The Girl's Day School Trust

Harcourt Matthews have been chosen as UK Accounting & Finance Job recruitment experts supporting The Girl's Day School Trust.
Testimonial: "At The Girls' Day School Trust, we employed Harcourt Matthews as one of two recruiters to, initially, hire a Financial Planning Analyst and a Procurement Manager. Both roles were newly created. In respect of both tasks, Guy was successful in providing the winning candidates. The extra you get with Guy is that he takes the trouble to understand the structure and culture of the organisation and he is prepared to ask robust questions that lead to highly valuable thinking. His contribution was valuable, his fees were good value and the service was prompt." 
Colin Hawkins - Interim Finance Director


The Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) is the largest group of independent schools in the UK, with 4,000 staff and over 20,000 students between the ages of three and 18. As a charity, they own and run a family of 29 schools in England and Wales, and reinvest all their income into their schools for the benefit of the pupils. With a long history of pioneering an innovative education for girls, the GDST now also educates boys aged three to seven in some of its all-through schools. The Trust also has to co-educational Sixth Form colleges and is developing a selective group of preparatory schools, some of which are co-educational. As a major player within education in the UK, GDST has an outstanding track record in helping students achieve their full potential in every aspect of their lives.  
As a result of our relationship with the acting interim FD, who had been both a candidate and client previously, our MD discussed forthcoming recruitment plans, existing commercial finance processes & systems and their transformation and the people required to enable this to happen.

After an introductory meeting with the FD and FC to review existing and new finance department organisation structures, we identified the need to leverage higher calibre and quality of head office and commercial accounting & finance staff, in particular introducing Business Finance Partners, better planning & analysis and improved financial reporting functions, where the Commercial FD sought to develop the team based at London Head Office & UK wide, bringing a stronger financial partnership and supporting the schools more directly. Additionally, other non finance assignments including procurement and "Enterprise" has complemented our success with the organisation

Our key objectives of this recruitment were:

  • Evolve best practices in the business partnering, planning & analysis, financial reporting & control, commercial and procurement functions
  • Recruit and develop a new business partnering, management reporting & analysis team and replenish the financial control and transactions teams and build a new procurement function with greater technical expertise, increasing the depth and commercial calibre within an organisation, which was undergoing commercial transformation and development

Harcourt Matthews has established several recruitment campaigns and range of candidate sourcing processes to attract a wide range of candidate types encompassing:

  • Accessing our network & extensive CV database, existing contacts and gaining new referrals / recommendations
  • Accessing several jobsite CV databases covering the active UK candidate market
  • Advertising on several job boards
  • Using our internal and several 3rd party outsourced research businesses contracted to identify and to supply scarce candidate resource (passive & non active people)
  • Specific sector headhunting campaigns complementing the above approach
  • Direct mail-shot programmes to specific accounting & finance trained CIMA, ACCA and ACA individuals who fulfilled the Accounting & Finance brief 

This has resulted in supporting the recruitment of qualified & part qualified accountants, accounting staff and procurement and inclusion as a preferred supplier list for the UK organisation 

Jobs recruited for include: Interim, temporary & permanent 

Finance & Accounting Team 
Assistant Financial Accountant
Business Analyst
Finance Manager
Financial Controller
Financial Planning Manager

Transactions  Accounts Clerk Senior Bursary Finance & Admin Assistant 
Commercial Team Procurement Manager
Category Manager (Procurement) Purchase to Pay Implementation Project Manager