Name: Liz Sumner

Job role: School Business Manager

School: Willow Fields Community Primary School, Sunderland

Bio: Worked in education for over 30 years in a variety of support roles

I have worked in education for over 30 years, initially as a Reprographics Technician in a secondary school, then as a school clerk in a nursery school. I was an After School Manager at Pallion Primary School until its closure in 2006. I then undertook supply work for 18 months before joining Willow Fields in 2008 as School Office Manager.

Tasks are varied and no two days are the same. We have a free breakfast club which I manage. After breakfast club I head into the school office to oversee a very busy office. Once the school day begins, I deal with parent/student queries, telephone and emails.  On an ongoing basis, I oversee all financial aspects of the job including orders, deliveries and invoices. I produce regular finance reports for the Head teacher and Governors. I also deal with HR and payroll queries for staff and supply cover for absences. In addition to this, I manage lunch time staff and Site Supervisor which is time consuming.  I work alongside the Site Supervisor overseeing health and safety issues and dealing with daily issues of managing a school

The key skills that you need as an SBM are calmness, an ability to deal with many interruptions and a good memory.

In terms of formal qualifications, I started doing an NVQ3 in school business administration. I also completed the School Business Management Certificate, have an International diploma in Business Administration and have completed an Honours Degree in Leadership and Management.

I love working in a school, and enjoy the challenges it presents (apart from Ofsted visits!)