Director of Finance, North London

Reporting to:      Chief Operating Officer


We have an exciting Executive Director of Finance position, for an exceptionally talented, dynamic, and experienced accountant who will lead the financial and commercial developments across an exceptional schools group.

You need to be agile and resourceful with an ability to work within a complex stakeholder environment, a track record in delivering financial sustainability across a multi-million-pound business and driving commercial growth.  In our context, this will mean ensuring that we have a sustainable infrastructure, finances and resources needed to unlock the academic and personal potential of the school community.

You will need to be forward thinking and extremely comfortable working collaboratively with other senior leaders to drive the high performance of the schools.  We would expect that you have a real and genuine pride in excellence and an unwavering commitment to achieving success.  You will inherit a strong and high performing finance team and will be expected to drive effectiveness and efficiency across the service in the pursuit of excellence, maintain high professional standards and a positive customer experience.  We are several years into our exciting ten-year strategic journey, you’ll be joining an executive team that has a governing body mandate to build upon our existing success and achievements whilst delivering transformative programmes of change.  You will need to be comfortable about moving between ‘business as usual’ as the Director of Finance and transformative strategic space as an Executive Programme Sponsor.

We are therefore searching for someone that provides both the safe pair of hands that are required from a financial accounting and statutory compliance perspective, but someone that has a strategic, and commercial outlook, a curious and innovative thinker that is comfortable working in a co-operative and collaborative environment.  It will be a wide and varied role; guaranteed that no day will be the same and you’ll need to be comfortable with a fast paced and fully immersive campus environment.

The individual should have a proven track record of success and must have can-do and motivated attitude.


Key priorities of the role:

  • An active member of the Executive Committee with financial oversight, management, and monitoring of the short-, medium- and long-term strategic plan for the schools, and reporting to the governing body through the Finance and Resources Committee and Board.
  • Lead, manage and develop the finance strategy and financial function in partnership with the Executive, ensuring full compliance with the requirements for effective financial governance and prudent management of funds.
  • Lead, manage and monitor Financial KPIs in line with sector-specific benchmarks and report variances to the Executive and Governing Body.
  • Build and lead a highly effective and cohesive finance service that builds upon the best practice, collaborative approaches, ‘team ethos’ and can-do approach that exists.
  • Lead on the design, development and delivery of financial and budgetary policies, protocols and process to enable leaders to make informed and effective decisions based on real time financial information.
  • Oversee and lead the effective use and implementation of the financial system(s) and the efficient application of automated processes and procedures.
  • Drive a culture of continuous improvement, embed best practice, promote shared learning and ensure robust quality assurance arrangements in place across the finance function.
  • Financially lead and manage the capital investment, special projects and commercial finances of the group that; drive growth, development and innovation; secure best value for money, aggregated benefits and efficiencies; and positions them as a beacon of excellence in the sector.
  • Lead the design, development and delivery of a clear and coherent commercial procurement strategy, focused on sourcing, category management and supplier management frameworks. working collaboratively with colleagues and external providers to ensure best value for money.
  • Establish an effective and accurate database of contracts, leading the review and potential rationalisation of suppliers through centralisation of contracts to ensure best value for money, sustainability and suitability.
  • Lead, manage and deliver the commercial strategy, undertaking financial modelling and analysis of demand and need for products and services within the organisation, contributing to the development of a deliverable business model.


Key responsibilities:

  • To manage the timely and accurate preparation of consolidated management accounts and other appropriate financial management information.
  • To manage the year end process, ensuring that year end timetable deadlines are met, and year end statutory accounts are free from material errors.
  • To provide lead liaison with external Auditors and the Haberdashers’ Company to ensure an efficient audit process.
  • To oversee the production of the annual statutory financial statements and consolidated accounts ensuring that all charity, legal and financial obligations are met.
  • To oversee fixed assets recording and reporting including approving treatment of expenditure such as capital and calculating depreciation.
  • Overall responsibility for working capital management (cashflow forecasting, debtor management).
  • Overall responsibility for managing the long-term investments.
  • Understanding the key income and cost drivers to allow budgets, forecasts and sensitivity analysis to be undertaken to inform decision making by the COO, Heads and the Governing Body.
  • Reporting on key capital and infrastructure projects.
  • To support charitable objectives by overseeing the extensive bursary programme to provide financial assistance to students whose parents would ordinarily not be able to afford to send their children to the schools.
  • To be responsible for managing and supervising the operations of the finance, procurement and commercial functions to ensure the effectiveness of the service.
  • Manage centralised finance team providing real value added to governors and senior leadership.
  • Ensure that an appropriate professional development programme is provided, and appropriate job specific training is provided for all members of the team.
  • Ensure annual staff development reviews are undertaken.
  • Oversee established data protection and data management regimes (GDPR compliance etc).
  • To oversee the management of financial and non-financial risk, driving through planned upgrades to proven risk management regime.
  • Provide the Director of the Schools‘ Foundation and Director of Partnerships to ensure that financial guidance, advise and support is provided in helping to fulfil these charitable aims and objectives.


Key Projects:

Capital Investment Programme 

To work closely with the governing body and executive leadership in the development of a clear and coherent capital investment plan, working collaboratively on the following areas:

  • To work with the Director of Estates and Operations and cost consultants on the financial modelling and design of a long-term (5-25 year) estates masterplan and in the delivery of its medium-term (3-5 year) capital strategy and short-term (0-3 year) delivery plans across the estate.
  • To work with the governors and executive to develop a fully costed capital strategy and plan (i.e. capacity, condition, suitability, sufficiency, education and cost) fully aligned with strategic priorities and goals, and to successfully implement it across the campus.
  • To undertake a detailed financial review of all areas of capital investment and revenue expenditure linked to the estate, proposing commercial arrangements and business solutions that remove waste and duplication, deliver aggregated procurement benefits, secure better (and best) value for money and improved financial and operational efficiencies.
  • To work with the Director of Estates and Operations to assess, analyse and identify affordable and deliverable capital investment opportunities that will reduce operational expenditure and environmental impacts.  Prioritising ‘Return on investment’ and ‘Invest to Save’ opportunities, for example installing solar panels on replacement/new roofs to reduce ongoing energy usage and costs.
  • To use business analytical tools to undertake financial modelling and analysis of capital investments and revenue buildings costs to manage and monitor the reduction of the estates running costs, energy efficiency, lifecycle savings and operational efficiencies.


Procurement and Contract Management 

To work closely with the governing body and executive leadership in the development of a clear and coherent procurement strategy, working collaboratively on the following areas:

  • To review and manage supplier pricing, purchasing routes and best value for money.
  • To provide financial information for situational analysis, option appraisal, benchmarking assessment and business case proposals for essential services and goods across the group, seeking to deliver improved effectiveness and efficiencies.
  • To develop and lead on the financial and commercial requirements of the tender management process; including, frameworks/tenders, collaborative buying arrangements, joint partnership agreements, tender specification and evaluation criteria, and contract award arrangements.
  • To proactively establish partnerships and working agreements that help the schools to achieve their objectives.
  • Developing and sustaining effective relationships with external partners.
  • To review and coordinate the financial requirements for capital grants and bid opportunities in line with strategic priorities.
  • To identify opportunities for central consolidation of complex, medium and high value contracts evaluating cost benefit opportunities in relation to performance, efficiency and value for money, and managing risks.
  • To lead on the financial negotiations for complex, medium and large value contracts in order to secure best value for money.
  • To ensure all medium and high value contracts are financially sustainable, reporting opportunities for short-term gains and long-term benefits to the Executive.


Commercial Strategy:

  • To work with the executive leadership on the financial development of a commercial strategy that fully aligns with the ten-year vision.
  • Developing a business and operating model in partnership with executive and senior leaders that balances the use of the campus buildings and facilities to generate revenues and provides wider civic and community benefits.



  • To take the financial lead on the sustainability strategy to reduce emissions with the target being net zero carbon and modelling a long-term (5-25 year) plan to achieve this across the campus.
  • To identify with other colleagues opportunities that can reduce carbon footprint or offset carbon emissions, then working with academies and stakeholders to deliver best value solutions.
  • To ensure the group fully complies with all government regulations in relation to sustainability, energy efficiency and consumption.


Person Specification

  •  You will be a degree holder and a qualified accountant.
  • You will have at least 5 years’ experience of managing a finance function in a complex environment.
  • You will be a highly talented and exceptionally capable individual who has the drive, enthusiasm and motivation to support the ongoing development of the finance function within the dynamic and innovative environment focused on the pursuit of excellence in education.
  • You will have a strong background in building a robust financial modelling framework.
  • Considerable experience of developing third party procurement and contract relationships.
  • Be able to lead and manage a finance team to deliver the production management and statutory information.
  • Have had experience operating at board or executive level, with excellent influencing and coaching skills, together with a track record of building relationships with all levels of an organisation.
  • You will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A dynamic and talented individual who has the charisma and gravitas to advise and support the Executive team.
  • The individual should have a proven track record of success and must have can-do and motivated attitude.


GDPR and Safeguarding notice

  • According to GDPR guidelines, we are only able to process your personal data with your express consent.
  • The group is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
  • The post-holder will be responsible for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children with whom he/she comes into contact. They must ensure compliance with the Safeguarding and Child Protection Statement at all times.
  • This appointment will be subject to checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service and with past employers.


How To Apply

If you are interested in applying, please send your details to


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