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Chief Operating Officer Confederation of School Trusts

Posted 24 days 16 hours ago by Peridot Partners

Full Time
Executive Jobs
London, United Kingdom
Job Description

Home / Roles / Chief Operating Officer Confederation of School Trusts

Chief Operating Officer Confederation of School Trusts

The Confederation of School Trusts exists to represent academy trusts and to continually enhance our education system. They are now looking for a Chief Operating Officer to develop a financial strategy and operations as they enter a new phase of development.

  • Location: Remote with regular travel to Nottingham/London
About the Confederation of School Trusts (CST)

The Confederation of School Trusts (CST) is the sector body for school trusts in England. We are dedicated to advocating for, connecting, and supporting executive and governance leaders. We are proud to represent around 75% of the academy sector in England, supporting trusts responsible for the education of more than three million young people and children. As a membership organisation, we prioritise the needs and interests of our member trusts, serving as their collective voice and championing their contributions to the education sector.

Our funding model is diverse, drawing from membership subscriptions, conferences, events, sponsorships, and partnerships.

We also operate CST Professional Development Ltd. CST Professional Development Ltd runs training, programmes and events which are aimed exclusively at trust governance as we believe the proposition of governing a trust is fundamentally different from governing a maintained school.

We can create professional development and/or services tailor-made to school trust executive teams and trust board requirements, including governance reviews.

All revenue from CST Professional Development Ltd is reinvested to fulfil CST's charitable objectives and support our mission of aiding education leaders and institutions.

CST member benefits include access to government briefings, online leadership exchanges, professional communities, helpdesk services, exclusive guidance and research, seminars, and preferential rates on professional development and consultancy services.

About the Role

Our founding Chief Operating Officer (COO), Clare Robson-Farrelly, will be retiring in December 2024, together with our founding Chief Financial Officer, Gary Howard, who is stepping back to run his own accountancy practice full time. As an organisation, we are entering an exciting period of development amidst political change. So, we are seeking a new Chief Operating Officer with a high degree of strategic acumen to join us.

Our new COO will have a significant level of professional autonomy and be a driving force for change and improvement in our organisation alongside our executive leaders, enabling the development of a new strategic plan currently being formulated by CST. Reporting directly to Leora Cruddas CBE, our founding Chief Executive Officer, our new COO will be accountable for overseeing financial management, people and culture, business operations, digital strategy and information governance, and corporate governance.

The incoming COO will be responsible for developing the financial strategy and operations across CST and CST Professional Development Ltd, our trading arm. This will include preparing budgets, managing accounts, overseeing audits, and ensuring compliance with charity regulatory requirements, including the annual return to the Charities Commission. You will provide inspirational leadership to the finance and operations teams and grow and nurture a team in line with our demand and budget availability. You will be involved in ensuring that we have effective systems and policies in place to enhance our approach to management information reporting, and to support decision-making at leadership and Trustee Board level.

Our new COO will oversee all aspects of business operations, including contracts, insurance, and procurement, ensuring - in smooth day-to-day operations and efficient use of resources.

We are always improving our operational model, and it will be key for our new COO to work closely with our membership services to ensure that we remain efficient whilst meeting the growing need of our valued member trusts, ensuring the best value for money. To achieve this, the new COO will oversee digital strategy and information governance, leading on the development and management of CST's digital infrastructure and information governance practices, including membership management systems.

We are a small organisation that is impactful because of our people. Our new COO will have a strategic responsibility for people and culture functions, ensuring a positive and engaging work environment. You will oversee HR functions, staff engagement initiatives, and workforce development efforts to improve the experience of our people.

This role is hybrid, though regular travel is required to our offices in Nottingham and to London.

Who We Are Looking For

Our new COO should be someone who leads with autonomy and is comfortable with a high degree of accountability. You will be the main point of contact for our corporate functions and ensure that we as an organisation are best placed to serve our members and facilitate their needs. You should come with a strategic mindset and be driven by continuous development and creating efficient, robust, and effective central services.

We are looking for someone who possesses significant expertise in financial planning and operational financial oversight, including experience in budget planning, management accounting, and audit preparation. We are open to applications from those who are qualified through experience. You will need a solid understanding of operational management principles, particularly in leading organisational change initiatives and optimising business processes for efficiency and effectiveness.

You will demonstrate proficiency in digital systems and have a proven track record of developing and implementing digital strategies to enhance organisational performance. You should be experienced in information governance practices, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations and maximising the security and integrity of digital systems.

We hope to appoint someone with a background in leading people, culture, and talent management initiatives. Our next COO should excel in fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment, promoting staff engagement and development, and aligning organisational culture with strategic objectives. Our values and ethos are very important to all at CST, and so we need our Executive Leaders to embody this.

Though not essential, experience in charity and corporate governance, including working with charitable and company boards, is desirable. The ideal candidate should have a thorough understanding of good governance principles and regulatory compliance requirements, ensuring that CST operates at the highest standards of transparency, accountability, and legal compliance.

Above all, you should come with a genuine passion for improving the academy trust system in the UK. We exist for our members, who we know do a fantastic job in making a real difference to the lives of learners across the country. We love the work that we do, and our members value the platform that we provide for them. It is key that our new COO comes with this same commitment to excellence.

Peridot Partners and Confederation of School Trusts are, together, committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and our client expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate(s) will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references before any final offer can be made.

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

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

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