Lunchtime supervisors,

sometimes called mid-day supervisors or lunchtime assistants, look after the welfare of school pupils during lunchtimes.

What's involved

Lunchtime supervisors have a range of duties and responsibilities, varying according to the type of school, which typically include:

  • effective supervising pupils in the dining hall and other parts of the school
  • helping pupils with a variety of tasks, such as cutting up their food and changing clothes
  • cleaning up spillages and sickness
  • helping to clear away food and stack tables and chairs after pupils have left the dining hall
  • ensuring pupils keep out of areas that are out of bounds, and don't leave the school premises
  • dealing with misbehaviour and reporting any problems they are unable to resolve to the duty teacher or head teacher
  • tending to pupils who are sick or injured, ensuring they receive appropriate medical attention, and reporting any serious accidents
  • being aware of responsibilities under child protection legislation, and reporting concerns to a senior supervisor or the head teacher
  • assisting with play activities if required.

Skills and experience you'll need

To work as a lunchtime supervisor, the following skills would be helpful:

  • enjoyment of working with children and the ability to control and supervise them
  • patience
  • the ability to stay calm
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to work as part of a team

Entry requirements

It could be an advantage if you have basic first aid skills and experience of working with children. You would need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau), along with patience and the ability to stay calm.




Caretakers are responsible for the care and upkeep of buildings and their grounds, including schools, offices, leisure centres, community centres and flats.

Although a lot of time may be spent working alone caretakers come into contact with a variety of people including tenants, children, teachers, contractors working on the site and the police. They may also supervise other staff such as assistant caretakers, cleaners and gardeners.

All caretakers carry out some general tasks but their exact role depends on the size and type of building they are looking after.


Caretakers are responsible for making sure a building is in proper working order. This involves:

  • carrying out minor repairs such as mending broken windows, changing light bulbs and unblocking drains
  • turning heating and lighting on and off at appropriate times
  • making sure the premises are clean and that rubbish is collected and taken away, and any graffiti is cleaned up
  • maintaining the grounds and removing litter.

In some schools caretakers may also be responsible for maintaining the swimming pool.

If there is a major fault, the caretaker will call in specialist help, such as a plumber or electrician. They will also arrange for other contractors such as builders to come on site when necessary.


In some settings such as large schools, caretakers are taking on more responsibilities and will often need to manage a budget of their own. This includes ordering new equipment and furniture. Caretakers in this position are often called site or premises managers.


Caretakers are responsible for who comes on to the site and the security of the building. This may involve monitoring CCTV and other surveillance equipment to guard against vandalism or break-ins. They may have to report some incidents to the police.

They also unlock buildings in the morning before people arrive, and then lock up at the end of the day. In schools and community centres caretakers will also be in charge of letting people in who have hired rooms for clubs or evening classes.

Other tasks

Other duties may include:

  • arranging chairs and tables for meetings and clearing away afterwards
  • storing equipment and supplies safely
  • understanding fire safety regulations, Health and Safety regulations, emergency procedures and the rules for evacuating a building
  • ensuring disabled access to the building where necessary
  • Swimming Pool Care and maintenance
  • Basic Minibus maintenance
  • Sports field maintenance and other Groundwork
  • Emergency cleaning of human deposits (vomit, excrement)
  • Replacement of consumables (Soap, toilet rolls, hand towels)
  • Replacement of lighting tubes/lamps
  • Portable appliance testing
  • Maintaining a variety of records and monitoring meter readings and fuel usage

Hours and environment

Caretakers generally work a 37-hour week, which may include early mornings, evenings and weekends. However, some work longer hours and may be on call 24 hours a day.

They work both indoors and outdoors. Some caretakers live on the premises, often in purpose-built accommodation. Others, for example school caretakers, usually live a short distance from the school.

Caretakers spend most of their time on their feet, bending and lifting and often climbing stairs or ladders. For some jobs, protective clothing such as gloves, overalls and goggles are worn.

Part-time work may be available.

Skills and personal qualities

A caretaker should:

  • be responsible, honest and reliable
  • be practical and good with their hands
  • stay calm in an emergency, for example if there is a break-in or fire
  • have good verbal communication skills to deal with children and adults
  • be prepared to get up early
  • have some budgeting skills
  • understand safe working practices and health and safety legislation
  • have some understanding of building construction and design
  • be able to interpret technical information
  • be well-organised and capable of prioritizing their own work
  • be happy to work on their own and/or capable of supervising people
  • be flexible and enjoy a varied routine as days can rarely be planned
  • be reasonably fit.



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