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Director of Finance and Operations | Conservatoire for Dance and Drama

Conservatoire for Dance and Drama

Logo - Conservatoire for Dance and Drama

This is an exceptional opportunity to be part of an outstanding and world-leading institution, training performing arts professionals of the future.

  • Location: London, N1 6AL
  • Salary: c.£70,000, based on proven experience

About the role

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama is a collaboration of six prestigious schools delivering world leading education and professional training in the performing arts. Although legally autonomous organisations, the schools work together as members of the Conservatoire to train performing artists and production professionals, including actors; choreographers; circus artists; dancers; designers; directors; stage managers; and technical theatre practitioners.

We seek a new Director of Finance and Operations to play a leading role in supporting the Conservatoire to deliver world leading education and specialist vocational training in the performing arts.

As part of a small but passionate team, you will lead the Conservatoire’s finances and general resources to support the CEO, Member Schools and Board of Governors by providing financial information and operational support. A unique and exciting part of this key role is to work in partnership with the member schools, providing leadership on matters of finance and public funding for their Higher Education activities. Monitoring and reporting on schools’ compliance with Conservatoire and external regulatory requirements will also be important.

Who we're looking for

As we enter a new and exciting period in our evolution we will be growing and developing, and so experience of the financial aspects of change will be key. As we operate in a small staff base, you will need to be both hands-on and strategic in your approach and leadership style.

As a Qualified accountant, you will have proven experience leading and managing a highly effective finance function at a strategic and senior level either in the public sector or charity environment. Experience of working in Higher Education with and understanding of reporting requirements by Government and relevant agencies, is highly desirable. As an experienced Finance Director, or perhaps looking for your first director post, you will have detailed knowledge and a strong track record of finance, financial regulation, accounting practice, budgeting and financial modelling to provide comprehensive analysis to support commercial strategic decisions.

Although this post is full-time, part-time working may be considered.

If you feel able to bring the skills, experience and commitment needed for this role, we very much look forward to hearing from you. Please contact our recruitment consultants at Peridot Partners:

James Hunt | 07711 405444 | james@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing date for formal applications: Monday 9th March 2020

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

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Dear Applicant,

Conservatoire for Dance and Drama - David Ruebain

Thank you for your interest in becoming the Director of Finance and Operations of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.

The Conservatoire is a formal collaboration among six member schools who are committed to the delivery of world-leading education and specialist vocational training in the performing arts. We train the performing artists and production professionals of the future: actors, circus artists, dancers, stage managers, technical theatre practitioners, choreographers and directors.

This is an exciting time to join us as the Conservatoire is entering a new strategic phase which will build upon its considerable successes to date. In 2016, the institution was judged as world-leading in an independent review by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and achieved a Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017. We are now implementing a Strategic Plan for growth for 2019-24 which builds upon this legacy and articulates an ambitious vision for future development within a fast-changing higher education sector.

In all of our work, students remain at the heart of our mission: to grow, support and champion world-leading performing arts practitioners through specialist conservatoire education which is accessible to students from all backgrounds.

The Director of Finance and Operations will be a key member of the Senior Management Team in overseeing, guiding and supporting the institution through its next strategic phase. We are looking for an inspirational leader with strategic and board level experience and a passion for the performing arts.

If you feel able to bring the skills, experience and commitment needed for this role, we very much look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

David Ruebain
Chief Executive Officer

The Conservatoire is a formal collaboration among six member schools

Each member school is committed to the delivery of world leading education and specialist vocational training in the performing arts. We train the performing artists and production professionals of the future: actors, circus artists, dancers, stage managers, technical theatre practitioners, choreographers and directors.

Located at the heart of three vibrant cultural centres in London, Bristol and Leeds, the Conservatoire schools are:

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Central School of Ballet
London Contemporary Dance School
National Centre for Circus Arts
Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Rambert School

Within the Conservatoire there is a balance between the art forms of dance, drama and circus arts, and between classical and contemporary styles. Internationally renowned centres of training, our schools are also creative laboratories: we bring in national and international artists to work with our students and support emerging writers, directors and choreographers in creating and showcasing new work.

Students at our schools value the immersive experience of conservatoire training and its unparalleled access to the performing arts industries, and student satisfaction and teaching are rated consistently highly in the National Student Survey. Each school has an established record of training its students to a professional standard, with excellent employment rates in the fields of dance, drama or circus. Together, we provide a pipeline of expertly trained performing arts professionals working in the UK’s lucrative creative industries and helping to build the UK’s international reputation.

The Conservatoire is a publicly funded institution which is registered with the Office for Students. This means that our UK and EU students are eligible for government loans and grants (Student Finance) in the same way as students from any other university, as well as financial support provided by the Conservatoire and the individual schools. We recruit on the basis of talent and potential, irrespective of background, and we audition or interview every eligible applicant.

How we work

The Conservatoire works through a formal collaborative arrangement among its six member schools, as set out in a Members’ Agreement (agreed 11 October 2017).

Working through a shared consultative and decision-making structure, the Schools agree the Conservatoire’s overall strategy and policy. The relationship between the Conservatoire and each School is set out in a financial memorandum and an operating agreement and agreed with the School’s governing body. While each of the Schools remains a legally autonomous organisation, the Conservatoire is ultimately accountable for the proper use and stewardship of the public funds it receives. The Conservatoire’s main tasks are to:

  • plan, deliberate and take decisions about the Conservatoire’s strategy and development
  • facilitate collaborative working and joint activities between the eight Schools, their staff and students
  • liaise with external funding and regulatory bodies such as the Office for Students (OfS) and Research England over funding, reporting and other relevant matters
  • promote the collective interests of the Conservatoire and its Schools

The activities in support of the Conservatoire’s functions consist mainly of:

  • deliberative meetings of a governing board, sub-committees, an academic board and working groups
  • preparation of policy and other relevant papers
  • maintaining records
  • data collection, analysis presentation and reporting
  • financial planning and management
  • overseeing joint projects, conferences and performances
  • administration of the above

Conservatoire Executive Committee

The Conservatoire’s Board of Governors has delegated executive responsibility for the organisation to a Chief Executive who determines the direction and management of the Conservatoire and leads its central staff.  The Chief Executive is the Conservatoire’s Accountable Officer and takes responsibility for the day-to-day conduct of the Conservatoire’s business.

The Chief Executive is supported by the Conservatoire Executive Committee (“CEC”).  Together, the Chief Executive and CEC provide collective leadership for the Conservatoire.  CEC is chaired by the Chief Executive and includes the Principal of each Conservatoire member school.  The CEC is supported by the Finance Directors of the member schools and the Conservatoire’s shared services team.

The CEC considers matters relating to policy and receives reports on the work of the Senate and the Conservatoire’s various committees and working groups, and considers recommendations from these bodies. Full meetings of the CEC are held three or four times a term.

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


Please download the Job Pack which includes the Job Description and Person Specification and fill out this Equality Monitoring Form

For more information please contact:

James Hunt | james@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07711 405 444

CV and covering letter in application, please.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Director of Finance & Operations, CDD” into the subject field.

Disabled applicants 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 job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

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.


Closing date: 9am, Monday 9th March 2020
First stage interviews: Friday 20th March 2020
Final stage interviews: TBC

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and Conservatoire for Dance and Drama 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 would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

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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