Consilium Academies’ CFO named MAT Finance Leader of the Year

John Halstead revealed as MAT Finance Leader of the Year at MAT Finance Awards 2022

John Halstead, Chief Finance and Operating Officer at Consilium Academies, a team of nine schools across Doncaster, Salford, Gateshead, Darlington and Sunderland, has been named MAT Finance Leader of the Year, as part of the MAT Finance Awards 2022.

The MAT Finance Leader of the Year category was one of five announced as part of The MAT Finance Awards 2022, sponsored by specialists in MAT budgeting and financial management software IMP Software, last week on 24th February. This category recognises outstanding CFOs, or equivalent, in a multi-academy trust for their leadership and management of trust finances.

John Halstead was one of three individuals shortlisted for the coveted award. An expert judging panel – comprising Confederation of School Trusts CEO Leora Cruddas, ISBL CEO Stephen Morales, Dartmoor MAT CEO Dan Morrow, Epworth Education Trust CFO Adeel Sahi, Bishop Fleming Audit Partner and Head of Education Pam Tuckett, and IMP Software Co-Founder Will Jordan – reviewed high-quality nominations from a wide range of trusts.

Having chosen John Halstead as the MAT Finance Leader of the Year, the judges commented:
“John has led centralisation and GAG pooling at Consilium Academies, delivered cost savings within the trust’s administrative functions of over £1.4 million and ensured that the resources available are utilised to have the most significant impact on students. In the process, school leaders who had lost confidence in the previous financial leadership of the trust, have been re-engaged.

“John’s ability to build a finance team who go out of their way to support all schools is also impressive. Excellent customer service is often the forgotten part of a strong finance function, and perhaps the hardest to instil into your team as a leader. However, John has managed that successfully whilst also spearheading some key changes across the trust.”

John Halstead, Chief Finance and Operating Officer at Consilium Academies and MAT Finance Leader of the Year, said:
“Winning this award is a huge honour and something that our entire team has made possible. At Consilium Academies we truly are a team who cares about every member of our community, and that drives everything we do. It is essential that we have the best possible and most equitable financial processes in place so that we can offer the right support at the right time to every one of our students and staff, so that they can thrive and deliver on our ambitious promises every day.”

IMP Co-Founder Will Jordan said:
“Congratulations to John, and indeed all our winners and runners-up. We were blown away by the quality of entries this year and, whilst it is a cliché, choosing a winner for each category was a really difficult task. In our work we see the impact of trust finance teams every day and are pleased to shine a spotlight on their contributions through the MATFAs. “As our new insight report, The 2030 MAT Growth Challenge: Effective Strategies and Systems, demonstrates MAT finance teams are critical for supporting expansion and sustainability in the sector going forward.”

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