Finance Manager/Controller


27th September 2020

Pearson College London (PCL) is a unique higher education institution. Based in the centre of London near Covent Garden, it is both supported by the global learning company, Pearson, and also a separate legal entity in its own right. It is a non-profit with its own independent governing body.

PCL is a boutique institution with 1200 students across two schools with both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Escape Studios provides degrees visual FX, gaming and animation and its first cohort of graduates are already winning awards with their work. Pearson Business School provides degrees in business management, law, and finance and its employment outcomes for highly skilled roles are outstanding.

PCL is set within a professional learning environment, and its aim is to integrate demanding academic study with outstanding industry engagement. Authentic employer engagement is key part of its approach, and we are fortunate enough to work with a wide range of companies from FTSE 100 household names, to tiny start-ups selected by our students.

We want our students to benefit from both the academic world and the professional world. Therefore they have tutorials, seminars and lectures, but also many opportunities for experiential learning and direct engagement with industry. This is both within their modules and in our extra-curricula programme.

We are building a diverse and creative ecosystem of learning opportunities, which makes PCL an exciting, challenging and interesting place to be, whether as a student or a staff member.

Summary of role:

This senior position will be part of the senior executive team at the College and will play a crucial role in supporting the Principal and the rest of the senior executive team in the financial, operational and strategic management of Pearson College London (“PCL”). PCL is a not-for-profit higher education institution, registered with the OfS and with the ESFA. It is also a subsidiary of a FTSE listed company (Pearson PLC). PCL has its own independent governing body. This provides a unique and interesting financial management environment requiring an understanding of the financial needs for a UK higher education institution and an ability to interact effectively and appropriately with the wider company. The post-holder’s primary responsibility will be PCL’s financial management and reporting, and ensuring PCL fulfils the financial requirements set by its regulatory bodies. Producing regular financial reports for a range of stakeholders is a key element of the role. Reporting directly to the Principal, you the post-holder’s input and expertise will support the senior executive team in making short and long term business decisions, and strengthen the internal reporting and control infrastructure.

Main activities/responsibilities

  • Preparation and submission of regulatory reports and statutory accounts to external stake-holders including the Office for Students and Companies House
  • Provision of clear regular reporting and analysis on financial performance and KPIs to the Governing Body and senior executive team at Pearson College London and to the wider Pearson (in liaison with the Finance Director for UK HE in Pearson
  • Working with the Principal and senior executive team on financial planning and the annual budget.

Work with the heads of departments to:

  • Support sound financial management of resources;
  • Identify and explain variances on a monthly basis, reporting on this to the senior executive team; and
  • Identify and address operational improvement and efficiency opportunities.
  • Develop financial business cases for new initiatives, such as new degree programmes to assist in the approval process. Should they be approved for implementation then to also monitor their financial performance against suitable targets.
  • Provide financial analysis and advice on existing initiatives.
  • Highlight and provide insights on key financial risks and opportunities within and across departments at PCL, and with stake-holders external to PCL.
  • Maintain an up to date knowledge of PCL’s regulatory and audit requirements and ensure such requirements are fulfilled.
  • Oversee audit schedule and delivery.
  • Liaise with and support the Finance Director of the wider Pearson’s UK HE team, ensuring effective and appropriate interaction with the wider Pearson.
  • Work with the Pearson group financial team to track and address accounts receivable issues.


  • Qualified account (CIMA, ACCA or chartered) with demonstrable experience in financial control or financial management.
  • Financial management experience within a higher education context is highly desirable
  • Experience of providing financial reports that meet the needs of regulatory bodies such as the Office for Students and for internal stakeholders such as Governing Body (the Board of Directors) and the senior executive.
  • Experience with ESFA and apprenticeship levy funding would be an advantage.

Expected Results:

  •  Clear and regular financial reports and forecasts as required by all stake-holders, in particularly the PCL executive, the governing body, the regulator and the wider Pearson.
  • Effective financial management and communication across PCL.
  • Effective control framework with appropriate risk mitigation
  • Delivery of relevant KPIs
  • Delivery of investment and business cases
  • Efficiency improvements where appropriate

Required Skills:

  • The ability to communicate (verbally and in writing) appropriately to both finance and non-finance specialist colleagues.
  • Strong analytical ability and focus. There is a high degree of analyst work involved in this role.
  • A strong understanding of financial control and business performance management.
  • The confidence to interact with senior management and an ability to leverage influence across teams and cultures.
  • The ability to assist in decision making in a complex environment, with an understanding materiality, and an ability to prioritise effectively.
  • Skills in the use of Oracle (OBIA/Projects) an advantage
  • Skills in the use of Hyperion an advantage.

Please note: The role will be based at our 190 High Holborn London office with some flexibility to work from home as discussed with line manager.

Please apply on our website

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