Southport College

Director of Finance and Facilities

Salary: £65,000 - £70,000 pa

(Depending upon your skills and experience) 
A relocation allowance may also be payable - please ask for details.

We are looking for a qualified Accountant with a recognised accountancy qualification such as ACA, ACCA, CIPFA, or CIMA, with dynamic ideas and working practices, who can further strengthen our Ofsted Grade 2 'Good' College and safeguard us for the future. Through a strategic and innovative approach to our finances, the use of ICT and estates management, and with our strong balance sheet, we believe we can ensure that we continue and thrive, providing exceptional learning opportunities in Southport, North Merseyside, Lancashire and beyond.

Southport College invests in its people, and gives the scope and freedom for them to use their professional skills to best effect. If you decide to join us, you will have ample opportunity both to incrementally improve and to creatively transform our systems across our two colleges (Southport College and King George V College) and University Centre, Southport. The College has around 280 staff (Full Time Equivalent) and around 3300 learners aged 16 plus.

We would like the successful applicant to take up post as soon as possible, but we understand that we may need to be flexible, to meet your notice requirements and expectations.

About the Role

This is a vital appointment for our award-winning College. Reporting to the Principal, the Director of Finance and Facilities has the primary responsibility for the financial management of the College and for delivering the College’s post-merger financial strategy (Southport College merged with King George V Sixth Form College in 2018 following the FE Area Reviews, with the financially-stronger and much larger Southport College assuring the future of A Levels in the town as a result).

The College remains resilient with a strong balance sheet. The latest Audited Accounts show cash days in hand at 163 - considerably outperforming the original targets. The College completes the annual finance record for the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). the finance record produces a financial health grading and in our last accounts we were able to report that this is fully Satisfactory.

The main strengths are that this role allows a potential candidate to inform the strategic direction of the college with opportunities for innovation in financial management, the use of ICT and estates management. This combination of responsibilities allows a coherent approach to the efficiency and development of a modern high quality estate, embracing green technologies.

The main challenge, and the main opportunity for an accountant looking to implement their professional skills in a strategic manner is that as a College we need to look at our processes, policies and procedures with a fresh financial eye - how can we provide excellence, but run in a more efficient way? What opportunities are there on both sides of our balance sheet - for example to maximise income streams and how can we ensure that there is sensitive and highly effective budget management during challenging times for the whole of the education sector? 

In terms of resource, you will lead the Head of Finance, the Head of Facilities Management (which includes Health and Safety) and the Head of ICT. Including the Head of Department, each department has the following staff (in terms of headcount):
Finance – 5, Facilities Management – 10,  ICT – 6. The role is predominantly based at Southport College, though you would clearly need to work across both local sites. 

We are determined that our provision to learners (and, indeed, to our staff) must continue to be Good and will progress to being Outstanding, We are driven by our mission ‘to provide excellent, sustainable, education and training’, and would be delighted to welcome members to our senior team that share the same vision and are keen to use their professional skills and experience to enthuse others. 

The role will suit:-

  • A qualified Accountant working within a College, a Multi-Academy Trust or a School who is looking for a role with the freedom to apply their skills at a strategic level . If you are looking for a College where you can make decisions locally, and really use your skills to improve results.      #WE ARE PROUD TO BE THAT COLLEGE
  • A qualified Accountant from a related sector - perhaps a Local Authority or the Charitable Sector, who understands Governmental Funding and Reporting requirements. If you are currently working in a Local Authority, or within a not-for-profit organisation, you understand the requirements for probity as custodians of public funds, but would like to work in a more dynamic environment where you can see the value of your actions every day.       #WE ARE PROUD TO BE THAT COLLEGE
  • A qualified Accountant working in private practice with College, Academy Trust or Schools as major clients. You are already familiar with the technical side of the role, but would like to move into the practical side - managing a finance team .  and leading other support functions such as Facilities and ICT to deliver synergistic strategic  support  to the College.      #WE ARE PROUD TO BE THAT COLLEGE
  • A qualified Accountant  from a different sector who can see the synergies with Education. You might be working in the Leisure or Hotel sector - you understand finance and possibly facilities as well, but you always wanted to move into the education sector and are convinced you can rapidly understand how funding and reporting operates  within education. You would like the chance to demonstrate that your skills are easily and rapidly transferable to a College setting.       #WE ARE PROUD TO BE THAT COLLEGE

'Outstanding!!! I have spent an incredible 2 years here... studying my Photography Higher National Diploma, I can't speak (too) highly of our course leaders and tutors ... for their guidance and support ... guys you know who you are'
Student Review Online 

More Information

Our 2020 Results

100% pass rate on L3 Ext. Dip. Y2
97% of students progress to further study or employment
70% with >112 UCAS points (L3)
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Our Ofsted Reports

In 2020 OFSTED confirmed the College as 'Good', and in every single category other than one.
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We have prepared a full application pack, with a Job Description and a Person Specification, a welcome letter from the Principal, and all the papers, dates and deadlines you'll need. Want to get one?


Finding the right staff to work with our students is incredibly important to us. We are proud to be a highly inclusive Ofsted Grade 2 ‘Good’ College and we are recognised as a Disability Confident employer as well as being the first College to achieve the Rainbow Flag Award for our commitment to equality and the celebration of diversity in our College community.

About Southport College

Southport College is a General Further Education College specialising in  both 16-19 and Adult education, located on a busy but pleasant site not far from the beachfront attractions in Southport, Sefton, Lancashire (or North Merseyside). The College is just fifteen miles  from the M6,  – you’d be able to commute here quite easily from most of the towns and conurbations in Lancashire, Merseyside and Manchester, including Preston, Blackburn, Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool, Warrington etc.

The college was confirmed as  Ofsted ‘Good’ in May 2020 and in our latest accounts, the ESFA  categorised the College in Satisfactory financial health.  Southport College was formed through the merger of Southport College with King George V Sixth Form College in January 2018, which was a recommendation of the FE Area Reviews so that the more financially secure Southport College could help support King George V Sixth Form College and so assure the continuation of  excellence in A Level provision within the town. The largest subject  areas in the College are health, public services and care; science and mathematics; business,
administration and law; and arts and media . The College does not use any subcontractors to deliver its provision.

The College has around 3,300 learners, and more than 280 staff (FTE). We have a growing and popular enrichment programme packed with exciting opportunities, often run by the students, and we  have superb facilities including workshops, dance studios, excellent ICT provision, culinary and catering facilities and much more. We have extensive specialist support  for those who would benefit from extra help or guidance and we have the facilities and provision to stretch and challenge the gifted and talented. Our work experience opportunities provide  real-world work experience and we have many employer partnerships.

We are committed to enabling all of our College community to grow professionally, and personally.

In classrooms and around the college, learners demonstrate excellent conduct and show respect for each other. They engage in learning, work constructively with their peers and take pride in their achievements .
Ofsted 2020

The Application Process

To apply, please complete the Application Form in the pack (You'll need to download your pack by clicking the button below and then completing the details on the next page - you can then download everything instantly from this site) OR by calling ASDTi on 01457 851407 ).

When you've completed your Application Form, together with your Equality and Diversity Monitoring information, please send them, with your letter of application (no more than 4 pages of A4, please), by e-mail, to ASDTi (not the College) by 9am, Friday, 5th February 2021.

Interviews are likely to be held the following week. Given current 'Lockdown' arrangements, it might be that interviews are held over the web remotely rather than face-to-face.

It is hoped that the successful candidate will take up the appointment as soon as possible, however this is fully negotiable.

The Facilities at the college are top class - a great refectory, learning spaces and a well stocked library. There is something for everyone at Southport College.  The location is excellent, right in the town center - its just a 5 min walk to the station with direct Services to Liverpool, Wigan, Manchester, and Liverpool. I loved my time at Southport College and have great memories of the college.

Student Review on TripAdvisor 2020

Our Location

The College is located on a spacious site on Mornington Road, in Southport, close to the seafront attractions and the famous pier, as well as the elegant Victorian shopping experience. Southport is on the fringe of some beautiful and varied countryside.  Boasting a beautiful and expansive 22-miles of coastline, Southport is surrounded by natural beauty, making it a great place to escape. At Crosby beach you can experience the Anthony Gormley 'Another Place' art installation, 100 iron men standing proudly looking out to sea, which at various points throughout the day can be seen in very different ways, giving you a different experience every time.

At Formby beach, you climb through the natural dunes until you come to the most beautiful and expansive view of the coast, whilst Ainsdale beach is a haven of things to do where you can kite surf, para cart and enjoy other beach attractions and activities - perfect for active families. The wonderful scenery in the Trough of Bowland is nearby, and yet Southport is  still an easy commute from the towns and cities of Lancashire (Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Bolton, Wigan), Merseyside (Liverpool and the surrounding towns), Cheshire (Warrington, Runcorn), Manchester, Bolton and beyond via close motorway links and connections to the M6.

The College is near to the culture and bustle of town and city life, but lies close to some of the North's finest and most diverse countryside.

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