Bursar & Clerk to the Governors

Job Title: Bursar & Clerk to the Governors
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Oxford
Salary: Competitive
Job Published: February 14, 2020 12:26

Job Description

The Role

The Master and the Governors seek an outstanding Bursar to provide strong strategic, operational and commercial leadership, ensuring the efficient delivery of a range of services in support of the School’s educational aims. For an exceptionally able individual, this post offers an exciting opportunity to play a key role in shaping the future of MCS’s dynamic development.

The successful candidate will offer outstanding strategic and organisational abilities and a record of success in leadership and management gained in ambitious environments. An imaginative, humane and adaptable team player, s/he will possess robust intellectual abilities, the confidence to challenge appropriately and well-developed communication and interpersonal skills. A commitment to the ethos and values of MCS is essential.

The School is characterised by a strong sense of teamwork and friendly informal relationships, with which the successful candidate will need to be at ease. One of these important relationships is between the Chair, the Master and the Bursar and there are regular meetings between these three parties.

The Bursary team is composed of the Finance Director with a support team of four, the HR Director and the School Surveyor with sixteen grounds and maintenance staff, and a Personal Assistant. Cleaning and catering are provided by external contractors.

This post provides an excellent opportunity to make a real difference to one of the country’s leading academic independent day schools.

Duties of the role will include, but will not be restricted to:

Strategic leadership and management

  • To contribute, as a partner with the Master and the Governors, to the overall development and management of the School. The Bursar will play a key role in some significant strategic decisions in the coming years.
  • To provide clear leadership to the bursarial and administrative staff ensuring that all team members are supported and challenged to deliver their remits to the highest standards.
  • To lead by example and ensure a good working relationship between academic and non-academic staff.


  • To develop a robust financial strategy for the School.
  • To lead and develop a responsive, forward-looking Bursary team which is able to make a strong contribution to the future success of the School.
  • To provide the Master, the Master’s Advisory Committee and the Governing Body with timely and accurate financial information to aid effective decision-making.
  • To produce for audit the annual Financial Statements of the School in accordance with relevant legislation (including the Charities Acts 2011 and the Companies Act 2016).
  • To develop and maintain robust mechanisms of financial control and to provide appropriate systems for financial planning and reporting.
  • To manage relations with external service providers including banks and auditors.
  • To develop a commercial strategy for MCS with the Master, seeking new opportunities for diversifying income streams and developing robust systems of business continuity and future planning.

Estate and facilities

  • To lead on the development and implementation of the Masterplan and associated major future building projects.
  • To ensure that buildings and grounds are maintained to a high standard.
  • To provide facilities support including the management of contracts for cleaning and catering.

Human Resources

  • To oversee the work of the HR Director in developing HR systems, policies and procedures that meet legislative requirements and best practice, and in managing contracts of employment and career paths of staff.

Service to the Governors

  • To act as Clerk to the Board of Governors, providing clear advice on charity governance and compliance matters, and providing support in the regular meetings of the main sub-committees of the Board of Governors: Finance and General Purposes, Education and Estates.

The Candidate

The ideal applicant will have/be in possession of these essential criteria:


  • A relevant professional accountancy qualification (ACCA/ACA/CIMA/CIPFA) or equivalent accounting or financial qualification


  • A record of successful strategic and operational management experience in another major organisation.
  • Demonstrable experience of leading teams including the recruitment, performance management and development of staff.
  • Experience of managing support services and/or of major project management.
  • Relevant financial management experience at a senior level.

Skills and knowledge

  • Highly numerate with first-class analytical skills and the ability to oversee the development of long-term financial plans.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a demonstrable ability to relate successfully to people from all backgrounds and at all organisational levels.
  • The ability to lead by example, empower others and command respect, both within the immediate school community and in the wider professional arena.
  • A proven capacity to take a strategic overview and contribute to the wider development of the School whilst retaining a strong grasp of the operational detail.

Personal attributes

  • A strong team player with a kind, collegial and adaptable leadership style.
  • Significant energy, drive and commitment matched with patience, humanity and flexibility.
  • A sympathy with the School as an academic environment and a genuine identification with the MCS ethos.

Remuneration and Other Benefits

This is a permanent, full-time post. The salary will be commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate.

Non-teaching staff are automatically enrolled in the School’s contributory Group Pension Scheme.  This is a defined contribution pension scheme into which the employee contributes 5% of gross salary and the employer contributes 10%.

Death in service benefits are three times salary. Free private Medical Insurance is available for all staff on a permanent (not fixed-term) contract, with concessionary rates available for partners and dependents.

Holiday entitlement: 30 days plus all bank holidays. (5 days must be kept aside for Christmas for the annual school closure).

School fee remission for the children of full-time staff who pass entrance tests for the School is currently 50%.  Headington Girls’ School currently allows full time staff daughters who pass entrance tests for the school a 20% remission. 

The school has a fully equipped gym, which is available for staff use, and staff may also enjoy access to the University of Oxford’s Rosenblatt Swimming Pool. Tennis courts are available, and there is a comprehensive programme of staff sports clubs, including football, climbing, yoga, Pilates, and badminton. Staff also have the opportunity to join choirs and music groups, and to get involved in drama productions.

A free lunch is provided in the Dining Hall during term time.

Please note that MCS is an inner-city school, with limited parking. Candidates who have been offered a post will be invited to make representations in the preceding Trinity Term to the Usher (Senior Deputy Head) for a parking space.

MCS is a member of the Cycle to Work scheme.

School Policies and safeguarding

All members of School staff are expected to support the School’s vision and objectives and to adhere to the policies set out in the Staff Handbook.

There is an especial responsibility to support the School’s Safeguarding Policy in respect of students: the School is committed to the safeguarding of pupils, and any offer of employment will be subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure, the receipt of satisfactory references and the school’s pre-employment medical questionnaire, relevant original ID documentation and degree certificate(s).

Members of staff are expected to work within the School’s Diversity Policy to promote equality of opportunity for all current and prospective students and staff. Also the School expects its staff maintain high professional standards of attendance, punctuality, appearance and general conduct.

Additional Information

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact the HR office on 01865 253401. If you would like to discuss the position informally, please contact the HR Director, Ms Ana Johnson, at

Application Process

Candidates should submit the Application Form for Support Staff, which can be found on the Job Vacancy page when you click apply. This should be emailed together with a CV and covering letter of application to the Recruitment Officer, Mrs Sarah Hunter, (  All documentation should be sent no later than midday on Monday, 2nd March 2020. Interviews will be held during the week of 16th March 2020. We reserve the right to change the interview dates if necessary.

References may be taken up in advance.  If you do not wish references to be called for at this stage, please make that clear on the reference section of the application form.

The School's preferred method of communication is by email and it will not be necessary to send a hard copy of the documents by post.