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Sales & marketing

School business manager

School business managers oversee the efficient day-to-day running of a school and support the headteacher and leadership team.

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £55,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings; attending events or appointments

Future employment

There will be 7% more School business manager jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In this job, you'll:

  • advise the headteacher and governors on financial policy
  • manage the school budget
  • order goods and services and pay suppliers and contractors
  • keep accounts up to date for inspection
  • oversee the maintenance of school buildings
  • recruit, train and manage school support staff
  • make sure school security and health and safety policies are followed
  • develop the school's marketing and communications strategy
  • manage the school's administrative systems
  • report to the headteacher, governors, and local authority and government departments

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a school or at a college.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

You could do a foundation degree or degree, or a professional qualification, in a subject like:

  • accountancy
  • business management
  • public administration
  • human resources

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You can start by doing a business administrator advanced apprenticeship or school business professional higher apprenticeship.

You can also complete a degree apprenticeship for managers and senior school leaders, depending on your experience.

For more information

You may be able to start as a school administrator or secretary. You'll usually need 5 GCSEs, including English and maths. With experience, you could apply for promotion to office manager or business manager.

If you're already working as a school administrator you could take a qualification like the:

  • ILM Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management
  • ILM Level 5 Diploma in School Business Leadership

The Institute of School Business Leadership has more details about training and qualifications.

Direct application

You could apply directly to become a school business manager if you have a strong background in finance or management. An accountancy qualification may be needed for some jobs, and you'll need experience of motivating people.

Experience of working in education will be an advantage.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can find more details about professional standards and support from the Institute of School Business Leadership and GOV.UK.

Further information

You'll find advice about working as a school business manager from the Institute of School Business Leadership and Skills for Schools.

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You could develop your career by moving to a larger school or college with a bigger budget. You could also move into financial or educational management with a local authority, or use your skills to work for an organisation like the NHS.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • business management skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • maths and financial skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of human resources and employment law
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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