School business professional
School business managers are responsible for both the day-to-day and strategic running of a school.
Salary Range: £25,000 to £65,000
How to become a school business manager
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could do a foundation degree or degree, or a professional qualification, in a related subject like:
- business management
- public administration
- human resources
You’ll usually need:
- at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can start by doing a business administrator advanced apprenticeship or school business professional higher apprenticeship.
You can also complete a degree apprenticeship for managers and senior school leaders, depending on your experience.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
You may be able to start as a school administrator or secretary. You’ll usually need 5 GCSEs, including English and maths. With experience, you could apply for promotion to office manager or business manager.
If you’re already working as a school administrator you could take a qualification like the:
- ILM Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management
- ILM Level 5 Diploma in School Business Leadership
Visit the Institute of School Business Leadership for more details about training and qualifications.
You could apply directly to become a school business manager if you have a strong background in finance, management or similar. An accountancy qualification may be needed for this job.
You’ll usually need experience of motivating people, and experience of working in education will be an advantage.
Professional and industry bodies
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- leadership skills
- business management skills
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- to be flexible and open to change
- maths and financial skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of human resources and employment law
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
- advise the headteacher and governors on financial policy
- plan how to spend and control the budget and reduce costs
- order goods and services and pay suppliers and contractors
- pay salaries
- keep accounts for inspection
- report to the headteacher, governors, and local authority and government departments
Your other day-to-day duties may include:
- recruiting, training and managing school support staff
- managing school building maintenance
- handling contracts and tenders for services
- making sure school security and health and safety policies are followed
- developing the school’s marketing and communications strategy
- managing the school’s administrative systems
You could work in an office, at a school or at a college.
Career path and progression
You could develop your career by moving to a larger school or college with a bigger budget. You could also move into financial or educational management with a local authority.