Head of Finance and Operations at JESS Dubai

Apply Now

Job Description

Job Scope

The HFO is part of the school Exec team, responsible for strategic planning and reporting, process optimization, and resource allocation. The position works in close collaboration with the Director, Exec, Board of Governors, Director of HR, and school SLT teams to align operational strategies with the school’s goals.

This role requires close collaboration with the Head of Governance and Administration to ensure the operational management of JESS is efficient and effective.

Key Responsibilities

Finance Department Oversight:
Manage the school’s financial operations, including budget planning, financial reporting, and auditing. Ensure compliance with financial regulations and standards.

Information Technology Management:
Supervise the IT team in maintaining and improving the school’s IT infrastructure. This includes managing software applications, hardware, and network systems.

Facilities Department Management:
Manage the maintenance and improvement of school facilities. Ensure a safe, clean, and conducive learning environment for students and staff.

Strategic Planning:
Contribute to the school’s strategic planning and decision-making at the senior management level.

Staff Management:
Lead, manage, and develop the teams under your supervision. Promote a positive and collaborative work environment.

Compliance and Risk Management:
Ensure the school’s compliance with statutory requirements and manage risks related to your areas of responsibility.

Project Management:
To oversee and manage the school’s major projects. This will include capital build projects, IT and business process and organisation reviews.

Leadership and Strategy:

  • Negotiate and influence strategic decision making within the organisation’s Senior Leadership Team and Board of Governors.
  • Establish excellent working relationships with all stakeholders, providers, and external agencies.
  • Plan and manage change in accordance with the organisation’s development/strategic plan.

Financial Management:

  • Responsible for strategic financial planning, monitoring, and robust financial controls.
  • Responsible for all matters relating to the administration of the school’s finances and to ensure such matters are handled in accordance with the financial regulations and compliance.
  • Ensure an effective link between the school budget plan and the school development plan – necessary to achieving and sustaining school improvement.
  • Ensure best value through procurement and contract monitoring and management.
  • Oversee the data and documentation necessary for the annual audit.
  • Identify additional finance required to fund proposed strategic growth plan.
  • Monitoring of payroll and ensuring that deadlines are met.

Management Information Systems & IT:

  • Line management of the Director of IT.
  • To oversee Data Protection & EUGDPR compliance.
  • Ensure the school’s strategy for IT and relevant policies is aligned to the overall plans for the school.

Project Management:

  • Responsible for successful outcomes of major capital projects.
  • Line manage Project Manager(s) to ensure adherence to timelines.
  • Ensure financial compliance and budgetary controls for each project.

Facility & Property Management:

  • Line management of the Facilities Manager.
  • Ensure that all capital works and minor projects are delivered on a timely manner.
  • Oversee the facilities management contracts for value for money by benchmarking quality and cost of service.
  • Ensure adherence to health and safety policies and regulations.

Person Specification

Essential Qualifications:

  • Relevant Degree or equivalent
  • Relevant recent professional development
  • Experience, Skills and Knowledge
  • Proficiency in accounting principles, financial analytics, data analysis, budgeting, tax and compliance.
  • Experience with strategic budget management, financial reporting, procurement, fixed assets and school project works
  • 3+ years’ experience in a similar role in a school setting and 5+ years of management experience.
  • Able to deliver services and systems applicable for effective school financial management.
  • Manage and lead a range of teams and individuals
  • Able to strategically influence decision making within the school
  • Highly computer literate
  • Experience managing change projects, including build projects

Desirable Qualifications:
Experience managing Health & Safety

Personal Qualities:

  • Highly developed interpersonal skills including influencing skills
  • Willingness to constructively challenge the work of himself/herself and others to continually improve own and team performance
  • Strong teamworking and a willingness to collaborate
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Ability to multitask and effectively prioritise changing workload
  • Commitment to own personal professional development
  • Team player
  • Motivated and enthusiastic
  • Personable and friendly

Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.

External Key Relationships

Parents, KHDA, UAE Government agencies and organisations, third party contractors and agencies.


A generous package including living allowance and medical insurance

Safeguarding Statement

Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility. All staff working at JESS will have some contact with children and young people and will therefore be in a position of trust. Staff with teaching duties will be responsible for the students that they teach and may also have additional specific pastoral or other responsibilities for other students they do not teach. In addition, all staff will regularly interact with students who may seek assistance or otherwise interact with them whilst moving around the school. In all cases, the staff’s responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of the students is to adhere to and always ensure compliance with the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection policy and procedures to include whistleblowing ensuring all concerns are immediately passed on to the school’s Designated Safeguarding Officer(s) (DSO).