Girls' Day School Trust - Head of PMO

Head of Programme Management Office (PMO) Candidate Information Pack



The GDST Estate


The Estates Vision and the Estates Programme


The Capital Investment Programme


The Role


Person Specification


Application process


About the GDST

The Girls’ Day School Trust is the UK’s leading family of independent girls’ schools. In all of our schools, academic excellence is a given – at the GDST we develop character beyond the curriculum. The GDST is a charitable trust which owns and operates 25 schools across England and Wales. Our schools are mainly girls only, with the GDST ethos to ‘reach as many girls as possible’ permeating everything we do. Most schools are Junior, Senior and sixth form, with some having nurseries as well; one of the school’s remains a boarding school. The Council of Trustees oversee the strategic direction of the Trust, with an Executive Board who run the day to day operations, based at the Trust Office in Victoria, London. The Heads of the schools report into the Chief Executive, and all have Directors of Finance and Operation (DFO’s) who help to run the 23 schools and 2 academies. The GDST owns most of its property freehold, although there are certain leasehold landholdings, plus other property retained for investment purposes. There is also an outward bound centre in north Wales. Each of the schools and academies are run separately, with central services including Estates, Finance, HR and IT located in Trust Office. This is also where the strategic Education and Innovation strategy is set, along with most of the teacher and staff training, reinforcing the GDST ethos.

The GDST Estate

Our Estate is diverse, both geographically and chronologically, with buildings dating back to the 1800’s up to the present day. A significant number of the older properties are listed or locally listed and sit in Conservation Areas. Many of our properties are converted residential buildings, others are purpose built as schools. All of our current schools are in England and Wales and amount to over 200 buildings, predominantly owned by the GDST, plus also Trust Office in central London. Most of our properties are occupied for educational purposes, although some sites also have residential accommodation for staff, in addition to the one boarding school in Bath. Further investment properties are let out to external occupiers.

A list of the main schools and sites are given below: 1. Blackheath High School, London 2. Brighton and Hove High School 3. Bromley High School, London 4. Croydon High School 5. Howells School, Llandaff, Cardiff 6. Kensington Prep School 7. Newcastle High School for Girls 8. Northampton High School 9. Northwood College, Middlesex

10. Norwich High School for Girls 11. Nottingham Girls High School 12. Notting Hill & Ealing High School 13. Oxford High School 14. Portsmouth High School 15. Putney High School

16. Royal High School, Bath 17. Sheffield High School 18. Shrewsbury High School

19. South Hampstead High School, London 20. Streatham & Clapham High School, London 21. Sutton High School 22. Sydenham High School 23. Wimbledon High School 24. Belvedere Academy, Liverpool 25. Birkenhead High School Academy, Birkenhead

The Estates Vision

Our Estate is the physical representation of the schools and the GDST; with the Estates Strategy a reflection of the Trust’s strategic vision. It is the responsibility of the Estates department to deliver against this context. Although primarily for educational purposes, our schools host numerous events for the school community plus for the wider public benefit within their local communities. We aim to provide an appropriate quality of environments, infrastructure and buildings to support the educational and recreational needs of our schools; working to deliver sustainable and innovative spaces for our students to enjoy, whilst enhancing the GDST’s reputation as a leader in girls education.

The Estates Programme

Our mission is to provide an integrated customer service, providing strategic leadership and well as technical support and advice across the Estate, ensuring consistency of approach and critically ensuring compliance with all statutory requirements across the Estate at all times. The Estates department under the Director of Estates, hold the delegated responsibility from the Trustees to assure, maintain, enhance and develop the estate to ensure it is fit for purpose to provide innovative education and learning facilities as well as the breadth of functions that allow the schools to operate, including external spaces and sports fields. Our primary aim is to keep our Estate safe for our students, staff, visitors as well as members of the public. The Estates department run a continuous programme of maintenance programmes, minor works, refurbishment and new build projects, varying in scale from £100,000 to over £20 million. Each school also has a delegated maintenance budget, directly managed by the school, used to address minor repair and maintenance works. The Estates team act as the central Technical and Trusted Advisors for the schools, supporting them in all Estates related decision making, scoping and delivery.

The Capital Investment Programme

The GDST invests over £30 million annually in capital programmes across the Estate; based on a prioritisation of compliance and condition related works, educational need, as well as improvement and expansion of the Estate, as appropriate.

In the last few years these projects have been undertaken and are now complete.

• A new STEAM tower and dining room at Wimbledon High School; • A new Science and Arts facility at Oxford High School; • An extension to Bromley High School; • The refurbishment of Waterlow Hall at South Hampstead High School into a high quality performance space.

Significant projects currently underway:

• New Junior School at Notting Hill & Ealing High School (see CGI images on the next page) • Fire compliance works programme for all schools

• Long Term Maintenance programme across all schools • Major external refurbishment of Howells listed buildings

In parallel, there are a significant number of refurbishment and improvement works across the Estate, infrastructure works and maintenance programmes covering both fabric and mechanical and electrical works.

Head of Programme Management Office (PMO) - The Girls’ Day School Trust


10 Bressenden Place, Westminster, London, SW1E 5AE

Accountable to:

Director of Estates


Grade 1

Job Purpose / background The Estates Department acts on behalf of the Trust and deals with all property related matters to ensure that the Trusts interests and its estate is developed and maintained to agreed standards. The estate consists of 23 schools, two academies and the Trust Office based in Victoria. Reporting to the Director of Estates the postholder will act as the lead commercial expert within the Estates Directorate with regards to capital investment, maintenance and sustainability projects and programmes across the Estate portfolio. Key aspects of the role include leading on contract procurement and supply chain management; cost planning and forecasting; and strategic scheduling across a diverse range of projects and programmes. The post holder will be a senior member of the Estates team and will demonstrate the behaviours and culture expected of this team which include • Leadership – both directive and supportive • Excellent written and oral communications • Team Player • A strong collaborative approach to work and colleagues • Utilising the Estate systems and processes to support evidence-based decision making

The post holder will have experience of setting up, improving and managing a Programme Management Office for a property/estates function with a relevant scale and complexity to the GDST estate. This will require both strategic and technical programme management expertise to ensure consistency and dependencies are managed across the 25 schools and academies, The post holder will lead or co-ordinate development of efficient and effective Programme and Project Management documentation, co-ordinate implementation using programme management office methodology and seen as a trusted advisor. The post holder will follow the GDST Strategic Vision, the Estate Strategy and the school business plans. • Supporting the Director of Estates to deliver a professional Estates focused knowledge base to support and enhance best practice and to inform strategic investment for the Trust. • Supporting Trust strategy to be leaders in educating girls through Estates and charitable objectives of maximising use of estates assets for benefit of current and future students. • The potential to grow a wider PMO function across the GDST. Accountabilities • Supporting all Estates dept. activities in terms of assurance, maintenance, enhancement and development projects with accurate and thorough reporting both of cost, programme and risk. • ensuring transparency, rigour and control in all Estates dept. activities. • Providing interface and co-ordination with the GDST Finance & Procurement teams in terms of cash flow/end of year reporting. • Working with the Head of Audit to inform continuous improvement. • Managing the Estates dept. risk register; • Responsibility for the overarching commercial and contract management of all Estates related works, in collaboration with other senior team members. • Maintaining a level of service and accountability that is in line with the requirements of the GDST • Advising on effective procurement, award, administration and management of Estate related contracts • Advising on the effective management of external supply chain of consultants and contractors delivering products or services to GDST estates related activities

Key Responsibilities • Leadership and line management of the PMO team within the Estates dept. plus interfacing with project managers from other disciplines. • Plan, prioritise, coordinate and allocate projects/tasks; liaise closely with other Department Heads, to ensure effective, customer focussed solutions and delivery. • Oversight of all commercial aspects of project and maintenance delivery – budgeting, forecasting, cost control and reporting. • Informing and creating strategic programmes and prioritisation schedules. • Supporting the Director of Estates in the development of short, medium- and long-term programmes of work to meet GDST’s overall Estates strategy and policies, in particular compliance and long term maintenance related programmes. • Ensuring effective collaboration and communication with all GDST stakeholders, in particular Heads of Schools and DFO’s • Being the key liaison point for estates colleagues for matters relating to procurement, budgeting, forecasting, cost control, scheduling and supply chain management • Enhance and support all Estates cost reporting and forecasting for the Finance team • Manage annual cash flow forecasts across the Estates Capital Investment Programme • Provide support and advice on contract management (type, version, standard clauses etc) for Estates works to ensure the best interests of the GDST are protected. • Lead on procurement for the Estates team and co-ordinate appropriate Frameworks, if necessary, for the delivery of consulting services • Advise on commercial aspects of tender documents and tender returns for estates works for both consultants and contractors • Monitor external consultant fees across all projects and frameworks • Work with other Trust departments (IT, Learning + Innovation, Finance and Legal) to develop standards (e.g. General Conditions & Prelims, standard contract clauses, cost reporting formats for external QS’s) • Assist with Whole Life Cycle costing for design evaluations • Manage the maintenance of the GDST Asset & Projects database (Tech Forge)

for projects and works (compliance, maintenance, budgets, programmes etc.). • Responsible for, and acting as the key interface for the TF Asset Management database; giving feedback and arranging training • Responsible for the management of risk (identification, mitigation and action planning) across projects and the Estates Directorate • To support schools: • Work with/support schools to provide TF asset database training and support • Working with the Estates team, provide PM support to the schools for minor works where necessary • Carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job in order to support the DFOs and their delegated maintenance and compliance obligations.

Key Relationships • Director of Estates, Head of Capital Development, Head of Infrastructure + Sustainability, Head of Estate Management, Head of Compliance • Project & Estate Managers • School Heads, Directors of Finance & Operations (DFO’s) • Finance, Legal and other members of the Trust Office Management team • External professional consultants and contractors etc.

Person Specification

• Ability to work collaboratively with Estates team members, the schools and other to colleagues, requesting input when needed. • Ability to manage both process and content of estates related works and projects. • Work as a technical and trusted advisor to the Estates team, the school teams plus other GDST colleagues on PMO related matters • Approach of taking proactive ownership of a situation and seeing it through to a • Ability to work effectively and flexibly on own initiative under pressure • Ability to motivate staff and to bring them with you collaboratively. • Ability to create good working relationships both internally and externally and manage stakeholders effectively • Ability to work outside normal office hours as required successful conclusion whilst escalating issues when necessary • Excellent communication, negotiation and presentation skills • Able to work with, structure and prioritise large amounts of project information and work with the Asset Management database, whilst simplifying content when reporting to

both Executive Board members and Trustees. • Ability to challenge in a constructive manner • Ability to develop creative solutions to difficult issues • Positive, ‘can-do’ attitude and proactive approach • Open and diplomatic approach

Qualifications / Training

Education/ Training: Essential: • Professionally recognised qualification in a project/programme/commercial management related field. Desirable : • Relevant postgraduate qualification Relevant Experience: Essential: • Substantial experience in a programme management office role in an estates and/or construction environment. •Professional project management and/orcommercial management , cost management skills and experience including cost planning, forecasting and budgeting, value engineering and contract procurement and programme management. • Experience of project/supply chain procurement and management. • Experience of reporting and performance management; developing and enhancing processes and procedures. • Experience and ability to manage dept. risk register and to input to managing risks and understand/ articulate impacts • Ability to develop and influence strategic aims and goals and organise delivery effectively to time, budget and agreed quality standards, both personally and through others • Experience of financial management across a wide range of project budgets, with proven analytical skills and the ability to collate financial and other information from a range of sources, analyse it, draw conclusions and propose solutions • Experience of construction contracts, contract management and procurement practices relating to project and service delivery • Experience of building and maintaining effective working relationships, with the ability to communicate clearly, confidently and persuasively with people at all levels both orally and in writing, including the ability to communicate compiles technical issues to non-technical audiences Desirable: • Experience of working with multiple projects across a multi-site Estate with multiple stakeholders. • Experience of working within the education sector. • Understanding environmental, M&E, sustainability and energy conservation applications and processes • Experience of working on the client side of an organisation

Relevant Skills / Aptitudes:

Essential: • Excellent written and oral communication skills • Strong influencing and negotiation ability • Attention to detail • Ability to effectively manage time and meet deadlines whilst under pressure • Strong verbal and numerical reasoning ability

• Strong analytical and research skills, able to produce technical content and organise material • Responsible for co-ordinating planning, development, delivery, implementation and organising complex programmes.

General Requirements

All staff are expected to: • Work towards and support the Trust vision and current objectives outlined in the GDST Strategic Development Plan. • Work within the Trust’s health and safety policy to ensure a safe working environment for staff and visitors. • Work within the GDST’s Diversity Policy to promote equality of opportunity for all staff, both current and prospective. • Maintain high professional standards of attendance, punctuality, appearance, conduct and positive, courteous relations with Trust Office colleagues, Schools staff, external contacts and visitors. • Engage actively in the performance review process, and training and development opportunities available. • Adhere to policies as set out in the GDST Council Regulations, Notes of Guidance and GDST circulars. • Undertake other reasonable duties related to the job purpose required from time to time. Other Requirements Essential : • Enhanced DBS check. Circumstances •Travel in support of the duties of the role •Occasionally stay overnight in support of the duties •Work flexibly as required in support of the duties of the role Review and Amendment This job description should be seen as enabling rather than restrictive and will be subject to regular review.

For a confidential conversation please contact our advisors Ben Duffill ( and Nick Coppard ( of The Management Recruitment Group on 020 3962 9900. Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than 4 pages) and a project list (of not more than 2 pages).

Applications should be sent to and

Closing date for applications is Monday 30th August 2021.

51 Eastcheap, Billingsgate, London EC3M 1JP +44 20 3962 9900

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