School secretary

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School secretaries provide administrative support in schools.

Salary Range: £15,250 to £19,500

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You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
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You could complete a college course to get some of the skills needed for this job. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools
  • Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
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You can get into this job through a business administrator advanced apprenticeship or a school business professional higher apprenticeship. 

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
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You could start as an admin assistant in a larger school and work your way up to a post with more responsibility.

Direct application

You could apply directly to become a school secretary. Employers would expect you to have a good standard of general education and experience of office work.

You should be able to use common office software including spreadsheets. Knowledge of accounts packages would also be helpful, although employers may provide training in some of these.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • administration skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work on your own
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • pass enhanced background checks
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Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • being the main contact for parents, governors and pupils
  • greeting visitors and providing refreshments
  • using IT systems to run financial reports and produce newsletters
  • keeping paper and electronic records up to date
  • using reprographic equipment
  • ordering resources, paying invoices and banking cash

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a reception area or at a school.

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With experience, you could progress to school business manager, or personal assistant (PA) to the headteacher.