School business manager
Business & Facilities Administration

School business managers are responsible for the financial and support systems in schools. They usually manage and supervise administration, support and maintenance staff. They are also involved in strategic planning on school leadership teams, and in deciding how money will be spent in the future. They make sure that the school works within its annual budget.

Work Activities

School business managers provide and manage the financial, administrative, human resource and support functions that are needed for the efficient running of schools. They should be members of the senior leadership team and as such are involved in general and strategic planning. They are also sometimes known as school bursars.

They manage the finances of schools. They keep track of what has been spent and how much money is still available. They must make sure that the school and the governors meet the requirement to have a strong and secure financial management plan in place. This is called the Schools Financial Value Standard.

At regular intervals and at the end of each year, they are responsible for the preparation of statements showing an accurate and complete record of all financial transactions. They are also involved in planning how much money will be needed and how it will be spent in the future.

School business managers have overall responsibility for computerised management information systems. They make sure that they contain accurate information about finance, payroll and pupil or student information, although this information might be gathered and summarised by administrative staff.

They make sure that schools comply with laws such as employment legislation and health and safety regulations. They might be responsible for school insurance and for community liaison.

In larger schools, business managers are usually responsible for the recruitment, management, development and supervision of administration, support and maintenance staff such as caretakers, lunchtime supervisors, receptionists and secretaries.

Business managers compile reports and statistics for the local authority and/or school governors, and give presentations and financial advice at meetings.

They are responsible for transport and catering contracts and the maintenance and development of the school buildings, grounds and administrative computer systems, and might choose, liaise with, and pay, contractors.

Business managers are responsible for buying equipment and supplies, and for making sure that bills are paid. They ensure value for money for all school services and supplies. Many business managers are based in one school. Smaller schools sometimes share the services of a bursar/business manager.

In small primary schools, they might combine the bursar/business manager's role with that of school secretary and receptionist. In this case, they might also be responsible for first aid, arranging meetings with parents and writing newsletters, for example.

In independent schools and some state schools, bursars prepare bills for tuition fees and collect payment from parents. In independent schools, bursars might also pay tax and staff salaries, administer pension schemes and advise the school governors on investing money and marketing.

Personal Qualities and Skills

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of school business managers: Employers are all types of primary and secondary schools, including academies, independent schools and sixth-form colleges. In Scotland, employers are schools within the independent sector only.


Entry requirements will vary for each apprenticeship or degree so it is important to check with individual employers or universities.

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