As a fairly small school, the school office consists of me and the school business manager. Like many school office staff, I started working in schools after the birth of my children. Prior to this my working life was very different. I worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after leaving college (including some time in Libya) and then worked for Channel 4 for eight years. After that I worked for a large management consultancy, and then changed careers to work in HR for two companies closer to where I lived.
The skills required for my current job include endless patience, good organisational skills and the ability to adapt to ever-changing situations and workload. Good IT skills are essential, particularly as a large amount of the pupil data is kept on a database. You need to have the ability to keep calm and you are often required to be sympathetic but firm. A major part of the job is dealing with children, so approachability is a key part of the role. Since starting at my current school we have introduced a new lunchtime ordering system and there have been a few staff changes. We have also undergone major building work to accommodate more nursery children. My role, whilst largely staying the same, has had to accommodate these changes.
Without a doubt, the best thing about working in a school is the children and interacting with them is very rewarding. Some of our children have difficult home lives and school is a safe haven for them – it’s important that all the school staff work together to create a friendly environment for both children and parents.