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Director of Finance & Resources | The Henley College

Reporting to the Principal & CEO and appointed by the Board of Governors, the Director of Finance & Resources will continue to lead financial improvements and generate commercial ideas for organisational development. The Henley College is looking to appoint a qualified and experienced finance and corporate services leader into this wide-ranging strategic role responsible for finance, MIS/funding, ICT, estates, facilities, and health and safety.

  • Location: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
  • Salary: Up to £70,000

About the role

The Henley College is proud of its outstanding financial health and Ofsted rated ‘Good’ provision. Both accolades have come as a result of managing challenging budgets, organisational resizing and a much-improved curriculum offer.  The College, backed by its Board, is now diversifying its curriculum offer in order to; attract a greater number of students, respond proactively to the labour market needs in the region and further improve its financial position through investment. Recent examples of investment in the College’s facilities and resources include their new Digital Skills & Enterprise Hub, engineering facilities and an art suite – with financial support provided through the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP).

As a senior post holder, appointed by the Board and reporting to the Principal & CEO, you will be joining an expert senior leadership team which has led a recent turnaround in fortunes for the College. Having moved from a very challenging financial position and improvements required around the quality of the College’s teaching, The Henley College is now proud to be in a far more financially resilient position with Ofsted ‘Good’ delivery.

As Director of Finance & Resources you will lead all non-academic areas of the College, accountable for strategic oversight of finance, MIS/funding, ICT, and estates. You will work collaboratively with your senior colleagues to identify new income streams so as to avoid an over-reliance on central government funding. You will lead an internal investment strategy to ensure the College has resources and learning spaces which enable excellence in teaching and learning, and a highly positive student experience.

With demonstrable experience of operating at a senior level and sound knowledge of financial control and governance, you will lead the continued improvement of finances and embrace a close working relationship with the Chair of Finance Committee to ensure the Board are kept apprised of future organisational risk.

There are a great deal of opportunities available in both the short and long term for The Henley College, and as Director of Finance & Resources you role will be to ensure we are agile enough to positively respond to these.

Who we're looking for

Supporting the ambition of the Board and Principal & CEO to generate new income streams, and working closely with the Vice Principal Curriculum & Quality, you will develop strategic reporting systems in order to base future decision making on sound and accurate information/data.

As a traditional sixth-form college with an emerging ambition to be anything but traditional, most of our revenue comes from the Education & Skills Funding Agency. The Board expects this to change in the future and so requires a professionally qualified and suitably experienced finance leader with entrepreneurial flair and strong commercial acumen.

Ultimately, you need to have the attitude of a financial controller around accounting, process and systems, but also the strategic mind and ability of a finance director in regard to commercial business, strategy and organisational leadership.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential chat, please contact our lead consultant at Peridot Partners:

Phil Southern | phil@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07702 678653

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

Closing date: 12pm, Monday 4th January 2021

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

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Welcome from the Principal & CEO

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the Director of Finance & Resources post at The Henley College.

This is a critical role for the College at this stage of our development. Over the last three years, staff, managers and governors have worked exceptionally hard to improve the experience of our students and performance of our financial position which is now judged by the government education body as Outstanding. Our Ofsted inspection in November 2019 was also very strong with an overall rating of Good. We are determined to secure an Ofsted rating of Outstanding when we are next inspected, and we want to firmly remain Outstanding from a financial perspective.

We are living through so much uncertainty and whilst we are outstanding in our financial health our 16-18 student numbers have declined over the last three years due to the demographic dip. We are very conscious that we need to build our 16-18 numbers as we come out of the demographic dip, grow our provision through other markets and generate more commercial income. We operate under the same uncertainties and constraints as other colleges so you will need to be adaptable and imaginative in responding to changing circumstances, while always keeping the learner experience at the heart of everything you do.

Over the last three years we have been involved in modernising our estates and technology infrastructure through grant funding and using our own cash. There is much more that needs to be done to ensure that our estates and technology enhances both the students and staff experience as well being fit for the 21st century.

We are involved in a number of exciting initiatives like developing further our elite sports programmes through Henley Sports Academy, linked with local sports clubs such as Henley Hawks, Ealing Trailfinders, Reading Rockets, Leander Rowing club and others. We are also building exciting new relationships with employers like Cisco, Microsoft, Softcat, Volvo and many more to create our technical and professional pathways.  Links with the local community, commerce and industry are quite strong. Around 70% of students go onto universities with others going into apprenticeships with blue chip companies.

We want to remain an independent College and become the number one College in the Thames Valley Corridor. Only 10% of our students come from Henley with 30% from Berkshire, 30% from Buckinghamshire and 30% from rural Oxfordshire. We are a diverse and inclusive College that is always looking for innovative and creative solutions to ensure that our students achieve more and progress onto their desired destinations.

The governing body, known as the Corporation, is experienced and committed to the College, is supportive but willing to challenge. Details of the role and the College are in the application pack and on the website. If you have questions or want to learn more, our Chair and I would welcome having an informal talk with you.

As a senior post-holder, you would be highly involved across the College in developing strategy but also the implementation of initiatives to enhance the physical and learning environment at the College, so if you want a challenge and are excited about developing The Henley College’s future, I hope you will be interested in applying for this post.

Satwant Deol
Principal & CEO, The Henley College

About The Henley College

In 2017, The Henley College celebrated 30 years of teaching and learning excellence, although their origins can be traced back to King James I Grammar School founded in 1604. These foundations closely reflect the academic and vocational traditions that still remain at the forefront of today’s offering.

Since its creation in 1987, the College has continued to serve as the sixth form of choice for their four local partner schools.  Due to their leading reputation and the quality of their courses, they are now home to nearly 2,000 full-time students from over 100 schools across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

In 2010, Henley was the first college in the UK to be granted a change of status to become a sixth form college. For the past decade, they have also been proud to be the only sixth form college in the three surrounding counties to be awarded the highest accolade in the post-16 sector by the Department of Education.

As the sixth form college for South Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley, we offer a wide range of courses including over 60 A Level subjects and high achieving vocational diplomas.

Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds and we are committed to promoting equality of opportunity and celebrating diversity.  Our organisational mission is ‘to be a strong, independent college at the heart of our communities, delivering academic excellence within a culture of support, development, creativity and innovation’.  With a significant majority of our students progressing to university with good grades, the College has a relentless focus on social mobility and providing advancement opportunities.

In 2015, the College was recognised as a Leader in Diversity which is the highest award that can be granted by the National Centre for Diversity.  The Leaders in Diversity Award recognises our excellence in equality, diversity and inclusion practice and our role as an EDI ambassador.

The College enjoys strong links with Henley Town Council, the local media (The Henley Standard and Henley Herald), sports clubs, culture and entertainment venues (Henley River and Rowing Museum, Regal Picturehouse and The Kenton Theatre) and many other organisations.

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification and fill out the Equality Monitoring Form

    If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Phil Southern | phil@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07702 678653

    Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

    To apply: Please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application and Equality Monitoring Form is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Director of Finance & Resources, The Henley College” 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.

    Timetable:

    Closing date for applications: 12pm, Monday 4th January 2021
    Longlisting: Friday 8th January 2021
    First stage interviews: w/c Monday 11th January 2021
    Final panel interviews: w/c Monday 18th January 2021

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

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