CFO - Chief Finance Officer Trust


SOKE EDUCATION TRUST

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (0.6 FTE) Permanent Contract

Soke Education Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate/s will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check/Section 128 check.

TIME ALLOCATION

The post is anticipated as requiring an average of 0.6 FTE or 3 days per week. It will involve some out of school hours work such as attending committee meetings.

REMUNERATION

This will be paid pro rata at Grade 13:

Pt 40 £43,857 – Pt 44 £49,162 FTE.

The CFO contract will be a 52 week contract to account for Financial reporting in normal holiday periods.

This is an exciting time for Soke Education Trust - we are a successful Primary Multi Academy Trust, located within the urban and rural villages around the city of Peterborough. We are seeking a new CFO Chief Financial Officer due to the retirement of the current post-holder.

Soke Education Trust was established on January 1st 2018 comprising of Werrington Primary School, Wittering Primary School, John Clare Primary School and Gunthorpe Primary School. On the 1st September 2019 Northborough Primary School joined the Trust and we now comprise of 5 primary schools. 

The growth of our Trust combined with increased provision of centralised services provides a great opportunity for the new CFO to continue this journey. The Trust currently provides centralised HR and Finance support to two academies/schools within the Trust. The Central Team consists of CEO/CFO/Finance Manager/HR and Compliance officer.

Job Description

PURPOSE OF THE ROLE

The CFO will work alongside and report directly to the CEO playing both a technical and leadership role including: ensuring sound and appropriate financial governance and risk management arrangements are in place, preparing and monitoring of budgets, and ensuring the delivery of annual accounts. Managing the Central Team Finance, HR and Compliance and supporting academy/school based  - School Business Managers (SBM’s). This provides flexibility to work remotely as well as academy/school based.

To develop and manage Soke Education Trust financial regulations and procedures to enable the Trust to fulfil its statutory* financial accountabilities and responsibilities effectively, efficiently and compliantly.

This requires appropriate qualification for example AAT,ACCA,CIMA and/or appropriate experience.

* As per Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Academy Trust Handbook.

MAIN ASPECTS OF THE ROLE

•To work closely with the Trust auditors on development of robust MAT financial regulations, procedures and reporting requirements across the Trust member academies/schools.

•To work closely with the Trust auditors on producing the appropriate financial reports for the MAT Board, Finance & Audit Committee, Local Governing Bodies and Leadership Group.

•To support and advise the Trust Leadership Group, Chief Executive Officer and Headteachers on effective, efficient and compliant Trust financial management and operation.

•To support and advise the Trust Audit, Finance and Risk Committee on effective, efficient compliant Trust financial governance and management.

•To support and advise the Trust Board of Directors on the effective, efficient and compliant Trust financial governance and management.

• To lead and support the finance staff within the Trust Central Team and Trust academies/schools in managing their school finances in alignment with Trust financial regulations, procedures and reporting.

• To lead and support the Trust HR and Compliance Officer within the Trust Central Team alongside support from EPM HR Advisors.

•Any other duties required that are commensurate with the grading of the post.

•To be fully aware of and understand the implications of safeguarding children and young people as this applies to the role within the organisation.

•The post-holder will report to the Chief Executive Officer.

•The role has line management responsibility of Trust Central Finance/HR/Compliance staff but does not have line management responsibility for school based staff. The CFO will however provide direction to other finance staff as required.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

To develop and oversee all financial policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Academy Trusts Handbook and Statement of Recommended Practices (SORP) of the Charities Commission.

•To work closely with the Trust Central Finance staff and academy/school based SBM’s to ensure compliance with Finance Policies and Procedures and act as first point of contact on queries from school staff.

•To prepare and manage the Trust central budget, working with the Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Group and the Trust Board.

•To support Headteachers and Trust Central Finance staff  and school based SBM’s in developing their annual budgets.

•To prepare the Trust budget consolidating the Trust central budget and individual academy/school budgets.

•To prepare and submit all financial returns as required by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Companies House or prevailing financial regulation.

•To ensure all statutory reporting on behalf of the Trust is accurate and timely.

•To ensure appropriate internal audit is carried out for the Trust and all Trust member academies/schools within the Trust (as decided by the Trust and using appointed Accountancy firm/responsible officer).

•To organise and support the annual independent financial audit of the Trust.

•To organise and support preparation of Trust Financial Statements for Trust review and approval.

•To organise and support the preparation of the Trust Annual Report for Trust review and approval.

•To ensure follow up on any recommendations from internal or external audit reports.

•To ensure any tax obligations are discharged correctly and effectively.

•To ensure that the academies are fully prepared to meet OFSTED financial criteria.

•To liaise with relevant government agencies as required.

•To monitor overall spending within each academy/school to ensure schools are on budget, making any recommendations to the Governors as required.

•To oversee the coordination of the payroll across the MAT schools including necessary payments to the payroll provider.

•To organise and administer the MAT’s obligations for teachers and support staff pensions including annual valuations.

•To manage the Trust Central Budget – processing payroll for Trust Central Team members, orders and invoices relating to it.

•Monitor overall expenditure to ensure budgetary control highlighting any under/overspends to the Chief Executive Officer and Leadership Group as appropriate.

•To ensure the Trust complies with statutory requirements such as GDPR/Data Protection and the Freedom of Information Act.

•To attend regular meetings with the Trust Board and Finance & Audit Committee meetings

•To oversee the implementation of the Trust financial software system including any additional functionality and updates organising appropriate training for colleagues.

•To oversee the Trust’s banking including reconciliations and monitoring of cash flow.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Application forms, Job Description and Person Specification  can be obtained via www.sokeeducationtrust.co.uk - vacancies – CFO Post.

Applicants are required to submit a completed, official Trust application form and a covering letter stating their suitability for the post taking into account the Person Specification/Job Description by  9am on Monday 11th January 2022 via email to Ben Wilding CEO –  ceo@sokeeducationtrust.co.uk.  If you have any queries please do not hesitate to make contact via: Tel -  01780 782336.

Interviews are expected to take place on Friday 21st January 2022 and will include a panel interview as part of the process.

The expected start date is to be confirmed depending upon the availability of the selected candidate.  However, it is hoped to be as soon as possible.

The Soke Education Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate/s will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check/Section 128 check.