The Age of the School Business Manager

We’ve been working with the lovely people at Every (formerly TES Foundation) to help them to communicate and promote their new name. Every is a web based management system developed especially for school business managers (SBMs), head teachers, site managers and those with a similar role.

To mark their relaunch we helped Every to commission new research. Entitled The Age of the School Business Manager it highlights how essential the SBM role is to schools today. Increasingly focused on helping to make tight budgets stretch further SBMs are the engine room for any school.

Highlights from the research

The SBM role has become more pressured in the past five years. Nine out of ten (95%) respondents report they’d taken on more responsibility. Over three quarters also report that the role had become more complicated and they need to deal with more paperwork, contracts and incidents.

Coping with this pressure was a key reason for SBMs to use technology and almost nine out of ten (89%) reported that management software programmes were very important in making their role possible.

SBMs are now more integrated into the senior leadership team. This is significant because in many instances the SBM is the first non-teaching position to be appointed. However, nearly one in five (19%) are still not part of the senior team.

Senior leadership teams have changed their attitudes around the role. Respondents to the research report found that two years ago less then half (46%) believed the SBM role was perceived to be valuable or essential compared to 84% today.

The role is increasingly becoming front facing, in the sense of communicating with parents and stakeholders. This is a significant change and perhaps reflects the maturing understanding of the role as much as the evolution of school funding.

Many thanks to the Advisory Group who together helped to steer the research:

  • Bethan Cullen, Marketing Director, National Association of School Business Management
  • Val Andrew, Business Leadership Specialist, Association of School and College Leaders
  • Nicky Gillhespy, School Business Manager, Cheam Fields Primary School and SBM representative, National Association of Head Teachers National Executive
  • Chris Perry, Operations Manager, Secondary School
  • Mo Miller, Facilities Manager, Multi-Academy Trust
  • Russell Dalton, Finance and Business Director, Pershore High School

Finally thanks to FireDog Research who did a great job on gathering, analysing and reporting the research findings.