School Business Professional (Level 4)
Who is this Apprenticeship for?
This course is for any eligible candidates who wish to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours in business professional focused role within a primary, secondary or special school setting.
School Business Professionals (SBPs) perform a role which is unique to schools, administering and managing the financial, site and support services within the school context. They provide essential support to school leadership teams, implementing their financial and business decisions.
SBPs may work in any school phase (primary, secondary, special) and in different school structures: single academy trusts, multi academy trusts (MATs), local authority-maintained schools and federations, etc. Consequently, they can work in very different settings with varying numbers of people that they report to including the headteacher or School Business Director (SBD). Within this context, SBPs have a shared number of roles which shape their day-to-day activity to make this a homogeneous role in schools. The role typically includes:
- Drafting and monitoring the school budget, setting up financial controls and reporting on performance to ensure best value for money is achieved; managing payroll, maintaining accounts and financial reporting to the headteacher and governors
- Management of the school site to ensure that it provides a safe and suitable learning environment; procurement of goods and services to achieve best value and oversee contract management, e.g. staff, catering and maintenance contracts
- Identification of income generation opportunities on a small scale, supporting the SBD in larger opportunities
- Preparation of marketing materials and lead a range of marketing activities to add value and promote the school externally
- Responsibility for managing office and other support staff and for developing and maintaining effective administrative systems, e.g. student record-keeping systems; implementation of school HR processes
- Ensuring compliance with and implementation of safeguarding and Health & Safety policies so that all stakeholders work in a safe and healthy
SBPs interact with all school stakeholders regularly to advise on and manage school business practices effectively. This requires them to understand educational issues as well as business management.
Their work is performed in the context of ensuring that public funds are used effectively. They must adhere to the principles of making the best use of school resources to enable all students to achieve their potential and to meet the aim of increasing social mobility for children and young people. SBPs must also understand that their role is of vital importance in relation to school governance and compliance. They must have a good understanding of educational policies and be able to implement change.
There is a range of job titles that this occupational profile relates to including a School Business Manager, HR Manager, Finance Manager, Office Manager, School Administrator, Business Support Officer, Bursar, etc.
Are there any entry requirements?
Must be a UK citizen, or have the right of abode in the UK, or is a citizen of a country that is within the EEA and have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the EU or the EEA continuously for the previous three years before the start of learning.
Candidates will have achieved a minimum of GCSE Grade 9-4 (A*-C) or equivalent in English and Maths. We also offer Functional Skills English and maths at Level 1 and Level 2 for those needing to gain these qualifications prior to enrolment.
Apprentices must be employed, for a minimum of 30 hours, in a role that suits the skills requirements of this apprenticeship.
New applicants will be contacted by a vocational delivery tutor to determine suitability/eligibility prior, give information and advice on the next steps.
Shortlisted applicants will be sent to the employer, to then follow their recruitment procedure. Unsuitable applicants will be sign-posted to other areas of our service to develop transferable/employability skills, with a view to ensuring they are suitable for other apprenticeship positions in the future.
What is the curriculum intent of this Apprenticeship?
The structure and delivery of the course curriculum will enable you to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours to reflect the needs of local and regional employers, gain qualifications and be successful in this area.
The curriculum is planned and sequenced to enable learners with previous knowledge and experience to develop the new skills needed to progress to the next stage of their career, training, education or employment.
The curriculum is flexible and responsive to learner demands and can be tailored to suit individual needs, arising from any current and dynamic issues affecting their role, which can be addressed during workshop sessions.
As an apprentice you will need to be able to demonstrate knowledge and practical skills at the end of your apprenticeship training programme and understand how this reflects the needs of the local, regional and national economy.
What will the Apprenticeship cover?
The School Business Professional Level 4 Apprenticeship will develop the knowledge and understanding of:
- Understands the range of educational funding streams available which are applicable to their educational setting. Has a working knowledge of accounting practices and understands how to apply business principles to the optimum use of funding to support learning outcomes. Understands school compliance issues. Recognises business efficiency and knows the range of data required to inform school business decisions.
- Knowledge of school procurement regulations and requirements and how to achieve value for money, including collaborative procurement.
- Understands how to manage collaborative processes with other schools in order to share good practice and secure financial efficiencies. Has an awareness of the complexities of procurement law.
- Understands the complexities of teaching and support staff contracts, terms & conditions of employment and payroll. Understands educational HR policies, safer recruitment, and compliance with safeguarding priorities and equality legislation. Has an awareness of when to seek legal advice.
Managing Support Services
- Knows the impact of educational policies at an operational level in order to support the school development plan. Understands the influence of educational regulatory bodies (DfE, Ofsted, etc). Is aware of Ofsted requirements and the implications these have for the workforce and planning in a school. Knows how to manage the DfE pupil and workforce census and their impact on the school.
Governance and Risk
- Has practical knowledge of the supporting documentation governors need. Understands the process of risk management and procures and manages insurance cover for the school to mitigate risks as appropriate. Has relevant knowledge enabling compliance with charitable status and education law. Understands the impact of, and how to implement, safeguarding policy in a school environment.
- Understands how marketing can be used to underpin school funding. Knows the marketing priorities of their school and the impact marketing activities can have. Understands marketing activities to promote their school and considers e-safety when doing so.
- Awareness of the optimum deployment of resources targeted to raise pupil attainment. Understands the significance of physical facilities and digital processes in an educational setting, e.g. facilities repair logs, student data analysis, data security and safe use of social media. Has knowledge of relevant legislation that schools must comply with, such as Health & Safety, Freedom of Information, Employment and Data Protection policies.
- Understands and demonstrates the highest standards of personal and professional conduct and applies statutory regulations and provisions.
Demonstrate the following skills within the context of your organisation.
Financial and Operational Management
- Manages strategies set by senior personnel and drafts budgets that reflect them. Manages the accurate recording and reporting of the school’s finances to inform the senior leadership team who set the priorities for school spending. Completes pre-audit checks. Produces reports that present information and data using a range of analytical processes.
- Plans, organises and manages processes to ensure value for money for the school whilst supporting education delivery, e.g. contract management, payroll, building maintenance and small development projects. Uses multiple IT packages and specialised schools MIS (management information systems) platforms. Prepares and collates reporting data.
- Embraces change in a school and influence others in a positive manner.
- Works constructively within a team environment.
Communication and Relationship Building
- Communicates appropriately and effectively with a range of stakeholders including students, parents, governors/trustees, staff, government and local government departments, e.g. DfE/ ESFA, to gain positive outcomes. Has the confidence to question or seek clarification of aspects of school practice when unsure or unclear.
- Manages support services across an entire school whilst also providing guidance to colleagues on the most appropriate use of school funding. Effectively line manages small teams to drive efficiencies.
Develop and exhibit the behaviours, below, in the workplace:
- Keeps up to date with educational policies and embraces change. Self- motivated and supportive of others in working through change.
- Demonstrates a confident approach to decision-making and prioritisation, thus gaining the confidence of others.
- Open, approachable and is able to build trust with others. Consults and seeks the views of others and values diversity.
- Behaves in a collaborative way with other internal and external stakeholders. Promotes a team spirit and actively demonstrates professional competence in all settings and situations.
- Has the ability to adapt to different, changing and challenging situations whilst promoting the highest professional standards.
- Is willing to ask difficult questions whilst demonstrating an ethical, fair and consistent approach. Offers a business perspective and supports discussion and debate with professional knowledge and evidence
End Point Assessment
To trigger the End Point Assessment, you must have:
- Proof of English & maths GCSE minimum grade 4+ (C+) or equivalent level 2 qualification
- Completed a showcase portfolio, demonstrating how you have met the knowledge, skills and behaviours
- Completed a workplace project
The End Point Assessment consists of:
- Simulated task: 1.5 hours to prepare a short written report which will be presented verbally, 10 minutes for verbal presentation and 10 – 12 minutes for questions; all completed on the same day.
- Project Report & Presentation with Questions & Answers: (Report submitted by week 2 after gateway), 10 – 12 minutes for presentation and 30 - 32 minutes for questions)
This standard will be graded as Distinction, Pass or Fail
What could I do when I have finished this Apprenticeship?
Professional body alignment: Candidates will be eligible to become a Full Member of the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL – formerly National Association of School Business Management) upon successful completion of the apprenticeship
You may wish to pursue a career as business school professional and / or decide to join the Operational Departmental Manager (Level 5) Apprenticeship
Where and when will I learn?
During the course you will be expected to attend the training centre once a month to work towards the mandatory elements of the standard via the e-portfolio. The remaining days will be spent working with your employer gaining the skills, knowledge and behaviours required in preparation for End Point Assessment (EPA). Functional Skills English and maths are embedded into your training programme.
Please note, training can also take place via Teams.
This on-programme taught element will typically take 18 months, but this is based on a vocational initial assessment to determine prior learning in this area. The End Point Assessment will be completed within 2 months of completing the on-programme taught element
How much will the Apprenticeship cost?
There are no fees for this apprenticeship.
What do I do next?
Or you can:
- Apply for this apprenticeship area to be entered into a 'pool of candidates'. When a relevant vacancy becomes available we will contact you.
- If you are already employed in this area and wish to join the apprenticeship training, or have identified an employer wishing to start you as an apprentice in this area, please contact us