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Chief Finance and Operations Officer West London Zone

Play a leading role in ensuring every child can flourish in their school and community.

  • Location: Hybrid - Home / West London HQ (2 days / 3 days)
  • Salary: £85,000 per annum, plus benefits

About the role.

The CFOO will report to the Chief Executive and play a pivotal role for West London Zone, as we broaden and deepen our impact, transitioning from local to national scale. You will oversee and drive development of all financial and operational management, processes and reporting. As we continue to evolve, you will lead the integration of our most developed place of work, west London, with our new place of work, Wigan in the Greater Manchester area, followed by a third place in the near/medium-term.

Working closely with the Chief Delivery and Impact Officer, who oversees all of our collaborative work in our communities with children and families, you will lead the development of our operating model for our growing range of activities. Ensuring we have the highest quality governance, business planning, finance, compliance and risk management functions, as well as robust systems, processes and policies to do our best work will be vital. To achieve this, you will be responsible for bringing together some of our existing functions and building a new team within the organisation.

Who are we looking for?

We seek an experienced strategic leader who has held a broad finance and operations position, with a track record of interacting at Board level and presenting clear financial and management information. Whilst you don’t have to be financially qualified, we do need someone with strong financial acumen and demonstrable ability to monitor, interpret and communicate financial information effectively. You will be experienced at scaling organisations and have delivered new and/or successful improvements to existing systems and processes, with a track record of driving changes or improvements to business plans, policies and procedures.

You will have a passion for our purpose, commitment to our mission and alignment with our organisational values. Whilst being robust about process, you need to be able to flex to changing circumstances and be skilled at getting the best out of people as well as driving a culture of continuous improvement and learning. Crucially, you be wholly committed to driving forward the core infrastructure for our work supporting children and families to flourish and communities to strengthen themselves.

If you are excited at the prospect of driving change that leads to better outcomes for children and young people in their communities and takes us into our next chapter of growth, we’d love to hear from you!

To access the job information pack for this role, please follow the instructions on the ‘How to Apply’ tab.

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity, you can email our advising consultant at Peridot Partners to arrange a call:


If you would like to know more about this role please contact James Hunt

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Welcome from Louisa Mitchell, Chief Executive

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in West London Zone’s new Chief Finance and Operations Officer role. We are at a key inflexion point in our development, going from local to national scale. We recently announced the launch of our first regional model translated from West London for Wigan. And we aim to launch another regional model in the next two years so that we are delivering in three places in the next three years.

We have set ourselves ambitious growth and impact targets over the last eight years which we have consistently achieved. Our future plans are also ambitious, and I am excited about our next phase. We have a new name and brand due to be announced any day.

Children and young people are growing up in arguably the most challenging social and economic context of our time. The need has never been greater for early action systems of support and opportunity for families, for trusted adults who can build relationships with children and young people and connect schools into communities.

We want to change the way we support children to grow up across the country. We want every child and young person to flourish in their school and community, and to deliver on that we intend to change the systems around them. We have a collaborative delivery and funding model that can make this happen. If you join us, you can play an instrumental part in this.

I know that in order to achieve our ambition we need the highest quality operating platform with robust systems, policies and processes for our growing range of activities. This will enable our employees and partners to have their best experience with us and deliver on our mission with children, young people and families in the best way possible.

I am looking for someone for this role who is excited about our mission, shares our ambition for delivering on our national vision and has experience in scaling organisations and building the infrastructure required to support our impact and sustainability.

You will need to be creative, entrepreneurial and thrive in a fast-paced environment, as well as being a planner who likes process. We take a place-based approach, which means we listen, adapt and translate our model to every community we work in. Every community and school has a delivery model that works for their context and every child’s individual support plan is personalised to them. This flexible and person-centred approach runs deep in all of our work.

This means we look for adaptability alongside the highest levels of accountability in our leaders. You also will need to embody and role model our collaborative and relational values so that you can shape our culture and work well within our Senior Leadership Team, Board of Trustees and organisation at large – meaning our team and our wider community networks in all the places we work.

If you thrive on challenges, enjoy finding solutions, are excited by process as well as innovation, and share our bright vision for the future of children and young people, I am keen to hear from you. Please get in touch.

Louisa Mitchell
Chief Executive

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

About West London Zone (WLZ)

Developed using darktable 3.6.0

West London Zone is an award-winning charity that proactively identifies children at a tipping point of need in some of the UK’s most under-resourced neighbourhoods. Working in schools through tailored Impact Programmes we support each child’s Social, Emotional, and Academic progress to drive a SEA change, promoting positive community change.

We have a track record of building place-based, early-action partnerships that change the systems of support and opportunities for children and families in their communities. Since our launch in 2016, we have helped over 4,500 children and young people to build the relationships, self-belief and skills they need to get on track to flourish into adulthood.

We are a medium-sized charity, with annual revenue of approximately £7m and a headcount of over 110 employees. Following eight years of impact for children and families in west London via an innovative partnership model – involving young people, families, schools (50+), local authorities (4), charities and community organisations (50+) – our next 3-year plan takes us to a £10m charity committed to further pursuing broader social change across our communities in three places and having a national influence.

How we work

People: Working through our team of trusted, school-based Link Workers, we use data and evidence to identify children and young people at the tipping point of need, then align funding with public services and community activities that help them navigate their unique social, emotional, and academic challenges through tailored two-year ‘Impact Programmes’.

Place: We drive place-based change by refining the design of our Impact Programme to the local context, and then working with and between local systems of support – including education, social care, the voluntary sector, and local funders. This embeds ongoing collaboration and drives positive community effects that extend well beyond individual care.

Prevention: Our approach is a blueprint for change. We share learning and insight with partners in policy and government to inform a new approach for communities to design models to support children and young people, better connecting siloed stakeholders and mitigating the need for crisis intervention.

Our impact

For individual children and young people, positive outcome targets are personalised to their profile: 

  • 75% are no longer at risk in their emotional/mental wellbeing.
  • 2/3 improved their grades.
  • Children with attendance below 80% improved an average of by 8 percentage points – equivalent to three more weeks in school per child per year.
  • 92% of children tell us that they feel they can ask their Link Worker for support when needed.
  • 83% of parents see an increase in their child’s confidence during the programme.

At place level:

  • An independent analysis found a financial/economic impact of £81,000 per child (e.g. reduced demand for intensive late-stage interventions, and improved earnings potential).
  • 88% of schools felt West London Zone achieved ‘transformational or significant positive impact’ for children and the wider school environment.

Please continue reading for more information:

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity, you can email our advising consultant at Peridot Partners to arrange a call:

Accessibility information

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have made some modifications to the way we do business to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities.

Our accessibility provisions include:

  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interviews.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.
  • Reasonable adjustments are provided by individual needs, i.e. noise cancelling headphones, adjustable desks, and designated seating locations.

Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity, you can email our advising consultant at Peridot Partners to arrange a call:

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Information Pack.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Application: West London Zone, Chief Finance and Operations Officer” into the subject field.

    If you would like to have an informal conversation about this opportunity, you can email our advising consultant at Peridot Partners to arrange a call:

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: By 9 a.m. Monday 20th May 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: By COB, Wednesday 22nd May 2024
    First stage interviews (virtual): Wednesday 29th May 2024
    Final stage interviews (London): Wednesday 5th June 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and West London Zone are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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