How to survive as a School Business Manager

Occupying the unique role of school business manager (SBM) can feel like a lonely position.

However, as the only person with knowledge in areas such as finance, when faced with a challenging set of circumstances the school community will increasingly rely on you.

If you’re feeling lonely and frustrated with the pressures of everyday SBM life, try taking some of these steps:

Don’t keep it to yourself

Reduce stress levels by discussing problems with people in a similar situation. This could be other SBM’s or your head teacher, governors and colleagues.

Network with others

Join your local SBM group. This allows you to hear how others in the same boat are tackling issues that you’ve experienced – you’ll also be able to provide advice for issues you’ve overcome.

Not only will this help you to avoid mistakes, but you’ll uncover a great deal of common ground – you might even be recommended suppliers that offer the best value!

You can also become a member of ISBL, benefiting from regular news, best practice templates and a regional conference.

Keep yourself informed

The more you understand the better. You’ll be better prepared and more confident in overcoming issues. You can subscribe to newsletters such as: ESFA e-bulletin, GOV.uk Weekly Digest Bulletin, SSAT Sunday Supplement and School Finances Success.

Take a course

To expand your knowledge, you can look at taking courses such as ILM Level 4,5 & 6 qualifications and CIPFA financial reporting qualifications.

There’s also a variety of new qualifications for 2018 available through ISBL.

Concentrate on developing your ability to deal with emotions.

Focus on persisting in the face of frustrations, controlling impulse, delaying gratification and empathising.

Earn respect as a senior colleague

As a change catalyst, you need to listen to arising issues and drive a culture that supports both improvement and innovation. Being able to bring a number of scenarios to the meeting, with figures and rationale, will place you in a strong position – you’ll be surprised how many deputy heads will start coming to you for advice.

Give strategic input

Showing your awareness of the long term strategy is a good way to demonstrate your leadership. Try and keep up to date with all education legislation to show them you’re ahead of the game.

We’re here to help

At The Education Broker we’ve been working with schools for over 20 years, so you could say we know a thing or two about the challenges you face. That’s why we’re here to help with your Staff Absence Insurance needs. And, when you take out a policy, you have access to our free wellbeing service – after all, healthier staff means less absences. For more information, simply call 0800 7833 500.

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