The Chief Financial Officer will provide advice on strategic financial issues, be responsible for financial management for the Academy and the leadership and management of the finance team.
The Chief Financial Officer is a key member of the Academy’s Senior Management Team and is expected to bring a modern, business-like approach to the leadership of the finance function, running it as a highly competent and efficient service. The appointee will develop and deliver a proactive, customer–focused service.
The Chief Financial Officer will line manage the Finance Controller, the Finance Officer and reports directly to the Principal and to the Board of Trustees.
In addition to leading the finance team, the Chief Financial Officer will contribute to strategy and policy development to support the academy’s aims and objectives, will ensure the provision of management information for the schools planning and monitoring systems, and will ensure the completion of statistical returns to external agencies.
Chief Financial Officer
Salary / Grade:
P07: 43-46: £47,511- £50,448 (Outer London)
The Finance Team
Chair of Governing Body
Chair of the Resources committee
Senior Leadership and Management Team
Business Management Team (Support Services Manager, Chief Operations
Officer, Human Resources Manager, Site Manager)
Professional advisers including Auditors, Bankers, Investment advisers,
HMRC and relevant personnel within funding bodies
The Chief Financial Officer will be directly responsible to the Principal who is the Accounting Officer for the
Academy and is ultimately responsible for the proper financial conduct of the institution.
The Chief Financial Officer will provide advice on strategic financial issues, be responsible for financial
management for the Academy and the leadership and management of the financial team.
The Chief Financial Officer is a key member of the Academy’s senior management team and is expected to
bring a modern, business-like approach to the leadership of the finance function, running it as a highly
competent and efficient service. The appointee will develop and deliver a proactive, customer–focused
The Finance Team consists of three staff, comprising one Finance Controller and a Finance Officer.
The team is responsible for all aspects of financial management.
In addition to leading the finance team, the Chief Financial Officer will contribute to strategy and policy
development to support the academy’s aims and objectives, will ensure the provision of management
information for the schools planning and monitoring systems, and will ensure the completion of statistical
returns to external agencies.
This is a senior management team post that will change over time and where the post holder needs to be
responsive and proactive in the context of strategic priorities. It is not possible therefore to set out a full
range of duties. The following is an indicative list. It is not in order of importance.
Leadership & Strategy
- Attend SLT meetings as guided by the Principal and all Business Management Team meetings with the Head of IT, HR and Facilities and Governing Body meetings to provide financial advice.
- To approve any changes in Payroll and HR processes proposed by HR Manager.
- To be involved with the preparation of the census and review the final submission to ensure that student numbers and course completion are correctly built into budget plans.
- Advise the Principal as Accounting Officer and the Trustees of their responsibilities under SORP, Companies House, the Trust’s Funding Agreement with the Department for Education, and the regulations of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
- In the absence of the Principal, support the designated Deputy Principal so that they can take delegated responsibility for financial decisions.
- Ensure a sound Medium Term Financial Plan for the future development of the Academy in line with the Academy’s development priorities. (Maintaining a three and five year plan for the ESFA and Trustees)
- To keep up to date with national issues relating to financial management of an Academy. Briefing the Principal and Trustees on the ESFA updates.
- Negotiate, manage and monitor contracts, tenders and agreements for the provision of support and ancillary services.
- Coordinate respective line managers to ensure that the recruitment, professional development, annual review and training of support staff is conducted appropriately.
- To assist the Company Secretary for Highams Park Academy Trust.
- Maintain the Academy’s Risk Register and Business Continuity Plan present this for review to the Governing Body on an annual basis.
- Financial Resource Management
- To be responsible for the effective design and management of financial procedures and internal controls.
- Manage the work of the Finance Controller and the team to ensure that financial procedures are followed, including:
- Managing the Purchase ledger. Ordering, processing and payment for all goods and services provided by the Academy according to Scheme of Delegation
- Operation of all bank accounts, ensuring that a full reconciliation is undertaken at least once a month with adequate segregation of duties in the preparation and approval of BACs runs.
- Calculation of depreciation charge from the asset register and maintaining an accurate up to date Fixed Asset register.
- Managing the sales ledger account. Preparation of invoices and collection of fees and other dues.
- Ensuring the correct processing of VAT liabilities and providing detailed reconciliations.
- Assisting with the termly audit visits to test the internal controls are robust and acting on recommendations for corrective action.
- Check and challenge the work of the Finance Controller in their provision of detailed management accounts for the Principal and Trustees according to the agreed schedule, thus identifying and informing the Principal and Trustees of the causes of significant variance and take prompt corrective action and achieve value for money on a Monthly basis
- Monitor all capital projects and submit returns to the ESFA.
- Prepare Budget forecast returns for approval by Trustees
- Discuss, negotiate, and submit a balanced budget to the Principal for submission to and approval by the Trustees.
- Prepare all financial returns for the DfE and ESFA including the final accounts and liaise with the auditors and Companies House within statutory deadlines.
- Ensure that the Finance Team provide timely in year budgetary information to budget holders.
- Advise the Principal as Accounting Officer if non-compliant or fraudulent activities are suspected or uncovered, ensuring efficient operation according to agreed procedures and maintain those procedures by conducting at least an annual review.
- Maintain a strategic financial plan that will indicate the trends and requirements of the Academy’s development plan and will forecast future year budgets.
- Identify additional finance required to fund the Academy’s proposed activities.
- Develop income streams through lettings and other activities within the ethos of the Academy and actively seek other funding opportunities
- Seek and make use of specialist financial expertise, in order to select types of investments which are appropriate for the Academy, taking account of risks, views of stakeholders and identify possible and suitable providers in order to maximise return.
- In conjunction with external consultants and / or other Senior Leaders present timely and fully costed proposals, recommendations or bids.
- Put formal financial agreements in place with suitable providers for agreed amounts, at agreed times and appropriate agreed costs and repayment schedules.
- Monitor the effectiveness and implementation of agreements; ensure best value principles are adopted.
- Deal with the Academy’s rates valuation.
- In conjunction with the auditors advise on the financial implications of charitable status with respect to the current and any future tax legislation.
- Understand and advise the Principal of the financial effects and implications of government policies, legislation and directives for current initiatives and long term educational trends and developments
- Ensure that the Finance Controller is acting as the point of contact with central government and other agencies, with regard to grant applications, gifts and other donations
- Oversee ancillary services to include:
- Energy supplies
- Catering contract
- Transport including minibuses and drivers
- Bookings for Academy facilities
- Provision of facilities for additional tuition out of school hours, including music lessons
- Achievement of streamlined and cost-effective processes for financial administration.
- Administration Management
Via the Support Services Manager:
- Oversee the preparation and submission of the Census, Admissions and other returns within statutory guidelines.
- Design and maintain administrative systems of the Academy, to deliver best outcomes based on the Academy’s core values and development aims.
- Develop process measures that are affordable and that will enable value for money decisions for those managing resources
- Working with the Support Services Manager establish, benchmark and use effective methods to review and improve administrative systems.
- Obtain necessary licences and permissions and ensure their relevance and timeline
- Management Information Systems & ICT
Via Deputy Principal and Chief Operations Officer:
- Ensure the provision of ICT and management information systems are delivered within budget.
- Human Resource Management
Via the Human Resource Manager:
- Ensure that the following services are provided for the Academy:
- payroll services for all Academy staff
- all employment related policies are compliant with legislation including but not limited to safeguarding, employment protection, equal pay, sex discrimination, absence, recruitment, grievance, disciplinary and redundancy: and the communication and implementation of these polices to all staff.
- Pre-employment clearance for new staff
- Issue of contracts of employment for all staff
- Review and updating of job descriptions for all staff
- Attend employment tribunals as necessary
- Maintain confidential staff records and ensure staff records held in the school by others are kept confidential
- The use of specialist expertise in relation to HR issues
- Maintain the Teachers pensions database and prepare the End of Year certificate and liaise with auditors to submit an audited return to Teachers Pensions each year.
- Monitor levels of staffing absence and report as appropriate to the Principal
- Advise the Principal on assessment of salaries, expenses, sickness and maternity procedures, redundancy and other matters of dismissal.
- Oversee via respective line manager’s appraisal and development for all support staff
- Administer pension schemes and associated services
- Preparation and submission of the School Workforce Census
- Facility & Property Management
Via the Deputy Principal and Site Manager ensure that:
- Safe maintenance and security operations of Academy premises are in place.
- Maintenance of the Academy site including the purchase and repair of all furniture and fittings is within budget
- Utilities, site services and equipment continue to be available and value for money is secured
- Ancillary site related services (e.g. cleaning, grounds maintenance) are monitored, managed effectively and secure value for money
- Advise the Principal as to the financial implications of proposed and ongoing construction projects.
- Support in the development and submission of capital bids
- Monitor, assess and review contractual obligations for outsourced Academy services.
- Seek professional advice on insurance and advise the Principal on all appropriate insurances (not exclusive of facility and property policies) for the Academy and implement and manage such insurance policies and claims accordingly.
- Health & Safety
- Act as the Academy’s Health & Safety Co-ordinator and Fire Officer
- Plan, instigate and maintain records of fire practices and alarm tests
- Ensure the Academy’s written Health & Safety policy statement is clearly communicated and available to all people
- Ensure the Health & Safety is compliant with the requirements Health and safety at Work Act and other legislation then ensure that this is put into practice and is subject to review and assessment at regular intervals or as situations change
- Enable regular consultation with people on health and safety issues and know how the main issues relate to Academy staff, visitors, contractors and other users of Academy premises and facilities
- Ensure systems are in place to enable the identification of hazards and risk assessments, including a disaster recovery plan
- Ensure systems are in place for effective monitoring, measuring and reporting of health and safety issues to the SLMT, Trustees and where appropriate the Health & Safety Executive
- Ensure the maximum level of security consistent with the ethos of the Academy
- Oversee statutory obligations are being met for pupils with special educational needs, ensuring that financial and supporting agency services are adequate for their diverse needs
- Implement risk management and loss prevention strategies in the Academy to reduce risks and insurance costs
Any other reasonable duties as directed by the Principal
The role of chief financial officer calls for a finance professional with the necessary experience, skills and
personal qualities to be able to operate as part of a close-knit senior management and business team. There
is an important role to play leading the finance team in providing a robust financial infrastructure as well as
an excellent opportunity to play an important and active part in the strategic direction for this forward
looking, successful and thriving academy.
The post holder:
- Will be expected to have a degree or equivalent qualification.
- A qualification from a major accountancy body would be beneficial but relevant experience would be considered and be essential.
- Should be able to demonstrate a track record of successful financial leadership and building effective teams
- Will require financial reporting and management skills, and experience of working with stakeholder to develop strong financial understanding and empathy across an organisation.
- Should have high ethical standards and influencing skills with the ability to engage effectively with all staff across the academy and governing body
- Should show evidence of entrepreneurialism and innovation, with an ability to identity commercial opportunities to maximise income
- Should have excellent analytical skills and sound judgment
- Should have excellent communication and presentational skills
- Should have experience of financial information systems and be computer literate
- Should have a good knowledge of the funding, regulatory and legislative environment of academies.