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Chief Finance Officer & Vice Principal Halesowen College

Are you passionate about education with a real head for finances, funding and doing the very best for students? Halesowen College is looking to appoint a new Chief Finance Officer & Vice Principal with the experience and drive to help shape the college into the provider of choice in the region.

  • Location: Halesowen, West Midlands
  • Salary: c. £90,000
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

Who we are

At its heart, Halesowen College is a tertiary college offering young people a wide range of opportunities to follow either academic or vocational pathways.  16-18 learners form the vast majority of our learner body, and we intend that to remain the case, even as we grow and diversify further. We are a college that is not satisfied with being ‘Good’. We are determined to provide the best possible education and training for all our learners, and this means striving for excellence in all that we do.

Halesowen College is a lively, ambitious and highly inclusive tertiary college providing a broad and extremely supportive education to young people from across the West Midlands and in an increasing range of vocational higher education courses, apprenticeships and training for adults. We have over 4,000 learners.

The college has maintained a good reputation and Ofsted rating for a sustained period. However, we are not satisfied with being “Good” and are determined to provide the best possible education and training for all our learners, which means striving for excellence in all that we do.

To support this, we have clear aims that:

  • our curriculum will be broad, inclusive, responsive and purposeful,
  • our quality will be demonstrated by exceptional teaching, learning and outcomes,
  • our learning environment will make a difference,
  • our people form a truly diverse, empowered, supportive and accountable community,
  • our finances are sound to allow investment and keep us at the forefront of provision.

We actively promote equality, welcome all learners whose needs we can meet and strive to make our college a “learning village”, where learners of all levels, backgrounds and disciplines mix freely and benefit from contact with each other so that the college is a place where everyone can be who they are and be the best they can be.

We are committed to the development of our learners as people, to keeping them safe and preparing them to succeed in the world. To this end, our support for learners is exceptional.

The college works extensively with employers across the whole range of our provision and has growing numbers of apprentices including at higher levels.

The college also offers vocational higher education courses in areas of the curriculum where we can deliver a high-quality experience, extend participation and make progression opportunities available locally and we expect this provision to continue to grow. We work with adults in a range of settings and at various levels, and we believe Halesowen College has a greater role to play in improving adult skills in our communities.

About the role

Our next Chief Finance Officer & Vice Principal will need to support and steer the college through our next stage of organisational development with a recently launched strategic plan and organisational vision, taking us through to 2025, with the ambition to be the first-choice college in our region for learners, parents, business and staff, working with partners to achieve remarkable things.

Under the leadership of a recently appointed Principal & Chief Executive, we expect the pace and ambition for development and success to continue with the support and engagement of our board and our staff. Working with the new Principal & Chief Executive, our Chair, Jo Chilton and with the wider board, there is a need for you to recognise and appreciate the great things we already do and the even greater things we have yet to come.

We have high hopes and expectations for our college – there is a great deal more work to do to ensure we achieve the necessary milestones that will move us from our current position to becoming an outstanding place for students to learn, and a pillar of community education for the region. Under your leadership, we will further develop an excellent reputation amongst local businesses, external stakeholders and education communities.

To ensure that we are in a position to achieve our ambitions we must first ensure that our finances are well-managed, well-maintained outstanding and secure for the long-term. To this end, we seek to appoint a new Chief Finance Officer & Vice Principal who can help support and steer us towards the realisation of our ambitions in a considered way.

As a medium-sized FE college, trusted by thousands of students, we must ensure they reach their full potential when studying or training with us, and they are made aware of the opportunities to progress their learning through us over a sustained period. As our new Chief Finance Officer & Vice Principal, you will not only have direct responsibility and accountability for the financial health of our organisation as well as working with colleagues across the senior leadership team to successfully deliver our strategic aims and organisational mission, but you will also bring your experience of thinking differently when it comes to realising the financial opportunities that we already have within the organisation. Ensuring that we maximise every opportunity to benefit our people, students and region.

We appreciate this is no short-term project and we are fully committed to the journey ahead of us. We are dedicated to investing heavily in our staff, our resources, and the development of our external relationships. Halesowen College is a great place already, and as Chief Finance Officer & Vice Principal we need you to take the very best parts of our college and the areas that need support and improve them further.

Who we are looking for

We are not simply looking to appoint a financial expert. We are seeking to appoint a well-rounded, values-led, finance professional who can get up to speed quickly and lead their teams by example.

Candidates will need to be able to demonstrate their understanding and experience of the complex funding mechanisms that exist within our sector. We hope to appoint a candidate who has an understanding of the correlation and balance between finances and curriculum so that we are best able to develop and maximise our provision as we strive to constantly improve the services we offer.

Your responsibilities will be far wider than finance and will include, operations, marketing and sales; estates and facilities, the wholly owned subsidiary company and line management of the Chief Information Officer. As a credible and knowledgeable leader, a fundamental part of the role will be building and strengthening key relationships with a range of vital external stakeholders, including our regulators, local authority partners and external auditors.

Candidates should also have experience of budget setting, financial reporting and an understanding of the commercial aspects of the sector. These experiences will then be utilised to help us generate additional income, provide us with opportunities to develop our estate and build strength in planning for future risks.

We believe that for our college to flourish and realise the success we are planning for, the person appointed as our next Chief Finance Officer & Vice Principal will need to be a proven and credible leader – well-versed in the nuances and complexities of our sector; its policies, funding methodologies and curriculum specialisms. We need someone who has the competence and confidence to steer and support the growth and security of our college, bringing direct experience of having overseen substantial and organisation-wide improvement with and through other senior leaders.

We believe this role will suit someone who thrives on challenge, can spot an opportunity and cares deeply about providing high-quality education and training to support social mobility and skills development, through the best use of our finances, maximising our funding opportunities and supporting the growth of our delivery. A relentless focus on improving the lives of students – enabling them to reach their true potential – will be welcomed, as will an inspirational and approachable style of leadership that encourages a mutual focus on high performance, fair reward and staff well-being.


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

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Sarah Atkins-Boal

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Welcome from our Chair of Governors

Dear candidate,

Thank you for your interest in applying for the position of Chief Finance Officer and Vice Principal at Halesowen College. This is a hugely important and exciting role at a thriving college, and we are delighted that you are considering applying to join our team.

The college currently has a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating and ‘Outstanding’ to ‘Good Financial Health’. This is an exciting time as the college is ambitious to move to Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ at a time when there are many national challenges facing the FE sector.

The new Chief Finance Officer and Vice Principal post will be instrumental in providing experience and leadership to achieve this ambition.

Halesowen College is a tertiary college in the Black Country operating from three main sites, Whittingham Road, Shenstone House and the Coombs Wood Technology Centre. There is an ambitious estates strategy in place to continue to provide quality learning environments for students and staff. As Chief Finance Officer and Vice Principal, you will lead on taking these projects forward to delivery.

The college primarily serves the communities of Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley and Sandwell.

Many students are from urban areas that include wards that score highly on the index of deprivation. In addition to providing one of the most comprehensive curriculum offers in the region, delivering programmes ranging from Entry Level to Level 5, the College works hard to remove any barriers that its 4,000+ full time students may encounter.

Through the careers programme at College, we meet the Gatsby benchmarks, and our focus remains on giving the best chance to progress at College, onto higher education, or employment.  To this end the College works collaboratively with higher education providers and local employers and is embracing its role within the developing Local Skills Improvement Plan.

The College prides itself on its welcoming, inclusive, and caring ethos.  Recent research with staff, students, parents, employers, and applicants identified four themes which sum up what is valued most at Halesowen College:  A seriously supportive, caring community, innately inclusive and actively ambitious. The College is a designated College of Sanctuary, has repeatedly been recognised as a Leader in Diversity, a Leader in Safeguarding, and has been awarded the Rainbow Flag.

The Corporation are seeking to appoint a Chief Finance Officer and Vice Principal of the highest calibre who will be able to identify and deliver what is necessary to further improve the College whilst maintaining outstanding to good Financial health. It is highly desirable that the successful candidate will have a proven and successful career operating at a senior level in Finance.  An understanding of the post-16 phase of education would be desirable. The person specification outlines the key skills that this pivotal role requires, but equally important is a vision for the future balancing quality of education with outstanding to good financial health, within a team environment.  If you believe you are the leader we are seeking, then we look forward to your application and to meeting you.

Jo Chilton
Chair of Governors


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

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

About Halesowen College

Halesowen College is a thriving tertiary college operating from three main sites, Whittingham Road, Shenstone House and the Coombs Wood Centre. Facilities, buildings and resources are modern, and inviting and the campuses are an exciting place to learn and work.

The college is structured in three Curriculum Faculties, each with an Assistant Principal and two business support areas, Learner Support Services and Corporate Services.

Quality and Standards is overseen by a fourth Assistant Principal and the team work across the college to improve the quality of education, creating a culture of enthusiasm for continued professional development and assuring a high-quality learner experience. Their overall aim is to drive up standards in teaching and learning through tracking, monitoring and support for staff, reporting on performance, improvement strategies and impact.

The college has maintained a good reputation for a sustained period. This was reaffirmed in September 2017 when Ofsted judged the college to be ‘Good’ overall.  Achievement rates have steadily improved and are now amongst the best nationally.

We are proud to be recognised as a Leader in Diversity which has been retained since November 2020, for Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement.

The college primarily serves the communities of Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley and Sandwell.  Many students are from urban areas including many wards that score highly on the index of deprivation.  In addition to providing one of the most comprehensive curriculum offers in the region, the college works hard to remove any barriers that students might encounter. We are the only college in the region to offer a free coach service to all learners with over 2000 students accessing these coach services each week.

The College has:

 

  • Excellent relationships with local schools and recruits students from more than 100 others.
  • Some 4,300 funded full-time 16-18 learners.
    • Both GCE A levels and vocational provision of which 70% of students follow level 3 studies.
    • Growing numbers of adults;14-16-year-old elected home-educated students and a small but rapidly increasing number of apprentices.
    • Programmes range from Entry Level to Level 4. Adult provision is primarily concentrated on GCSE English, Maths and Access to higher education programmes supported by some specific vocational expertise on areas such as Counselling.
    • There is a growing number of students who receive learning support assistance, and most have access arrangements for their exams or assessment.
    • University Centre Halesowen is partly funded by the University of Worcester, as well as other extensive partnerships that compliments the College’s higher-level vocational pathways for students who are unlikely to access traditional university education.
    • Strong relationships with a range of stakeholders, including the West Midlands Combined Authority, Local Enterprise Partnership, schools, multi-academy trusts, employers and the local community.

Staff benefits include:

 

  • Local Government Pension Scheme or Teachers’ Pension Scheme
  • Opportunities to develop in your role with a comprehensive staff development programme.
  • Away Day in the Summer term.
  • Our Employee Assistance Programme helps you deal with life challenges including 24/7 GP service, counselling, carer advice, spine and neurological advice, financial wellness and legal helpline.
  • Onsite parking is heavily subsidised.
  • Business mileage, cars 45p per mile and 24p per mile for motorbikes and 20p per mile for bicycles.
  • Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund – health cash plan through payroll.
  • Salary sacrifice for Cycle2Work.
  • Staff Digital Scheme (loans for IT equipment).
  • Sick pay scheme (after qualifying periods up to six months full pay and six months half pay should you need).
  • Shutdown days December/January.
  • Remote access to college networks.
  • Discounts on treatments in our training salons.
  • Fitness and wellbeing facilities and instructors.
  • Eye care – VDU users can have their eye test paid for and receive staff discounts at local opticians.
  • Free Flu Vaccination onsite.
  • Onsite well-being checks.

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

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

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

We offer the following amenities:

  • Step-free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Further Information:

We are a Leaders In Diversity College (we were reaccredited in 2021)

We are also a disability-confident employer.

We are also a College of Sanctuary.

Staffing and Training

Equality and Diversity staff training continued through the 2019/20 academic year.  A broad range of training was agreed and developed by the Staff Development Director and E&D Forum.

Effective staff development is a key aim to ensure that all staff are well-equipped to perform their roles and are well-motivated.  The introduction of a new Professional Development and Quality Team with Teacher Development Managers (TDM’s) assigned to each faculty to fully support and develop all teaching staff with emerging themes from observations and divisional priorities.

We have designated staff development days to meet the needs of both teaching and support staff based on feedback from staff, line managers and emerging themes and priorities. Evaluations are reviewed following internal sessions to inform future planning.

There have been opportunities for career progression through the approval of the Skills for Education Emerging Leaders Programme during this academic year as a bespoke cohort.  Additionally, there has been support for career progression and encouraging

collaboration and knowledge-sharing through the approval of external CPD opportunities. 230+ applications have been approved this academic year so far and include a range of courses and conferences.

There has been the encouragement of employee engagement through approaching staff with good practice to be involved with the support and development of others through mentoring, delivery of internal staff development sessions to share their skills and experience has created opportunities for cross-college teams to work together, work-shadowing and peer observations.

Our investment in staff development is essential for and contributes to our aim to create a supportive, learning-oriented work environment and in turn increase our employee satisfaction, and long-term success.

Staff Statistics

The following is a snapshot of the breakdown of staff employed by the college @ June 2021.

  • All White ethnic backgrounds combined are 87.4% of the workforce
  • All Asian ethnic backgrounds combined are 6.6% of the workforce
  • All Black ethnic backgrounds combined are 4.6% of the workforce
  • Within the group of 82 managers 95% are from white ethnic backgrounds and therefore Black, Asian and other ethnic minority staff are under-represented at middle and senior management.
  • Within the group of 272 teaching staff 82.7% are from White ethnic backgrounds, 9.19% from Asian ethnic backgrounds and 8.82% from Black ethnic backgrounds
  • 72% of support staff are from White ethnic backgrounds and ethnic minority staff are under-represented within this group of staff.
  • 8% staff with declared disabilities and 1.6% consider themselves disabled.

Other activities

  • The Gender Pay Gap report was reported for March 2021 on the government website and the full report is available on the College’s website.
  • The BAME staff group was launched, and meetings take place each half term.
  • Staff nominate themselves for attending recruitment and selection training to improve our diversity on staff recruitment panels.
  • Eighteen staff, from underrepresented groups, put their name forward for the mentoring scheme 2021-22.
  • Promotion of wearing badges for staff and students on: anti-racism, inclusive ally, and preferred pronouns.

For reasonable adjustments, we will consider requests. We have previously allowed add time for occupational testing for candidates with low working memory and/or dyslexia and we have provided questions in written format in relation to neurodiversity needs.


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

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Job Description and Person Specification and complete this equality monitoring survey.

    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 “Halesowen College – Chief Finance Officer & Vice Principal” into the subject field.

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

    Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

    Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    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.

    Timetable

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 19th June 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome: TBC
    First stage interviews: Friday 30th June 2023


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