Group Planning Manager

Date: 25 May 2023

Location: London, UKM, GB

Company: British Council

We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide.

We work directly with individuals to help them gain the skills, confidence and connections to transform their lives and shape a better world in partnership with the UK. We support them to build networks and explore creative ideas, to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications.

Working with people in over 200 countries and territories, we are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people.


Group Planning Manager


Role Type: Advisory, Policy and Expertise

Pay Band: £50,635 (+ £3,300 market allowance if based in London)

Contract Type: Indefinite contract

Location: UK - Manchester, London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast.


Requirements: Candidates must have the pre-existing (permanent) right to work in location.

Mobility / relocation / visa sponsoring support will not be provided. If you are currently sponsored by the British Council, in a country or regional role, please check withyour local / regional HR colleagues if you are able to remain in your current location for this global role.


Closing date: 8th June 11:59pm UK time.




This role sits within the Group Financial Planning and Analysis (Group FP&A) team within the Corporate Finance directorate. Group FP&A is responsible for delivery of monthly management reporting, cashflow forecasting, long-term plans, annual budgets and in-year forecasting to the CFO, Senior Leadership Team (SLT), Board of Trustees and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).


Managing diverse stakeholder relationships and keeping abreast of wider corporate developments is key to the success of the role.


Key relationships include:

  • Head of Panning and Reporting
  • Long Term Planning Manager
  • Director Corporate Finance and CFO
  • Corporate Finance teams, including English & Examsand Cultural Engagement (SBU) FP&A, Investment Finance, Transformation Finance and Corporate Indirect Costs Business
  • Regional Financial Directors and their FP&A teams
  • Shared Service Centre
  • Finance Operations
  • Corporate Planning and Data, Evidence & Performance teams
  • Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee


Role Purpose


Reporting to the Head of Group Planning and Reporting, the Group Planning and Reporting Manager will be responsible for all aspects of management information and for co-ordinating and producing consolidated financial plans,budgets and forecasts. This role requires a person with deep knowledge of financial planning, forecasting, monitoring, variance analysis and problem resolution within a Group / Head Office environment as well as a good financial systems knowledge. They will need a good understanding of how to operate in a complex international structure and how to work effectively with colleagues across difference disciplines and time zones.


The role-holder will be a forward-looking finance professional with the ability to help the British Council manage the changing emphasis in its commercial business model and to provide support from the centre to the Strategic Business Units (SBUs) and Regions during a period of significant organisational change, including within Finance. They must also display an understanding of the organisation’s aims and the ability to connect with operational colleagues.


Main Accountabilities


Professional services expertise

  • Provide a comprehensive financial planning and management reporting service to identified recipients of Group level financial information internally and externally, including;
    - Delivery of monthly management information (MI) reports,
    - Co-ordination and delivery of annual budget, quarterly forecasts and monthly re-forecasts,
    - Provision of cashflow forecasting,
    - Tracking and forecasting of financial key performance indicators.
  • Support the Head of Group Planning and Reporting in preparing clear and precise papers for theBoard of Trustees, SLT and FCDO on these reporting and planning deliverables.

Service improvement

  • Continuous improvement of all outputs and processes, such as monthly close, quality of financial commentary and analysis, cash flow forecasting accuracy.


Consultancy, analysis and problem solving

  • Ensure that MI and forecasts remain aligned to the business and anticipate business needs during a period of transformation and significant structural change.
  • Play an important role in the implementation of new planning and reporting tools expected to be implemented as part of the Finance Transformationprogramme. Provide critical input to the design to ensure that new tools meet Group reporting requirements.


Relationship and Stakeholder management

  • Develop a strong working relationship with the Shared Service Centre (SSC) in Noida, supporting development of the SSC FP&A team and identifying additional aspects of work that could be supported from there.
  • Act as a key point of contact for the global community of FP&A professionals, ensuring clear processes and guidance are inplace to supportactivities in these areas.


Role specific skills


Financial Planning & Analysis skills

  • Managing the annual planning & reporting calendar and coordinating its delivery.
  • Variance analysis and reporting at Group level.
  • Ability to build budgets, forecasts, annual plans at Group level.
  • Financial modelling.
  • Information synthesis (create conclusions, alternative scenarios and recommendations).
  • Knowledge of financial systems and analytical tools.


Analytical & Problem-Solving skills

  • Excellent analytical skills along with strong planning and organisational skills are required.
  • Ability to operate effectively and prioritise in a busy global facing role.
  • Flexibility, independence and initiative to perform successfully in a rapidly changing environment.


Business Partnering skills

  • Building relationships at all levels of the organisation.
  • Act as a trusted advisor, pro-actively sharing insights to challenge, influence and add value to decision making, optimising opportunity whilst balancing with risk.


Strategic Thinking – ability to;

  • Input into the development of new strategies, processes and systems that provide top quality management information.
  • Identify and implement best practice management reporting, budgeting, planning, forecasting and analysis across the organisation.


Role specific knowledge and experience


  • Strong demonstrable experience of operating in international and multi-cultural organisations.
  • Experience of providing comprehensive finance and business partner support to senior stakeholders.
  • Commercial finance experience gained in an organisation under going change and driving for growth.
  • Excellent Excel skills.


Education & Profession Qualification and Certification


  • Educated to degree level or equivalent experience.
  • Recognised International Accounting or Finance qualification or equivalent such as a relevant Accountancy or Finance degree.


What we offer:


  • Competitive salary offer
  • 32 days annual leave, in addition to public holidays
  • 3 days volunteering leave
  • Career average defined benefit pension scheme
  • An unrivalled opportunity for you to get to use all the experience you've built up working in and / or leading global organisations to support us in building trust across the world!


Closing date: 8th June 11:59pm UK time


A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.


Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement


The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment.  We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability.  All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.


The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.


If you have any problems with your application please email


Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.