Interim Principal Accountant - High Needs
I am recruiting for an experienced Interim Principal Accountant for one of my Local Authority clients, to work specifically in Children’s Services.
You will be required to provide a strategic financial advisory, planning and support service for the High Needs Block (included in the Dedicated Schools Grant) for statutory aged pupils from 0 to 25 years. This includes commissioning arrangements between the LA and Specialist provisions for High Needs Children, necessary as part of children’s Education, Health and Care Plans.
Please see below for a snapshot of the additional duties my client is looking for someone to take responsibility for:
- Providing independent analysis and interpretation of complex financial and performance data, to allow decisions to be made following consideration of financial resource and control implications.
- Writing and presenting reports for Schools Forum and the Inclusion Group on the analysis and interpretation of financial performance and actual or implied changes to legislation.
- Strategic planning of expenditure in the High Needs block for all schools and academies in the local authority area including post-16 institutions.
- Consultation with specialist provisions within mainstream, special schools and post-16 institutions.
- Co-ordinating the monitoring and reporting of financial performance against the High Needs Block, providing options to managers to assist them achieve a spend to budget position at the end of the financial year.
- Review of formula funding factors for Notional SEN in the Schools Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). Reporting to Schools Forum of the outcomes and implementing the decisions.
- Achieving the best balance between SEN school based formula funding and centrally retained HNB funding including any impact of Free schools on HNB expenditure
- Managing unallocated resources to take into account risk profiles in medium to long term demand. This includes general fund support in the shorter term.
- Working with service design on commissioning outreach contracts and review of expenditure on support services and how these could be delivered in the future. This refers to the outreach service contracts currently with special schools.
- Identify and assess strategic and financial risks associated with issues relating to a defined area of responsibility e.g. over commissioning of specialist places.
- Forecast need for mainstream based SEN provision (Special Resourced Provision etc.) and the balance between this and special school provision
- Monitoring and quality assurance processes.
- Develop and produce option appraisals and financial modelling e.g. review of the resource ladders which is a form of resource allocation system used to allocate funding to specialist units and schools.
- Appraise spending decisions and plans to ensure decisions are made with consideration of resource implications, e.g. project proposals for spending any High Needs underspend.
- Advise on medium and long term financial planning including the estimate process by co-ordinating the demands on SEN places against a cash- flat High needs Block of funding.
Research, analyse, interpret and evaluate complex financial and other business related information to support service reviews, ensuring senior managers are provided with robust information to make informed decisions.