We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

School business manager

BETATry an improved version of this page

  1. More about how to get into this career
  2. We've included current opportunities to help you with your next steps
Try it out

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £25,000 to £55,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need a strong background in finance or management. 

You’ll usually need a foundation degree, degree, or professional qualification in:

  • accountancy
  • business management
  • public administration
  • human resources
You may be able to start as a school administrator or secretary. With experience, you could then apply for promotion to office manager or business manager.

The National Association of School Business Management has more information on becoming a school business manager.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to lead teams of staff in different departments
  • planning and decision making skills
  • the ability to manage large budgets
  • the ability to stay calm under pressure and meet strict deadlines
  • IT skills 

3. What you'll do

You’ll work closely with the headteacher to make sure the school's budget and resources are used in the most efficient way.

A large part of your role will be financial management and accounting.


  • 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
You may also be involved in marketing, the letting of premises for events, or bidding for funding for the school.

4. Salary

Starter: £25,000 to £30,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £45,000 to £55,000

Pay in state schools, colleges and academies usually follows local government scales.
Salaries in independent schools may include other benefits like accommodation, a company car or private health insurance.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. 

You’ll be expected to attend meetings or school events in the evening.

You’ll be expected to take your holidays at times to suit the school.

6. 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.

Related careers

You may be interested in:

Last updated: 10 September 2018