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Director of Finance & Corporate Services Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG)

Lead financial planning, IT infrastructure and support the development of the new Institute of Technology as the next Director of Finance & Corporate Services at Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG). As part of the senior leadership team, reporting directly to the Principal and Chief Executive, you will oversee a range of vital functions whilst contributing to the continuation of outstanding provision for students.

  • Location: Newcastle under Lyme / Stafford
  • Salary: Negotiable
  • Closing date: 12 p.m. Monday 29th August 2022

About the role

Over recent years, Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) has become recognised across the FE sector as an outstanding provider in so many ways; a position achieved through collective hard work, sound planning towards an ambitious long-term vision, directed by a stable and committed Senior Leadership Team.

Another facet of their outstanding success has been their sound financial planning and control which has ensured excellent financial health for decades. This positive financial health, coupled with a determination to grow further in the years ahead, means that the college is now looking forward to welcoming an individual with experience across a range of financial and corporate functions as their new Director of Finance & Corporate Services.

Within this role, you will be responsible to both the Principal & Chief Executive and to the Board of Governors for the effective leadership of finance, management information, IT infrastructure and related subsidiaries, delivering a new £15m Institute of Technology for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, along with other capital projects.

This is a broad and strategic role that will lead an established and successful team of specialist managers who have already helped get the college to its current, successful, position. We know there is always room for organisational improvement, and as the most senior finance expert in the organisation we seek an individual who understands the correlation between healthy finances and outstanding provision. We offer high-quality teaching and learning; provide resources; and have appropriate, high-quality support for our students whenever they need it. All of this is delivered through robust planning with budget holders who understand their responsibilities.

As our new Director of Finance & Corporate Services, you will need to be both visible in the College and able to effectively lead a range of expert teams in an open and transparent way. It is important to us that staff have access to your expertise and advice, and that you are open to both challenge and collaboration to drive a collective success for the long-term.

As part of a hard-working and stable Senior Leadership Team, and through a dedicated and ambitious management team, your role will be to ensure everyone recognises their fiscal responsibilities whilst also driving innovation and value for money in order to achieve positive outcomes for all of our stakeholders. By achieving this we will continue to deliver an outstanding offer to Staffordshire and the wider area.

Who we’re looking for

Whilst already outstanding in so many ways, NSCG has the ambition to build on its reputation as the leading provider of further education across Staffordshire.

We are looking for a professionally qualified expert who can offer their long-term commitment to supporting the realisation of this ambition in the years ahead.

You will need to have experience in successfully leading and improving organisational finances and corporate services in organisations of similar size and complexity to NSCG.

Whilst we hope that the successful candidate will have experience in leading finances in an FE college, we welcome applications from individuals from a diverse range of other sectors.

Our senior finance leader must be a resilient and dedicated individual, who is up to the challenge of ensuring that our finances and reputation continue to grow from strength to strength. To do this, you will need to understand what these strengths are – and how we can continue to play to them.

The future of NSCG is already very bright. What we need now, is an individual who can help us sustain this outlook, and help lead us through the next phase of our continued development.

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

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

Shaun Eden | shaun@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 509128



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

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Welcome from the Principal & CEO Designate

Dear candidate,

Welcome to Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG), and thank you for your interest in the role of Director of Finance & Corporate Services.

NSCG is by any measure, one of the most successful colleges within the FE sector. Having recently been appointed Principal, following the retirement of Karen Dobson OBE, the NSCG Corporation members and I not only consider this role to be critical to the exciting next stages of the Group’s development, but we also think that it is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs in the sector.

We are naturally immensely proud of NSCG’s achievements and future prospects, in particular:

  • The merger of the former Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stafford Colleges in 2016 was arguably one of the most successful to take place, following the programme of local area reviews.
  • In 2019, we became the first college in the country to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ grade in every category under the new Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.
  • Our curriculum performance continues to be outstanding in all areas, with achievement rates at all levels 5-10% above national headlines and strong progression to positive destinations.
  • We aim to be the college of first choice locally and recruitment at both campuses, c70% of which is at level 3, is buoyant.
  • Our estate is as good as you will find anywhere in the country – over £100m has been invested since 2010, and we currently have a further £30m development underway at Stafford.
  • Our financial health has been outstanding every year for over a decade, and we have no borrowings.
  • We have an experienced and talented team of managers and staff, who are well placed to support a new Director in delivering our current strategic development objectives.
  • Most recently, we have been approved as lead partner for the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Institute of Technology, working with Keele University and a range of high-profile employers and FE partners.

All of these accomplishments and plans are important to us, however, not because of the fact that they enhance the reputation of NSCG, but because of the impact which it enables us to have upon the communities that we serve and the difference which it makes to the lives and the life chances of our students.

These are the values which are most important to us, and we shall look to see them reflected in our new Director of Finance & Corporate Services. 

In addition, the role requires:

  • inspirational and aspirational leadership skills
  • a clear and confident communicator
  • a shared commitment to excellence
  • the strategic knowledge and business acumen necessary to sustain our record of growth and stability and maintain NSCG’s position as a leading college regionally and nationally.

I believe this is one of the best jobs in the sector and I hope, having read the information in this pack, you will agree and submit an application for the role.

With best wishes,

Craig Hodgson
Principal & CEO Designate
Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group

About Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG)

Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) comprises of:

  • Two main college campuses – one in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and one in Stafford
  • Axia Solutions – an independent training provider based in Stoke-on-Trent
  • Gradbach Farmhouse & Mill – residential accommodation set in the heart of the Peak District

The Group was established in November 2016, following the merger between the two colleges.

NSCG Newcastle is situated on an entirely new campus on the edge of the town centre, which opened in 2010 and was extended with an additional Performing Arts Centre in 2014. Much effort has been expended in maintaining the accommodation in ‘as new’ condition, despite year-on year increases in student numbers; around half of whom are resident in Stoke-on Trent.

NSCG Stafford sits in the heart of the town, with excellent access to bus and rail connections. The main campus currently comprises of three buildings of varying age and condition. A £4m refurbishment project in one of the buildings has resulted in a new Science and Technology Centre which opened in September 2017.

In February 2022, work commenced on the construction of a new £30m Skills and Innovation Centre on the main Stafford campus, which will be the first new college building nationally to be co-funded with the Department for Education’s College Transformation Fund.

NSCG is home to c5,700 16-19 full-time learners (around 3,500 at Newcastle and 2,000 at Stafford), 1,300 apprentices, c1,650 19+ part-time learners and 400 on HE programmes. We work with around 850 employers, and employ c850 members of staff. Our total income for 2021/22 is forecast to be c41m.

We have tertiary roots, particularly at the Newcastle campus, and strong partnership links with up to 60 schools and academies from which we recruit. Around 70% of our students are on L3 courses, including over 1,000 on A Level study programmes. Conversely, we have around 700 learners on entry level and level 1 courses.

Our vocational, technical and skills provision covers all areas of study, with the exception of land-based. Last year, around 1,150 students progressed to higher education and 95% of all completers progressed to a positive destination.

You can find much more information on our curriculum here.

In October 2019, our Ofsted inspection led to us being recognised as the first FE College in the country, and still one of just two, to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ grade in all categories. You can read the report in full here.  

Looking further ahead, NSCG has just been confirmed as the lead partner for the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Institute of Technology which, within 5 years of the establishment of its purpose-built hub site in Stafford (due for completion in 2024), will accommodate 1,500 adult learners studying programmes at levels 4-7, in conjunction with Keele University and our employer partners – Siemens, Dell, Hitachi Energy and Moog.

Committed to Excellence

The philosophy underpinning everything we do, whether you are a student, lecturer, member of support staff, manager or governor is ‘committed to excellence.’

We aim to be recognised nationally as ‘an outstanding organisation where students and staff thrive, achieve and make a positive contribution to the cultural and economic prosperity of Staffordshire and beyond’.

Together we will:

  • Position NSCG as a confident and successful organisation with a reputation for excellence.
  • Provide an inspirational learning experience which optimises the talent and expands the horizons of our students.
  • Deliver an innovative, creative and stimulating curriculum offer that anticipates and responds to local demand and national priorities.
  • Maximise the talent, expertise and performance of our staff.
  • Continue the investment required to sustain a high performing and resilient college.

In recent surveys:

  • 99% of staff think that NSCG has a high reputation locally for quality.
  • 99% of staff think that NSCG has an inclusive environment that’s welcoming to all.
  • 99% of staff think that NSCG has an exciting future.
  • 97% of students say they enjoy their course.
  • 5% of students think teaching on their course is good.
  • 98% of students feel safe at college.

We’re not just saying it, NSCG is a great place to work. We have a friendly and welcoming culture, fantastic facilities and a great working environment; just a few of the reasons we have many long serving staff members who are proud to work here.

Our culture

Our culture is made up of our shared values and describes how our people behave and interact, how decisions are made and how we approach our work.

Our culture underpins everything we do:

  • We create a culture where respect is deeply-embedded for all that work, study and visit NSCG.
  • We encourage innovation in design, development and delivery for our curriculum and services.
  • We promote excellence in staff and student performance.


Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) is an inclusive college, committed to equality, diversity, and the promotion of British values in all our activities.

We believe that everyone has something to contribute to college life, which enriches the wider college experience. It is about recognising and celebrating our whole community and the ways in which a mixture of ages, genders, sexualities, religions, abilities, and cultures can work, learn and be successful together.

Further information

  • We are an AoC Mental Health & Wellbeing Charter signatory.
  • We have a track record of making reasonable adjustments where required.
  • In our most recent survey, 96% of staff agreed that “NSCG provides a welcoming environment for all members of the community” and 97% agreed that “NSCG provides an inclusive environment which is welcoming to all.”

If you have any further needs around accessibility, please get in touch with the advising consultants for a confidential chat on how we can best fulfil your needs.

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role 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 “Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) – Director of Finance & Corporate Services” into the subject field.

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

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

    Shaun Eden | shaun@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 509128

    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.

    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 role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


    Closing date: 12 p.m. Monday 29th August 2022
    Candidates informed of outcome: By 5 p.m. Friday 2nd September 2022
    First stage interviews: Tuesday 13th September 2022 at Stafford College
    Second stage interviews: Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Newcastle under Lyme College


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

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