The team that brought together the finances of 26 schools as they formed one of the country’s biggest Catholic multi-academy trusts has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust (NPCAT) will be up against Staffordshire Police in the Finance Team of the Year – Local Services category at this year’s Public Finance Awards.

The five-strong NPCAT team, led by head of finance Lisa Marron, worked late nights and weekends to tackle the hugely complicated task of uniting four Catholic trusts across Teesside and part of North Yorkshire, along with two other primary schools.

NPCAT’s chief operating officer Jim Farquhar said the nomination was very well deserved.

“This is a prestigious national annual award event and to make it onto the shortlist is something that needs to be shouted from the rooftops,” said Mr Farquhar.

“I’m immensely proud of the whole team and this deserved recognition of the sheer hard work, including long hours and working weekends, that’s gone into getting the trust to where we are now in terms of good financial management.

“Their role involved ensuring strong controls and good financial practices were in place and working effectively, as well as building up relationships with school leaders to make sure there is a two-way dialogue around priorities.

“The sector is extremely demanding in terms of financial management and the oversight from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in particular.

“In a very short period, they were able to not just ensure compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook, Charity Commission and Companies Law Act requirements, but also demonstrate that procedures and practices were working effectively and being embedded.

“For all of that to happen in a year was such a wonderful achievement and they very much deserve this nomination.”

The Public Finance Awards focus specifically on the public sector and includes local government, the NHS, police, fire, civil service and the Ministry of Defence.

Lisa and the team – Angela Allen, Helen Dalby, Mel Barker and Sam Williams – will attend the ceremony and dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Thursday April 23.