Real life stories
Whether you're thinking about your job or training options, there's almost certainly somebody, somewhere, with a story to tell that might help inspire you to make your next move.
Liz Sumner - School business professional
Name: Liz Sumner
Job Role: School business professional
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 the 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!)