Skip to main content

Chief Financial Operations Officer

Mercian Educational Trust
Mercian Educational Trust, Somers Park Primary School, Malvern Vale Site, Malvern, Worcestershire
£70,000 to £75,000
Closing date
20 Jun 2024

View more

Job Type
Schools / Academies - Leadership Roles, Other- Leadership
Contract Type
Working Pattern

Job Details

Job Description

Hours Per Week: 37

Contract Type: Full time, permanent, All Year Round

Job Purpose

As a prominent and respected leader within the trust and a vital member of the Trust Executive Team, this role is instrumental in supporting the Board of Trustees, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Trust Executive Team (TET), and broader Trust Leadership Team (TLT) in ensuring smooth operational functions as we progress.

The position entails spearheading the leadership and advancement of finance and business operations, risk management, compliance, and due diligence. The individual in this role will collaborate closely with the CEO, TET, and the Board of Trustees to develop and implement organizational strategies as agreed upon.

The overarching goal is to provide both strategic and operational guidance for business services across the trust, with a particular emphasis on fostering service partnerships among our schools. This involves establishing and maintaining appropriate operational controls, administrative procedures, and reporting systems to support the trust's growth while upholding operational efficiency.

Additionally, the role includes the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating trust strategy, particularly focusing on financial performance and enhancing stakeholder value. This entails providing the CEO and TET with valuable financial insights to facilitate better decision-making in strategy formulation and execution.


Those who are part of the leadership team within Mercian Educational Trust play a critical part in the life of the Trust and its schools. They inspire confidence in those around them and work with others to create a shared strategic vision which motivates pupils and staff alike. They take the lead in enhancing standards and value enthusiasm and innovation in others. They have the confidence and ability to make management and organisational decisions and ensure compliance, excellence, and a sense of development in the work they deliver. They are expected to demonstrate sustained high-quality performance, through formulating the aims and objectives of Mercian Educational Trust, establishing the policies through which they are achieved and successfully managing staff to that end.


To ensure the ongoing success and sustainability of business services, including highly effective leadership and management of finance and operations.

To be the named Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Company Secretary and carry out accountabilities and responsibilities set out in the Academies Trust Handbook.

The CEO will hold the post holder to account.

Key responsibilities and activities

The duties and responsibilities listed below are indicative of the tasks the CFOO will perform, and are not intended to be an exhaustive list. The post holder will be expected to take on additional responsibilities appropriate to the role as they arise.

Leadership and corporate responsibilities

Strategy and change

Operational management

Risk management

Financial management and compliance

Due diligence

Leadership and corporate responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively as part of the Trust Executive Team (TET)
  • Ensure that the responsibilities of the role are conducted in a way that reflects the vision and values of the trust, contributing to a culture of continuous improvement
  • Lead, develop and hold to account colleagues to deliver high-quality performance
  • Lead, manage and develop staff within the central support function, promoting a strong customer service ethos with high professional standards
  • Ensure the Central Team works in collaboration with school staff and other trust team
  • Provide strategic leadership to all support staff within the trust on financial and business matters, ensuring they meet legal requirements and adopt best practices
  • As the trust grows, ensure that financial and operational models continue to provide the best value for money
  • Attend and contribute to finance and operations, audit, risk and compliance trustee committee meetings, and full trustee meetings as required
  • Develop effective relationships with trust stakeholders to support the trust’s development and growth
  • Develop, implement and monitor trust policies within remit
  • Lead the trust’s strategy for investment, management and security of estates (buildings and premises) and IT assets, systems and infrastructure, ensuring alignment with school improvement priorities and, where feasible provide further opportunities for income generation

Strategy and change

  • Contribute to the MAT strategic and growth plans, along with the MAT Self-Evaluation and risk management processes. Work alongside the CEO, TET and TLT to implement trust business plans, including setting targets, budgets and outputs and reviewing progress against these
  • Responsible for supporting the CEO, TET and TLT with key financial information and operational analytics, driving a culture of accountability in managing the business matters, and adding value to operational activities
  • Responsible for the strategy and delivery of finance and business services for the trust and schools ensuring value for money across all activities
  • Work with CEO, TET and TLT to strategically plan staffing resource requirements for each establishment, overseeing the preparation of salary forecasts to demonstrate affordability and sustainability of staffing structures
  • Keep up to date on relevant knowledge and ahead of any legislative changes that apply to the role and education sector. Advise trustees, CEO, TET and TLT on the implications of changes to government policy, legislation and directives and recommend effective strategies for responding to change in line with the trust’s strategic objectives
  • Lead and manage any change processes falling under the remit of the role

Operational management

  • Lead the drive for efficiency across the trust
  • Ensure procurement activities are fully compliant with all public sector and regulatory requirements and that ‘best value’ is achieved over the lifetime of contracts
  • Oversee operational delivery of strategic plans for estates, IT, and business services
  • Ensure the trust has a robust and effective management system for health and safety with appropriate reporting to trustees, the CEO, TET and TLT
  • Oversee compliance with data protection legislation/requirements and Freedom of Information legislation/requirements ensuring that the trust has an appropriate Data Protection Officer who leads data protection activities across the trust


Risk management

  • Work with the CEO to establish the trust’s appetite for risk and design an overall risk management process, which includes evaluation of the previous handling of risks and analysis of the financial impact on the trust when risks occur
  • Keeping trustees informed, leading effective risk management across the trust, and working closely with other TET members.
  • Ensure insurance cover is appropriate and there is compliance with policy requirements
  • Ensure disaster recovery and major incident procedures are robust Recommend to trustees the priorities for internal scrutiny and oversee policy and compliance audits, including liaising with internal and external auditors


Financial management and compliance

  • Assume accountability for the proper financial operations of the trust and all its schools
  • Ensure that all financial policies and procedures are compliant with the requirements of ESFA funding agreements, Academies Trust Handbook, financial regulations (SORP), Charity Commission, HMRC, other regulators and approved schemes of delegation
  • Provide sound strategic advice to the trustees, CEO, TET and TLT on all issues relating to financial matters drawing on internally and externally generated data including ESFA benchmarking
  • Lead the financial management strategy for the trust, promoting a culture of continuous improvement to safeguard and secure the long-term financial sustainability of the trust and its schools
  • Ensure all legal agreements for services supplies and leases are structured appropriately and in the best interests of the trust
  • Oversee the timely preparation of financial reports, budgets and cash flow forecasts ensuring effective consultation and communication of these with trustees, the CEO, TET and TLT
  • Ensure grant funding and opportunities for income generation are optimised without risk to the trust's reputation and funding agreement
  • Advise trustees on the most appropriate financial business model for trading activities
  • Oversight of and final approval regarding payroll activities

Due diligence

  • Lead on finance and operational due diligence for new schools proposing to join the trust
  • Lead on conversions, land issues, leases, commercial transfer agreements and associated issues relating to new schools joining the trust
  • Ensure a customer-led approach, support for school-based teams and the training of staff in new schools joining the trust
  • Ensure the operational side of new business is robust, resilient and compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements
  • Ensure effective systems of control and management of risk are in place and being implemented effectively advising trustees on outcomes of due diligence and making recommendations

Generic Responsibilities

  • Seek ongoing improvement within your own area of responsibility and undertake any further training as identified in the trust review procedures
  • Maintain a flexible and team-working approach and perform such other duties as may be required
  • To promote the values and vision of MET and value each school for its differences as well as similarities
  • Ensure that safe working practices are followed in respect of COSHH and other Risk Assessment control measures. Employees must comply with the provisions of ‘The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974’ and must take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of other persons who may be affected by their acts of omission whilst at work. Employees are also required to cooperate with their employer to enable them to perform or comply with any statutory provisions. The trust’s efforts to promote a safe and healthy working environment can only succeed with the full cooperation of its employees
  • To understand, comply with and promote the trust’s safeguarding policy and procedures. It is the responsibility of all employees to make the working environment safe and secure for all. Everyone must adhere to the 5 Rs about possible abuse: Recognition, Response, Reporting, Recording and Referral. The trust can only ensure its dedication to the protection of vulnerable people with the full cooperation of its employees
  • The trust has an Equality and Diversity policy and it is the responsibility of all staff to comply with this. Also, the key responsibilities of staff under this policy are set out in the trust Code of Conduct. The duties described in this job description must be carried out by those policies, in a manner which promotes equality of opportunity, dignity and due respect for all employees and service users
  • To maintain the confidentiality of clients, staff and other trusted businesses. The work is confidential and information gained must not be communicated to other persons except in the recognised course of duty. The post holder must meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act at all times
  • Be aware of, promote and implement the trust’s Quality and Information Security Management Systems
  • To report to the line manager, or other appropriate person, in the event of awareness of bad practice.

This post requires the ability to perform a role that involves infrequent contact with children.

This post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975, 2013 and 2020




Supporting Documents for Chief Financial Operations Officer


Company info
01684 574497
Swinyard Road
WR14 1GU

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert

Similar jobs