cumbria county council web view an appropriate professional financial qualification (e.g....

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Be the best you can be


Head of Finance (Chief Finance Officer)

Cumbria Education Trust

Recruitment Pack


Welcome to Cumbria Education Trust 3

Supporting our students and staff 4

The role 5

Main responsibilities 7

Who and what we are looking for 9

Living and working in Cumbria 11

Application and interview process 12


Primary School


To enable every young person to reach their potential and achieve the success they deserve by providing an innovative and inspiring learning experience.


At the heart of our organisation are the principles of:

• Respect • Responsibility • Resilience

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in this exciting position within Cumbria Education Trust (CET). Within this pack you will find lots of information about the Trust, the role, our family of schools, our vision and values.

Cumbria Education Trust is a not-for-profit charitable organisation. It was formed in 2015 in response to an invitation from the Department for Education. Cumbria Education Trust is one of the first school-based MATs in North Cumbria - we currently have nine schools within our family; six primary and three secondary schools.

Our purpose is to deliver outstanding educational provision and ensure all pupils/students receive high quality teaching and learning opportunities.

Our aim is for each CET academy to demonstrate consistent year-on-year improvement. We believe in the importance of working with others to share knowledge and best practice and we want all our pupils/students to develop a thirst for knowledge. We are passionate about putting young people first and equipping them for success in the future.

By achieving our aim, we can enable every young person to reach their potential.

If you believe you can make a positive contribution to the development of CET, then we would be delighted to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,

Lorrayne Hughes

CEO - Cumbria Education Trust



We are committed to supporting all pupils/students, staff and academies within the Cumbria Education Trust to ‘be the best they can be’.

Although each of our schools and academies has its own unique ethos, they all share a common vision and common values. These values are central to the life of the schools and underpin all the Trust’s activities.

All our schools and academies share a commitment to the achievement, personal development and well‐being of the children and young people within the Trust.

We operate with a student-centred approach which values relationships and respect for others:

· Inspiring learning – creating a happy, positive and vibrant learning environment for ALL pupils/students.

· Achieving success – enabling every pupil/student to reach their potential by providing high quality teaching.

· Creating opportunities – broadening children’s experiences and opportunities.

· Empowering communities – working in partnership with the local community to bring education alive for all.

CET strives to be recognised as an employer of choice. We believe that quality of life outside work significantly shapes the way in which staff perform whilst at work, so the need to achieve a healthy work life balance is a very important aspect of our commitment to staff.

We therefore place great importance on developing caring and supportive relationships. Our open-door policy provides the opportunity for anyone who is concerned or anxious to ask for guidance or clarification without censure.

With an aim which seeks year-on-year improvement, we also recognise the need to reward effort and good results. One of the ways we do this is through our commitment to staff with individually tailored CPD programmes. These are geared to maximising not merely job satisfaction, but the chance to significantly increase expertise, confidence and leadership skills.

We exercise a ‘people first’ approach at all times so that staff feel part of a community; confident to both support and yet challenge one another and where everyone regardless of position or seniority, feels valued and able to make a contribution.

Main Purpose

Together with the Finance team, the Chief Executive Officer and the Operations Director, develop the financial operations within Cumbria Education Trust (CET), ensuring compliance with statutory duties and to provide robust reporting on the Trust’s financial position to enable the Leadership team to make appropriate decisions and ensure the financial stability of CET.


It is the practice of the Trust periodically to examine employees’ job descriptions and to update them to ensure that they relate to jobs as they are being performed, or to incorporate whatever changes are being proposed. It is the Trust’s aim to reach agreement on any alterations.




We wish to appoint a dynamic and creative Head of Finance with the commitment, drive and ambition to grow and develop our organisation.

The successful candidate will bring:

• Appropriate academic and financial qualification(s) (or be working towards).

• Demonstrable experience in a senior finance role, including strategic business and financial planning, budget setting and monitoring, risk management, payroll and a full understanding of financial control, compliance and reporting requirements.

• High level ICT skills and ability to fully utilise a range of industry-standard software packages.

• Sound team leadership skills and experience with the ability to manage and develop people in a fast-paced and demanding environment.

• Excellent time management, prioritisation and delegation skills.

• The ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of people across and outwith the Trust.

We can offer:

• A commitment to your personal and professional development and the opportunity to develop your role within the Trust.

• A friendly and vibrant Trust community with a supportive team ethos.

The post-holder will embody our inclusive, child centred ethos, and will be someone who:

· Will promote Cumbria Education Trust’s motto to ‘be the best you can be’ and model our values 3R’s – Respect, Responsibility and Resilience at all times.

· Believes in the potential of every child and adult in the school communities across CET.




Direct Line Management:

Line manage the CET Finance team to ensure effective operational and strategic financial support for the Trust.

Accountabilities under the direction and guidance of the CEO and Operations Director:

· Assist the Trustees, CEO and Operations Director in formulating the financial aims and objectives of the Trust and in establishing the policies, systems and procedures through which they shall be achieved.

· Support the Trust to achieve compliance with financial guidelines and requirements regarding: Department for Education/Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) including Academies Financial Handbook, company law, and charity law, local and national legislation.

· Fulfil the duties of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of CET and discharge the duties as defined in the Academies Financial Handbook (annually revised), Funding Agreements and Articles.

· Ensure that CET has appropriate reporting mechanisms to the Trust Board and relevant sub committees on actual and projected financial positions throughout the year.

· Specific responsibility over budget setting and financial monitoring for the ‘Central Team’ and any other school or academies as designated, recognising that as the Trust grows, this may evolve.

· Design and implement a central finance shared services structure and systems that support the development of financial strategy.

Organisational Support:

· Deputise for the Operations Director when required and carry out any other duties as required to contribute to the smooth and effective running of the Trust.

· Develop and lead on risk management policies, procedures and systems to ensure that all financial risks are known and managed across the Trust including risk analysis of all trust financial activities to enable it to expand.

· Contribute to the development of the financial strategy, policies and procedures for CET.

· Provide guidance and training to CET finance managers where needed to ensure financial recording meets statutory requirements (i.e. VAT/Financial Handbook Requirements).

· Attend CET Leadership Team meetings and Business Leadership Team Meetings.

· Contribute to CET’s business planning process.

Finance and accounting:

· In consultation with the CEO and Operations Director, prepare the Trust’s annual budget and update as necessary.

· In liaison with the CEO and Operations Director devise and implement the MAT Finance Strategy

· Monitor income and expenditure in relation to the Trust budget, and produce monthly reports for the CEO and Operations Director and the Trustees.

· Manage the Trust Finance systems, income (inc

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