#BellevueStories – Meet Louise Rose, Treasury
Louise Rose, Treasury for Bellevue, has been a part of Bellevue Education and its schools for 20 years this month. We celebrate Louise’s career progression by chatting to her about how it all happened.
‘I first started working at Weston Green School in January 2001,’ Louise tells us. ‘This was before it became the second school in the Bellevue portfolio. I was a Teaching Assistant in Year One. I had been a stay-at-home mum and one of my friends through the girls’ school was a Year 1 teacher there. Her Teaching Assistant had left and she persuaded me to help out for a day or two… which turned into nine years!’
Soon after Weston Green School joined Bellevue, Louise was approached by the headteacher at the time, who was aware that Louise was becoming fatigued in her role and seeking a change. The headteacher spoke to Mark Malley, CEO of Bellevue Education, who had expressed a wish to move the school’s finance role ‘in-house’.
‘I jumped at the chance,’ Louise says. ‘I immediately signed up for four Pitman Courses – two manual courses in Book Keeping and Payroll, followed closely by two for Sage Book Keeping and Payroll. These I started during August 2009 and completed by the end of September.’
Louise completed all four courses with a distinction.
‘Having not used my brain in that way in a long time, I have to say I was amazed,’ Louise tells us. ‘It was my proudest achievement from my time at Bellevue. The icing on the cake was receiving an email from Mark Malley, congratulating me.’
Louise moved into her finance role in the spring term of 2010, doing the accounts and payroll for both Norfolk House School and Weston Green School, with the support of an external accountancy company.
‘I was the only member of the finance team at that time,’ Louise explains. ‘In those days, I was often struggling to know if I was doing things right. It’s a really horrible feeling to admit to making mistakes! It was never as much of a problem as I thought it was, but that was my biggest challenge.’
Louise eventually moved from Weston Green School to the Bellevue Head Office, then based at Hampton Court. ‘As the group grew, I overcame that challenge. There is less pressure, as the responsibility is shared.’
Louise tells us she has a ‘head for finance’.
‘I really enjoy clearing off debts and keeping things tidy,’ she says. ‘Seeing things through from start to finish is a really rewarding part of the role.’
In 2015, Louise moved away from her home in Surrey to Swanage, Dorset.
‘After conversations with Tim (Carey-Yard, former Finance Director) and Mark, they agreed that I could continue my employment with Bellevue working remotely. This wasn’t the norm for Bellevue employees at that time and so this was offered to me on a trial basis.’
‘Five years later, I am still working from home and enjoying the new challenges that keep coming.’
Over its 17 years, Louise has seen Bellevue evolve from a small team with a handful of schools, to an international group with over 20 schools.
‘I think it’s changed for the better,’ she says. ‘I enjoy what I’m doing more now. There are people you can ask for support from now, and you’ve always got somebody to speak to about schools outside your remit, or to cover when you are away.’
How does it feel now that the entire team is working remotely, during the third UK lockdown of the past 12 months?
‘At first it felt quite hard, as I wasn’t used to all these meetings happening! I loved working independently before, but actually, I would really miss seeing people’s faces and the interaction now if these meetings weren’t happening.
‘I feel much more part of the team now that everyone else is in a similar situation. I imagine the virtual meetings will continue after the lockdown, as we have team members across the world – for example, in Dubai and the Philippines.’
Her favourite memories from her time at Bellevue so far are the annual Christmas parties, where all the team (pre-Covid-19) could come together in person.
What is she looking forward to doing when things are safer, we ask?
‘I like being outdoors, and being in the garden. My partner and I love to travel abroad – he loves the sunshine – but we’ve had a few trips cancelled recently, so we can’t wait to be able to travel again.’
Louise sums up the Bellevue community as ‘collegial’.
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