Appointment of the Finance Director


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Finance Director at ArtsEd, a vibrant organisation with highly skilled, committed staff who share their expertise and their passion for performance with pupils, sixth formers, undergraduates, postgraduates and part time learners.   We are a warm and friendly team who deliver a specialist education in the performing arts, as well as a standard academic education to pupils aged 11-18.  Our school exudes energy, verve, and joy.

Making it in the performing arts is not easy: it takes willpower, determination, and ambition; we strive to ensure that inclusivity and diversity sit at the heart of everything we do and were a founding partner of the Diversity School Initiative, which addresses under-representation and the lack of diversity in performing arts education.  We were proud to be the winners of an Industry Minds award in 2019 for our approach to mental health awareness, support, and action.

In the same year, we were awarded TEF Gold, the highest rating from the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework. We have also undertaken a major capital development and hope that we will soon be embarking on the final phase; this summer will see a new library and we hope in the coming year, further progress with plans for a new theatre.  Our most recent development has provided beautiful facilities and services that have ensured us a modern and distinctive environment in which to study and work.

We are immensely proud of our heritage but recognise the need not to become complacent.  Whilst continuing to adapt and deliver courses during the pandemic, building financial resilience and investment in the leadership capability to maintain the reach of ArtsEd will be imperative.

We hope that the information provided on this microsite will give you a real insight into our very special school and what we hope to achieve with an incoming Finance Director. If you feel you can help us to realise our goals and build for the future, we would be delighted to hear from you.

About us

ArtsEd originated from two schools, one founded in 1919 by Grace Cone and one founded in 1922 by Olive Ripman. These two women were ground-breaking educational pioneers who believed passionately in the value of combining a general academic education with specialised training in dance, drama, music and art, preparing young people for professional careers in or related to the theatre.

In 1939, Grace and Olive joined forces to create the Cone Ripman School, subsequently named the Arts Educational Schools. Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin drew almost exclusively on ArtsEd students to help them create their revolutionary company: London Festival Ballet, which eventually became the English National Ballet. Ballerina Dame Beryl Grey became Director of the Schools in the 1960s and ArtsEd continued to innovate, introducing both professional acting and musical theatre courses before many of their competitors. In I986, the old Chiswick Polytechnic building was purchased and the school moved to its present home: Cone Ripman House.  In 2007, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber became President, following in the footsteps of Dame Alicia Markova and heralding an auspicious new era for ArtsEd.

ArtsEd employs around 170 people in a variety of teaching and support roles, as well as many more on a freelance basis. We expect a great deal from our staff, and in return we provide a fulfilling, supportive, welcoming and engaging environment, where people feel comfortable to be creative, open and able to give their best.

ArtsEd Day School & Sixth Form enjoys a consistent position as the most academically successful performing arts school in the UK.  Our pupils are inspired by a strong sense of family and shared purpose to achieve their full potential right across the curriculum.  Outside of school hours, we offer a wide range of evening, weekend and holiday courses to inspire all ages and abilities.

We constantly strive to ensure that inclusivity and diversity sit at the heart of everything we do. We are a founding partner of the Diversity School Initiative, which addresses under-representation and the lack of diversity in performing arts education, and we recently attained an Industry Minds award for our approach to mental health awareness, support and action; we are more than just a school, more than just a college, and more than just a place to work.

Shaping the Future is a transformational £20 million capital project to ensure that ArtsEd remains at the leading edge of training in the performing arts.

The first phase of this ten-year project was completed in November 2013 with the opening of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre, solely supported by a £3.5 million donation from the Foundation.

The second phase of Shaping the Future commenced in July 2019 with the new Courtyard Building, and was completed in the autumn of 2020. This major expansion saw the creation of new teaching and learning spaces that have been central to our continuing development as a centre of excellence in performing arts training, including two new rehearsal space, eight new dance and acting  studios and additional classrooms for the Day School & Sixth Form.

We are now fundraising for the third and final phase of this major project: the creation of the ArtsEd Playhouse, a brand-new performance space to replace the old Studio Theatre. This fully flexible and professionally equipped space will work in harmony with the wonderful Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre, ensuring that we have the world-class facilities we need to remain an institution of choice among the brightest new talent.

“This ambitious capital project comes at a pivotal moment for ArtsEd as it celebrates 100 years of nurturing young talent. The school is a leading contributor to the UK’s creative industries, internationally renowned for providing outstanding and contemporary training in the performing arts. I am immensely proud to be the founding supporter of Shaping the Future, a project that will ensure ArtsEd remains a centre of excellence for many years to come”. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber


The role

Finance Director

Job reference:

Reporting to: Principal

This post is one of the most senior appointments within ArtsEd and is part of the Senior Strategy Team (SST); the person appointed will demonstrate a balance of professional, administrative and technical skills in order to ensure that the school operates on the basis of “best practice”.

Reporting to the Principal, with accountability also to the Board of Trustees, you will take full responsibility for further developing and implementing future-focused financial strategies and will ensure sound financial management and governance across the School.

The post holder will take a lead role in the implementation, development, design, organisation, and monitoring of school-wide finances.

Key accountabilities will be to:

  • Provide strategic leadership on finance, audit, compliance and risk management.
  • Lead the team of five in embedding excellent financial management systems and practices.
  • Ensure the highest levels of financial reporting and information systems are in place.
  • Ensure compliance with statutory and legal requirements.
  • Contribute to the identification of creative ways in which to enhance the school’s financial performance and maximise the value generated from its resources.
  • Provide the Principal and the Trustees with robust commercial information, enabling them to make sound strategic decisions and drive forward the school’s strategy to maintain financial stability, whilst investing in the best possible resources which will enable our student’s success and progression.
  • Build a performance and delivery focused team.


  • Advising the Principal and Trustees on general financial policy and all financial matters including strategies for income growth and potential cost savings.
  • Ensuring that contribution is in line with ArtsEd’s strategic plan and direction.
  • Reporting to the Project Board on the financial aspects of current and future building projects.
  • Preparation and presentation to the Board of the annual budgets in consultation with the Principal.
  • Maintaining and reporting on cash flow projections
  • Managing debtors
  • Preparing financial appraisals for all projects for presentation to the board
  • Preparation and presentation to the Board of all management accounts
  • Liaising with the auditors to ensure efficient completion of the annual audit.
  • Preparation of quarterly VAT returns & reconciliation of VAT control accounts for companies within the group.
  • Ensuring compliance in conjunction with the HR Manager with all aspects of employment law relating to equal pay, NMW, WTD, etc.
  • Providing financial projections and financial data for the school’s funding and regulatory bodies including the Office for Students (OFS) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
  • Liaising with all relevant bodies in relation to student grants and funding; and ensuring correct allocation and recording of such funding.
  • As the Company Secretary, preparing returns and documentation for filing with Companies House and the Charity Commission.
  • Assisting budget holders with the completion of budgets.
  • Liaising with the school’s external Data Protection Officer for matters in relation to GDPR.
  • Overseeing credit control function.
  • Liaising with Insurer to ensure correct levels of cover.
  • Treasury management to ensure the best use of available funds.
  • Liaising with bank and monitoring key ratios to ensure loan covenants are adhered to.
  • Maintaining register of bursaries, scholarships, grants, and donations.
  • Signing off and reconciling payroll.
  • Implementation and development of new and revised financial accounting systems in line with agreed policies.
  • Attending all Board and Finance Committee meetings.

Additional Information

  • The post holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the Arts Educational Schools London Equal Opportunities policies.
  • The post holder must accept responsibility for ensuring that all policies and procedures are adhered to at all times.
  • The post-holder must ensure that the staff Code of Conduct is adhered to at all times.
  • The post holder must respect the confidentiality of data stored electronically and by other means in line with the Data Protection Act.
  • The above list is not exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
  • All members of staff are required to be professional, co-operative and flexible in line with the needs of the post and the school.
  • ArtsEd is committed to the welfare and safeguarding of all students and pupils and expects all staff to share this commitment.

Essentials Experience, Skills & Attributes

  • Professional Accountancy qualification.
  • An excellent standard of written and oral communication skills, being able to confidently explain complex or financial information to senior staff in an understandable, credible and persuasive manner Commitment to CPD.
  • Strong business acumen and financial management skills with the ability to extract and analyse complex data.
  • A leadership style which encourages, cultivates and motivates staff.
  • Proven / demonstrable experience of writing and delivering clear and accurate reports and presentations to senior leaders to ensure financial information is communicated at the appropriate levels.
  • Self-motivated and results driven.
  • The ability to listen, influence and consult on a range of issues.
  • Seeking to excel in an inspiring and creative environment.
  • Natural interest in education.
  • Ability to build strong, positive relationships with all stakeholders.
  • Commitment to ArtsEd’s goal to be a fully inclusive and diverse place of education and employment.

Desirable Experience, Skills & Attributes

  • A relevant degree in finance, business administration or accounting.
  • An understanding of financial management and operational functions within an educational establishment.
  • Experience of supporting Board of Trustees / Governors.
  • An interest in performing arts.
  • Experience of dealing with funding bodies, local authorities, etc.

Terms of appointment

Salary: circa £70,000 per annum

Working Pattern: Full time. Based in Chiswick.

Annual leave: 30 days holiday allowance plus 5 days in the Summer and 6-7 days at Christmas.

We offer competitive salaries and opportunities for staff to develop their skills and experience through internal and external training programmes. We are committed to staff development and support applications for various training programmes with contributions of between 25-100% towards course fees.

We look after our staff and support their health & wellbeing through our internal support mechanisms including our Mental Health First Aid programme, school counsellor, and our Simply Health (family-wide) plan which is available to all staff from day one of their employment. The plan provides:

  • A full Employee Assistance Programme, including face-to-face counselling and unlimited telephone support.
  • Contributions towards a range of therapies, including sports massage, physiotherapy and chiropractic appointments.
  • Contributions towards dental and optical costs.
  • 24/7 GP appointments via telephone/webcam.
  • Lifestyle Discounts.

Through this programme we aim to build and sustain high employee morale, drive effective recruitment and retention, and improve productivity.

In addition, staff are eligible for the following:

  • Cycle to Work Scheme.
  • A 5% matched pension (after the relevant qualifying period).

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to ArtsEd. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultant at Anderson Quigley: Helene Usherwood on or +44(0)7719 322 669.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification criteria.
  • Please include current salary details and the names and addresses of two referees on either your CV or covering letter. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • As part of your application please follow this link to complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1189.