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School Business Manager role - advice needed

(7 Posts)
redphonebox Wed 21-Jun-17 08:02:02

I've been thinking for a while about a career change. I don't mind my job but hate the commute (at least an hour each way on a crowded train). I work as a departmental business manager within a large organisation. That means some HR and recruitment, some project management and supporting the senior management team, line managing the admin staff, some oversight of contracts/finance/budgets (but not loads of that last bit if I'm honest).

I keep seeing school business manager posts advertised nearby. The role sounds like something I would enjoy, it would massively reduce the commute and they also often seem to be either part time or term time which would be perfect now my DD is nearly school age.

Does my experience sound right for a SBM role? Or would I need more finance background? I've looked at the DSBM but it seems you need to already be working in a school to do it so I'm a bit reluctant to specialise before knowing I can definitely get a job! I have PRINCE2 but no other professional qualifications (other than GCSEs and A levels).

Any advice or general thoughts appreciated, even if you can't answer those specific questions! Thank you.

redphonebox Wed 21-Jun-17 09:30:31

Bumping just in case...

redphonebox Wed 21-Jun-17 18:16:45

Last ditch attempt to catch the evening crowd...

lackingimagination Wed 21-Jun-17 18:29:01

Having working in recruitment before I would say the best thing to do is apply and take it from there, what have you got to lose - the worst thing they can do is say no thank you. It's the only real way to find out definitive answers to your questions whether that be at the application stage or at an interview (remember you are interviewing them as much as they are you).

I never recruited for these types of roles but from what you have written it sounds like you'd be very well suited and most likely over-qualified/experienced.

Go for it! Good luck.

ZebraGoat Wed 21-Jun-17 19:00:01

I'm working as a School Business Manager in an academy having come from a management accountant background. The role I applied for had a strong finance requirement and the role has subsequently developed to incorporate HR, recruitment and project management (for which I would love to have your prior experience).

It is a role which can vary so much. I would agree with the poster above that it would be a good idea to investigate further and apply for any roles that catch your eye. It sounds like you have skills that would be particularly useful in a school which also employs a finance officer to deal with day to day finance.

redphonebox Wed 21-Jun-17 19:12:42

Thanks so much for your responses! I feel a bit more positive now. I think you're right, I need to stick a couple of applications in and see how far I get. If I am unsuccessful but can get feedback then so much the better.

I have been wondering about getting an AAT qualification which I hope would broaden my experience into roles which involve more finance than I've had to do in the past but wouldn't limit me to schools. Does anyone know if that would be relevant for a school role or is it only really the DSBM which is recognised?

zebra were you in a corporate environment before becoming a SBM? What persuaded you to make the switch, and have you enjoyed it?

ZebraGoat Wed 21-Jun-17 20:38:55

Regarding AAT, I think it worth checking out a few SBM vacancy person specifications and seeing what the preference is in the roles that appeal to you. I have seen AAT listed as a suitable qualification in roles local to me. I think the DSBM is often desirable rather than essential.

I was in a global corporate organisation for 10 years. I was made redundant and was lucky enough of be able to stay home for my daughters' first year at school. When the time came to get back into the workplace I wanted to maximise the time I could spend with them and also was interested personally in public sector finance and the challenges within that. Do I enjoy it? Six years in it is still fascinating and challenging, but it can be lonely and the current financial situation can be demotivating if you always seem to be the bearer of bad news. I wonder whether I should move back to the corporate environment, but at the moment the feeling of making a contribution to the outcomes of the children keeps me motivated ... plus, at this time of year, the thought of the summer holidays smile

If you use Twitter, try #SBM to find more views on the career and good luck!

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