The School Business Manager’s Handbook


The School Business Manager's Handbook
Primary, Secondary
Sep 2011


‘The importance of the school business manager and the contribution they can make cannot be over-stated. Research makes very clear that effective and appropriately trained school business managers can save around 30 per cent of their headteacher’s time, enabling them to focus on leading learning and saving significant financial resources for reinvestment.’
National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services

The dramatic changes to school funding announced in the December white paper The Importance of Teaching - along with the scrapping of FMSIS and the enormous legal and financial changes brought about by the rapid expansion of the academies programme - mean that the role of the school business manager is more vital in school than ever before. It is absolutely key to the success of any school that the business manager is highly competent and able to contribute effectively to the strategic direction of the institution.

The expanding role now includes many strategic and managerial elements, for which a wide range of competencies are necessary, and this is where The School Business Manager’s Handbook can come in. It is a comprehensive resource developed specifically for school business managers, either new to the job or with several years’ experience, providing everything that a busy school business manager will need all in one place. It is designed to support best practice and to save you time. This extensive resource is written by a team of experienced practitioners and brought together by Ray Moorcroft and Angela Harnett from the Centre for Innovation and Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University.

If your role is expanding, or if you just need support in specific areas, The School Business Manager’s Handbook will provide you with essential information and tools to do your job with increased confidence and efficiency.


The School Business Manager’s Handbook contains 13 chapters designed to:

  • embed management best practice within your school
  • help you effectively manage staff and staffing issues
  • attract external funding
  • develop an enterprising culture in your school
  • carry out each area of your role more effectively and with increased confidence.

Summary of contents

With a plethora of additional templates, audits and tools, this practical resource ensures that you have access to best practice information in one convenient location.

Each chapter in The School Business Manager’s Handbook indicates how this resource will help provide guidance to business managers with varying levels of experience. In a turbulent economic context, the role of education is being challenged and the new ‘education business manager’ needs the wider awareness which the handbook offers.

The School Business Manager’s Handbook will enable you to:

  • achieve value for money
  • provide a whole-school marketing strategy
  • manage risks appropriately
  • attract and recruit the best staff
  • work in partnership with local businesses and third sector community organisations
  • work towards becoming a sustainable school
  • manage an engaged team of support staff
  • allow your head to concentrate on teaching and learning

Chapter breakdown

Chapter 1: School Business Management

Chapter 1 looks at how school business management has developed from 2001. It focuses on the role of the School Business Manager and considers areas of responsibility they might have. There is also an overview and flavour of what will appear in the rest of the handbook.

Chapter 2: Financial Management

Chapter 2 gives a good overview of how finances should be managed within a school, covering financial planning, monitoring and reporting, accounting processes, governance and auditing and strategic financial leadership. Schools are all different and have different financial mechanisms, so this chapter is an overview of good practice across different types of schools.

Chapter 3: Enterprise

What is enterprise and how does it fit with the role of school business manager? This chapter will help you hone your own enterprise skills and to develop an ethos of enterprise in your school.

Chapter 4: Facilities Management

In this chapter particular focus is given to how funds can be raised through the sharing of facilities more widely and making the most of resources out of school hours.

Chapter 5: Fundraising

This chapter explores some of the strategies that can be employed to raise extra income for your school. The issue of grants is also addressed, in light of the ongoing crisis and shortfall of public finances.

Chapter 6: Human Resource Management

This chapter is designed to assist school business managers in the management of a wide range of often complex human resource management issues. It includes numerous templates which set out policies, procedures, checklists and includes links to additional sources of information.

Chapter 7: Information and communication technology

Students have grown up in a world where they take for granted access to IT for learning, leisure and communication. This puts a pressure on schools to not only provide access to current technology for all pupils, but also to look to the future with regard to further implementation of innovations in the IT industry. There is an additional need to use IT in communicating with the various stakeholders of schools and colleges. Government directives, such as reporting online mean that schools have responsibilities to review their working practices and look to enhance current provision.

Chapter 8: Marketing

This chapter considers what marketing is about and how it can help long-term financial sustainability of schools.

Chapter 9: Partnership Working

This chapter explores the different types of partnership working that will help school business managers make the most of collaborative working and increase awareness about the potential pitfalls. Effective partnerships should seek to share opportunity, expertise and resources and in the true sense of ‘partnership working’, offer an exchange of benefits that have a whole-school impact, particularly on pupil learning outcomes.

Chapter 10: Project management

This chapter provides the school business manager with support and guidance on how to prepare and implement a project plan to a successful conclusion.

Chapter 11: Risk management

In this chapter risk management is considered to be broader than personal injury alone. The level of risk in a school environment continuously varies and it is the responsibility of all staff to mitigate the risk on a daily basis and provide a safe learning environment.

Chapter 12: Sustainable Development

This chapter is intended to help the school business manager in their quest to develop sustainable operations in their school. There is a wealth of information on sustainability and sustainable development but it can be quite overwhelming and it is difficult to know where to begin, so this chapter offers clear guidance in helping the School Business Manager acquire eco-knowledge.

Chapter 13: Converting to Academy Status

Chapter 13 guides you through the complex process of converting to academy status, allowing you to support your headteacher and governor in making the decision and then taking you through step by step.


A4 ring-binder, 350 pages

1 x Enhanced and indexed PDF 
82 x Templates in Word
7x Templates in Excel
3x Templates as PDFs



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