example:

  • Level 2 Award in First Aid Essentials
  • Level 2 Award in Safeguarding Children and Young People
  • Level 3 Award in Emergency Paediatric First Aid
  • Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You could start as a trainee houseparent or member of the wider pastoral care team. You could then take on-the-job training, for example through the Boarding Schools' Association, and work your way up.


You will most likely need paid or voluntary experience of working with children. You could volunteer at your local school or search for opportunities on:

Direct Application

You could apply directly for jobs as a school houseparent. Employers may view your personality and life experiences as more important than qualifications. You'll usually need experience of working with young people. Some may ask for relevant training and qualifications, including GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths.

More Information

Career tips

Some employers may look for people with experience of having worked in roles like:

  • nurse
  • nursery assistant, teaching assistant or nanny
  • education welfare officer
  • young people's counsellor or youth worker
  • mentor or behaviour support assistant

Further information

You can find more about working in independent boarding schools from the Boarding Schools' Association.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to think clearly in a crisis
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your job will be to act in place of the children's parent. You could:

  • help all pupils settle into school life
  • be a direct link with home, regularly keeping in touch by letter, email and telephone
  • maintain discipline, standards of behaviour, manners and dress
  • work with tutors, heads of year and teaching staff
  • help at events like concerts, sports fixtures, school functions and competitions
  • do administration tasks like organising rotas, travel and weekend arrangements
  • write reports and attend meetings
  • give first aid, take pupils to medical appointments and monitor absence

Working environment

You could work at a school.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could work towards becoming a senior houseparent, a housemaster or mistress or head of boarding.

With experience and further training you could move into related education positions including mentoring, teaching or school business support roles.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a school houseparent right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Understanding Safeguarding and Prevent Level 2

  • Start date: 07 August 2023
  • Location: Not known

Safeguarding in a Learning Environment Award (Online)

  • Start date: 15 April 2024
  • Location: Not known

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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