School business manager

School business managers are the senior financial and administrative managers in their schools.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£55,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 37 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 work towards this role by starting with a higher apprenticeship as a school business professional.

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 management

Visit the Institute of School Business Leadership for more details about training and qualifications.

Qualifications in accounting or general management could also be useful.

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 is often needed for this job.

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

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working as a school business manager from Skills for Schools.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of English language
  • customer service skills
  • leadership skills
  • business management skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

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
  • 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 progress in your career by moving to a larger school with a bigger budget. 

You could also move into financial or educational management with a local authority.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a school business manager right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Business Administration Pearson Level 1 Award

  • Provider: Richmond And Hillcroft Adult And Community College
  • Start date: 30 April 2019
  • Location: Richmond


  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Newport

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