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School Business Manager

Whether you are a school business manager, bursar, office manager, school secretary, head of HR there are a growing family of jobs in schools that need a variety of management skills. Below Skills4Schools outlines these jobs and provides you with ideas for identifying the appropriate training and courses for these roles.


School Business Manager (SBM) /Bursar

SBMs and bursars are found in all types of schools and are responsible for the strategic management of school finances. They may also have responsibility for other functions such as human resources or facilities management. The job title attached to the role may vary, in some schools they may be known as business manager or business director.

In small schools the SBM or bursar may work alone, in larger ones he or she may manage a team of administrative staff or support a cluster of smaller schools.
SBMs/ bursars tend to work for county, unitary and metropolitan councils.


Although there are no standard qualifications or entry requirements for SBMs most applicants will be expected to have several years work experience in a relevant work environment and possibly a professional qualification.

Some SBMs may enter the profession from inside the education sector, for example they may already work in a school and be seeking to improve their position. The National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) and the National College for Leadership of Schools provide courses which can be of help to those wishing to progress into the role of a SBM.

BTEC/SQA National and Higher National level qualifications in Business and Finance or Public Administration or experience and qualifications in accountancy could all be useful when applying for a post.

BTEC National Diploma in Business

The Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Business has been developed in the areas of administration, finance, human resources, management, IT and marketing to focus on the education and training for people employed in a variety of types of business activities. For more information click here.

BTEC National Award in Public Services

The Level 3 BTEC National Award in Public Services (Non-Uniformed) offers a focused qualification for learners, who wish to follow a shorter programme of study that is directly related to their work experience or to an aspect of employment that they wish to move into in
due course. It is expected that the Award will support more specifically the mature learner, returnees to education and individuals changing career direction.
The Level 3 BTEC National Certificate and Diploma in Public Services offers an engaging programme for people who are clear about the area of employment that they wish to enter. For more information click here.

School Business Manager Training

If you are a school business manager in a school there a two courses which are suited to you from the National College for Leadership of Schools. For more information on these two courses see below or click here.

School Bursar

Certificate of School Business Management (CSBM)

The Level 4 Certificate of School Business Management (CSBM) is a world-leading programme that supports school leadership and management. Its aim is to assist school business managers (SBMs) in developing their expertise through a range of different learning techniques.

The CSBM provides the SBM with an accredited course which will provide a route to the knowledge and skills required to perform the role to the best of their ability, and ultimately improve school effectiveness. For more details click here.

Diploma of School Business Management (DSBM)

The Level 5 Diploma of School Business Management (DSBM) is a leading programme that supports school leadership. The course was designed at a level higher than the CSBM and is aimed at the school business manager who is working within the school senior management team. It focuses on the role the SBM can play in determining the strategic direction of their school.

For more information and eligibility click here.

If you want to know more about the job and workload of a school business manager click here.

Human Resources

If you are looking to work or develop your role in human resources click here.

For other administrative roles in a school including secretaries, clerical staff and finance staff click here.


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