School business manager

Alternative titles for this job include School business professional

School business managers are responsible for both the day-to-day and strategic running of a school.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£65,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

How to become a school business manager

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 related subject like:

  • accountancy
  • business management
  • public administration
  • human resources

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level for a foundation degree 
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

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.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

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

Visit the Institute of School Business Leadership for 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, management or similar. An accountancy qualification may be needed for this job.

You'll usually need experience of motivating people, and experience of working in education will be an advantage.

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 can get more advice about working as a school business manager from the Institute of School Business Leadership and Skills for Schools.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks


  • advise the headteacher and governors on financial policy
  • plan how to spend and control the budget and reduce costs
  • order goods and services and pay suppliers and contractors
  • pay salaries
  • keep accounts for inspection
  • report to the headteacher, governors, and local authority and government departments

Your other day-to-day duties may include:

  • recruiting, training and managing school support staff
  • managing school building maintenance
  • handling contracts and tenders for services
  • making sure school security and health and safety policies are followed
  • developing the school's marketing and communications strategy
  • managing the school's administrative systems

Working environment

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

Career path and progression

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.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Business Administration (Leisure Travel Apprentice)

  • Wage : £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Bristol BS40 8SH

Office Administrator Apprentice

  • Wage : £126.75 Weekly
  • Location: Oldbury B68 0PJ

Courses In England

Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Business & Administration

  • Start date: 01 October 2019
  • Location: DONCASTER

Diploma in Business Administration (QCF)

  • Start date: 01 October 2019
  • Location: Romford

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