Head of Academy Finance - North and West

Location: 
North and West regions covering West and Central Midlands, Widnes and Grimsby
Responsible to: 
National Director of Finance (NDF)
Responsible for: 
To support the overall financial sustainability of Ormiston Academies Trust through maintaining a secure overview of the management of all financial issues within each of the OAT academies within a geographical area. As part of the senior finance team be collectively responsible for the financial strategy of the trust. As this is a senior role the exact duties and responsibilities will change over time and the post holder will need to be responsive and proactive in the context of strategic priorities.
Status: 
Permanent full-time
Salary/salary scale: 
up to £68,000+ LGPS+ additional benefits
Closing date: 
22nd Nov 2018, 5:00 pm
Interview date(s): 
28/29 November
Start date: 
January 2019

Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) is a leading, not-for-profit, multi-academy trust which has been sponsoring primary and secondary academies across the country since 2009.

OAT champions the excellent academic achievement and all-round wellbeing and development of the 28,000 young people it serves. Our vision is for all young people to have access to the highest academic, social and practical skills required to achieve their full potential, whether going on to study at a leading university or entering the world of work.

We are determined to become the Trust that makes the biggest difference, both inside and outside the classroom.

For many years we have successfully raised academic standards in our academies, including those in disadvantaged communities, and last year we achieved record exam results in both GCSEs and A Levels across our 30+ academies.

Now, while maintaining our focus on steady, sustained growth, we are moving to the next level so that even more children and young people, including those in academies which already achieve excellent results, can benefit from the high quality of education that we offer across our network.

The Trust continues to create career development opportunities for ambitious professionals who share our vision for the future and want to play a part in shaping it.

We are looking for a financial professional with experience of working at a senior level in a leadership role to support the overall financial sustainability of Ormiston Academies Trust. The successful applicant will be responsible for maintaining a secure overview of the management of all financial issues within each of the OAT academies within a defined geographical area. The successful applicant will be a qualified accountant and have experience of working in an educational setting. This could be as a leader of finance in an academy or college or as a professional adviser.

As part of the senior finance team, you will be collectively responsible for the financial strategy of the trust. As this is a senior role the exact duties and responsibilities will change over time and the post holder will need to be responsive and proactive in the context of strategic priorities.

Key responsibilities

General:

• To oversee and supervise all financial aspects of the academies in a geographical area
• To provide support in ensuring that OAT has a robust long term financial strategy
• To provide financial assurance and assistance to the OAT Board, the CEO and National Director of Finance (NDF)
• To provide financial support for regional directors, regional finance directors and academy finance directors
• Be accountable to the NDF for the proper financial operations of the academies in their area
• Uphold ethical behavior and the standards required of the public sector, including good accounting practices and internal control systems
• Ensure that the academies act in compliance with relevant legislation, funding agreement, Academy Finance Handbook, OAT financial regulations and other guidance at all times

Strategy:

• Support the NDF on matters relating to the financial strategy of OAT and the academies
• Implement strategies for maximizing OAT’s current and future finances
• Work alongside the NDF in developing and maintaining a strategic financial plan including a three-year budget plan and treasury management plan
• Ensure that the finance teams in the academies seek continuing improvement in their management and financial systems

Operations:

• Support and oversee the roles of the regional finance directors
• Support all academy finance directors
• Review and maintain all financial and internal control policies to ensure robust financial processes operate in all academies
• Support the continuing professional development of senior finance staff across the academies
• Ensure the finance functions in academies work in a collaborative and supportive way with head office finance teams and other teams in the academies.
• Be responsible for planning and servicing the work of the FOR and Audit committees
• Responsibility for overseeing treasury management within the academies
• Help to ensure the academies obtain value for money across all their activities
• Liaise with the internal auditors, ensure that work programme is completed on a timely basis and follow up all actions and recommendations arising from their reports
• Carry out annual updates to the financial regulations in line with the Academies Financial Handbook
• Support the conversion of new academies and carry out the financial aspects of due diligence reviews as necessary
• Plan and manage the agenda for the termly Finance Directors’ Forum
• Carry out training for new finance directors, governors or Principals as necessary
• Ensure that the risk management system in the academies is effective and that risks are reported appropriately to governors

Budgetary control:

• Support the preparations of an annual budget plan including income, expenditure, and cashflow for each academy in line with the agreed timetable
• Monitor income, expenditure and cash flow against the approved budget and report to NDF
• Manage and oversee particularly closely any academies which are designated as Red
• Develop the use of curriculum led financial planning and key KPIs
• Submit reports on each academy’s financial position to the NFD and the FOR committee
• Responsibility for the accuracy of the monthly management accounts prepared by the academies

Regulatory:

• Ensure all forms and returns required by the ESFA are prepared and submitted in the specified format and filed before the deadline
• Contribute to the consolidated financial statements in the specified format for auditing by external auditors
• Provide financial information to support bids or tender documents to acquire identified funds or grants
Person specification

Qualifications:

• Educated to degree level or equivalent (desirable)
• A professional and/or masters level qualification in accounting (essential)

Experience:

• Must have experience of working at a senior level in a financial leadership role
• Managing and working in a large and complex organization which operates across multiple sites (experience within an academy environment desirable)
• Designing and implementing significant financial management processes and controls
• Leading and managing large budgets and experience of generating income and preparing bids
• A proven record of management in a leadership role including experience of leading teams through change

Knowledge and skills:

• Up-to-date knowledge of accountancy and professional codes of practice
• Advanced knowledge of statutory requirements and funding strategies regarding the education sector
• Excellent relationship building and stakeholder management skills across all levels are required in order to build the necessary credibility with the trustees and senior teams within the academies.
• Demonstrable strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, along with excellent presentation skills
• A strong teambuilding capability and a participative and open management approach

How to apply: 

Please refer to the job description and person specification on the OAT vacancies page for further details. If you would like an informal discussion about this role, please contact Paul Nye, National Director for Finance on 07584 014988.

Completed application forms should be submitted to recruitment@ormistonacademies.co.uk, by 22nd November together with a supporting letter of application for the post.

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Academy-map-v4.5-aug-2018 (1).pdf883.49 KB
JD and PS Head of academy finance Nov 18.docx46.02 KB
CURRENT Support-Staff-Employment-Application-Form-March 18.docx63.75 KB