Director of Finance and Resources
The Director of Finance and Resources is responsible for the strategic and operational aspects of Financial Resource Management, Management Information and ICT, Human Resource Management, Facility & Property Management and Health, Safety, Risk and Compliance Management of the School and its associated entities.
The Director of Finance and Resources is the school’s leading support staff professional and a member of the School’s Leadership Group and as the Chief Financial Officer has responsibility for the Trust’s detailed financial procedures.
He/she is responsible for providing professional leadership and management of School support staff in partnership with teaching staff, to enhance their effectiveness in order to achieve improved standards of learning and achievement in the school.
The Director of Finance and Resources is the Company Secretary for Wycombe High School Academies Trust (WHSAT) and a Director of Cygnus Teaching School Alliance, plus ex officio a Trustee of the Wycombe High School Fund and the Wycombe High School Prize Fund.
General Ethos / Culture
- To promote the aims and ethos of the Trust; ensure organisational alignment with the School’s Vision, Mission and Values
Financial Resource Management
- Strategic lead in the growth and maximisation of student numbers
- Maintain a strategic 5-year financial plan
- To provide advice to the Trust Board and the Governing Body and act as Company Secretary to WHSAT
- To provide advice, guidance and support for the Strategic Boards of the entities operated by WHSAT (currently the BBO Maths Hub, Cygnus Teaching School and National Mathematics & Physics SCITT)
- Advise the Leadership Group and Governing Body on the identification and management of strategic risks in Finance, Administration, HR, Facilities and ICT
- Advise on staff modelling and costs
- Evaluate information and consult with the Leadership Group, Governors and Trust Board to prepare a realistic and balanced budget for the School and its entities
- Submit the proposed budget to the Headteacher, Leadership Group, Governors and Trust Board for discussion and approval and lead the overall financial planning process
- To submit the approved budget to the Department for Education (DfE) and Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as necessary and within the required timescales
- Use the agreed budget to monitor and control performance to achieve value for money
- Identify and inform the Headteacher and Trustees of the causes of significant variance and recommend prompt corrective action
- Propose revisions to the budget if necessary, in response to significant or unforeseen developments
- Provide regular budgetary information, financial reports and management accounts to relevant parties including the Trust Board, Governors and the Senior Leadership Team
- Identify additional finance required to fund the School’s proposed activities and present fully costed proposals, recommendations or bids
- Monitor the effectiveness and implementation of financial agreements
- To manage and control debts and to apply appropriate sanctions as necessary
- To maintain the financial Asset Register
- To manage the allocation and funding for special projects and to provide financial information and recommendations for the management Team
- To provide benchmarking data to the Leadership Group and Governors to aid financial monitoring and evaluation of performance
- Keep up to date on financial developments and best practice in the Educational Sector
- Provide formal reforecast of the full year financial outturn after the first six months of actual results.
- Ensure monthly financial results are up to date and all accruals and prepayments are included.
- Ensure effective project management of building projects from funds application through to project completion to the agreed timescale and budget.
Risk and Compliance
- To provide support and advice on matters relating to governance, both for the Trust Board and Governors
- To advise the Headteacher, Governors and Trust Board on policies and legislation regarding employment, equal opportunities, GDPR, financial management and health and safety
- Ensure the safeguarding, safe maintenance and security operation of all School premises
- To ensure compliance with GDPR legislation
- Preparation and maintenance of the Business Plan and Risk Register. Ensuring the risks are identified and owned by relevant staff members, including the identification, probability and management of these risks.
- Ensure that any formal finance agreements meet statutory Academy regulations, with suitable providers for agreed amounts, at agreed times and appropriate agreed costs and repayment schedules
- To ensure the requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook are met and maintained
- Prepare information for publications and returns for the DfE, ESFA, Companies House and other agencies and stakeholders within statutory guidelines
- To keep the school’s Single Central Record under review to ensure its accuracy and completeness
- Line management responsibilities for the Finance, ICT and Facilities Management departments
- To line manage and provide leadership and guidance for support staff working in the areas of finance, premises and maintenance, grounds and cleaning. To be responsible for their performance management, professional development, and training.
- To plan, arrange and report on aspects of Staff Development for these associate staff.
- To work under the direction of the Headteacher and alongside the Headteacher’s to recruit associate staff in these areas.
- Manage the relationship with the Academy’s auditors including briefing Trustees on performance on both statutory and other audit services. To include the programme of internal work and reports prepared for the Board.
Technology and ICT
- As far as possible within limited resources to ensure the security and integrity of the School’s ICT systems, minimising threats from potential malware attacks and other risks which would affect efficient and effective service delivery
- Consult with the ICT Services Manager and other relevant parties to introduce new technology or improve existing technology for different purposes
- Ensure that the school has a strategy for using technology aligned to the overall vision and plans for the school ensuring value for money
- Communicate the strategy and relevant policies, including GDPR for use of technology across the School
- Ensure contingency plans are in place in the case of technology failure
- To oversee the school website and other social media platforms, providing changes and information to as required
- Ensure resources, support and training are provided to enable work colleagues to make the best use of available ICT, including teaching, learning and assessment systems
- Establish systems to monitor and report on the performance of technology within the School
- Seek professional advice on insurance and give advice on appropriate insurances for the school and implement and manage such schemes accordingly
- Liaise with the Department for Education / Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in connection with the management, asset plan information and development of the School premises
- Maximise income through lettings and other approved activities
- To deputise for the Headteacher on activities related to the entities as required
- To undertake all other reasonable duties as required by the Headteacher
Accountancy qualification such as ACA, ACCA, CIMA.
Relevant honours degree (upper second- or first-class desirable).
Good knowledge of the funding, regulatory and legislative environment of academies.
Good project management experience.
Specialist knowledge in one other key areas of responsibility, whether governance, finance, premises or ICT.
Excellent leadership skills with the ability to develop and motivate others to succeed
Strong interpersonal and communication skills
Organised and disciplined approach with strong prioritisation skills and the ability to work and deliver under time pressure.
Strategic thinker, able to understand the big picture, prioritise effectively and take decisions in the long-term interests of the School and Trust.
Strong commercial acumen and common-sense approach
Able to solve problems with confident and effective decision-making skills.
Excellent communication skills, able to present complex information to diverse audiences in a clear and succinct manner
Strong negotiating skills; able to persuade and influence colleagues and key stakeholders at all levels
Ability to demonstrate a positive approach and to champion cultural and organisational change
Experience of leading finance teams in a charity/ commercial/ public sector environment (ideally more than one)
Experience of using financial software packages
Management of significant budgets (£10+m) and closure of period and year end accounts
Understanding of audit requirements (internal and external). Experience of liaising with external and internal auditors.
Experience of preparing statutory accounts in accordance with the Companies Acts and UK GAAP as it applies to charities
Demonstrable understanding of key issues affecting HR
IT literate with a broad understanding of the overall system requirements of SMEs
Experience of managing complex development projects
Experience of marketing and fundraising
Experience of change management in a complex environment
Can demonstrate skills in people development
Planning and Organising
Take a lead in planning and organising work related to the accountabilities, ensuring an effective Finance, IT compliance and people service for the Trust.
High level of decision making. The post holder is a member of Leadership Group and required to be in attendance at Governor and Trust meetings, providing a support and service for these, including where appropriate setting agendas with the appropriate Chairs.
All government and local authority departments / agencies and any other statutory or business-related bodies as relevant to the post.
All areas of accountability carry problem solving responsibilities. In the absence of the Headteacher the Director of Finance and Resources will take a lead in advising the School and the Deputy Headteacher.
Entities, current and future, are part of the accountabilities.