Salary Range: £40,470 - £43,324 (full time)

This is an opportunity for an experienced and qualified Accountant to join a highly reputable and successful Sixth Form College in a key senior management position.  The post will initially require full time working for the first six-month period, but thereafter an adjustment to a part time arrangement (approximately 0.8 full time equivalent) is possible

The Finance Manager will be a senior member of College staff attending the Senior Management Executive Group meeting on a monthly basis, and will have management responsibility for a specialist Finance team comprising of one full time and four part-time members of staff. 

The College has sound financial systems and a financial health grade of “Good” to “Outstanding”.   The Finance Manager has significant input into the 3 year rolling Business and Financial Strategy plan that identifies the actions required to maintain long-term financial sustainability and suggests and implements strategies to ensure the College maintains its sound financial position.

The College has approximately 3,000 full time 16-19 year old students, largely involved in A Level study but also cohorts of International Baccalaureate Diploma and GCSE improvement students.  An interest in the College achieving its educational ‘mission’ is important to the role. The College currently has incorporate status with articles and instruments of Governance established by the Higher and Further Education Act 1992, but is in the final stages of application to convert to Single Academy Trust status (Incorporate under the Charities Act). 

The College is currently funded and controlled by the Government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), with the current annual allocated budget of some £13 million.  However, in common with all sixth form general education, the Government allocated funding and resourcing per student has been reducing each year since 2011 and under the scheduled transitional arrangements for the introduction of a new funding methodology, the real terms unit of resourcing will continue to reduce until 2020.  There is also a local age demographic “dip” in the 16-18 age cohort until 2019/20 when it will be replaced by an age cohort demographic “surge” of around 25% in numbers over the period to 2032.  Funding allocations from Government are in part linked to student numbers.

Following the Essex Area Review in 2016/17, the College applied to the ESFA for conversion to Academy status with a target of 1st March 2018.  A good number of Sixth Form Colleges have already made this transition or are planning to do so, mainly due to the financial benefits arising from Academy status, specifically, the ability to recover VAT incurred on non-business activities.  The outcome of the application should be known by the end of 2017 and, if successful, will result in changes to the College’s accounting system to accommodate a different year-end date together with other changes.  The successful applicant will be expected to become conversant with the Academies Financial Handbook as this provides the guidance for Academy accounting frameworks.

The post arises due to the retirement of the existing Finance Manager and it is expected that the successful applicant will commence employment in late February or March 2018, with a handover period alongside the existing Finance Manager to:

Prepare the final set of Accounts as a College
Upgrade the accounting system for conversion to Academy status and the introduction of electronic payments systems
Prepare the 1st set of Accounts as an Academy
Assume the Administration role for the on-line banking systems.

The person appointed will manage the accounting, budgeting and financial administration systems of the College. Financial management of business areas (primarily Catering and Reprographics), Value for Money, liaison with the Audit committee on internal control reviews and Capital Project controls are also integral to this role.

The College is required by statute to prepare accounts for external audit on an annual basis as well as meet other statutory requirements including employment of an external audit service and preparation of annual financial forecasts.

Preparing submissions for approval and capital support grants, planning, tendering, monitoring and post project review work will also be an important part of the work of the Finance Manager in conjunction with the Director of Premises and IT, Principal and Governors.  The Finance Manager works in conjunction with the HR Manager on payroll matters and staffing budgets.

The College computerised accounting system is General Dynamics ‘Great Plains’.  Although it is not expected that the applicant will be familiar with this specific software package it will be necessary to have had experience of a similar system.  Support is provided by M-Hance.

Liaison with the Governing Body, and specific Governors (there are currently two ‘Link Governors’ re finance and accounting) is an important part of the role and attendance at approximately eight evening meetings a year is necessary. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. To work to the College Principal and the Corporation in implementing finance and accounting related matters relevant to the College (including the small College Trading Company):-
  2. Preparation of Annual Financial Statements (Income and Expenditure, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow statements) in accordance with ESFA requirements and Financial Reporting Standards.
  3. Preparation of schedules, Fixed Asset, Accruals and Expenditure analysis suitable for Audit purposes in accordance with Auditing standards and ESFA regulations/guidelines.
  4. Continual review of the Chart of Accounts and the Financial Management systems.
  5. Preparation of monthly reports on Income and Expenditure for circulation to the Senior Management team and College Governors.
  6. Preparation of Forecasts and Budgets in accordance with College and ESFA requirements.
  7. Monitoring of cash flow and review of income, general, and short-term investment opportunities.
  8. Involvement in strategic and operational planning.
  9. Supporting the internal audit function.
  10. Involvement in the preparation of investment appraisal calculations and reports, preparation of capital support applications.
  11. Contract regulation and review of conditions as required.
  12. Liaison with the relevant Pension Agencies as appropriate, plan and provide for College financial commitments and support the HR Manager on Pension matters as appropriate.
  13. Ensuring that relevant statistical returns to IR, C&E, ESFA are completed by due dates.
  14. Liaison with ESFA officers and other officials from Government agencies in connection with the business of the College as required.
  15. Acting as Company Secretary to the College Trading Company, Fuel Channel Ltd (currently dormant).
  16. Being responsible for the financial management of CYAP (Colchester Youth Arts Partnership).
  17. Financial Management of College businesses, including the catering and reprographics services.
  18. Member of the College Senior Management (Advisory) group and attend senior management (executive group) meetings on a once a month basis.
  19. Supporting the College Governing Body, including the Finance and General Purposes and Audit Committees, as required.

Special conditions/Points to note

  • The above are the main areas of responsibility and are not intended to be a comprehensive list of all administrative duties which are seen as part of the post
  • The purpose of the job description is to indicate the general level of duties and responsibility of the post.  The detailed duties may vary from time to time without changing the general character or level of responsibility entailed
  • All duties must be carried out in accordance with relevant Health and Safety legislation and good practice.
  • The college is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff to share this commitment.

Person Specification


  1. Qualified to ACCA/ACA, CIMA, CIPFA or equivalent level
  2. Proven financial and management accounting experience, balance sheet preparation and profit & loss accounts
  3. Excellent communication skills effective with a wide range of people
  4. Ability to use a variety of Microsoft Office applications and other computerised systems
  5. Detailed knowledge of General Ledger accounting, Sales and Purchase Ledgers, Payroll, Fixed Assets and Cash Books.


  • Some experience of working in an educational environment
  • An understanding of academy finance and meeting the requirements of the EFSA
  • Proven ability to manage and supervise a team of staff
  • Good team player
  • Ability to cope under pressure
  • Flexible in your working practices

Further details about the College are available on the College website

How to Apply

To apply for this post a College Application Form must be completed (unaccompanied CV’s will not be accepted).  Application forms are available from the job vacancies section of the College website and once completed should be submitted by e-mail to the Human Resources Department at or by mail to:-

Human Resources Department
The Sixth Form College, Colchester
North Hill
Essex CO1 1SN

CLOSING DATE: 12 noon Friday 24th November 2017

Interviews are likely to be held week commencing 11th December 2017.

The College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff to share this commitment. Offers are subject to pre-employment checks including an Enhanced DBS check.