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Calling all primary school office staff - secretaries, bursars, admin officers, school managers!

(8 Posts)
LoxLass Sun 08-Sep-13 12:35:30

Would you be able to spare me a moment and tell me what sort of office set-up you have, and who takes responsibility for various tasks?

We have a part-time bursar (me!) and full time secretary. I would love to know how other schools handle admissions/appeals/waiting lists/getting quotes for building works/ordering stationery/handling/banking/chasing dinner/trip money etc etc. I have no idea if our set us is normal or strange (this is my first time bursar role, in case you hadn't guessed smile).

pensandpaperclips Mon 09-Sep-13 13:55:33

I've worked in several schools and the usual setup goes along these lines:

Secretary does:
-General supplies ordering
-Updating details/data input
-Sorting out new pupils, beginning of term procedures
-Letters/communications to parents
-Relaying messages

Bursar (increasingly known as business managers!) does:
-Getting quotes
-Chasing money
-Anything to do with money...
-Sometimes health & safety

If you're feeling put-upon, how about have a meeting with the head to divide up responsibilities fairly? IME admin staff can often end up with too big a load unless they are strict with boundaries.

OfflineFor40Years Mon 09-Sep-13 18:53:52

I'm a part time bursar too. Very part time - 7 hours a week, which limits what I can achieve. However I work with 2 almost ft finance assistants who are very experienced and capable.

They do most of the admin and I waltz in and perform the reconciliations, do the budget, forecast and governors' reports.

This set up is fairly new as I only started last term so we've yet to see how sustainable it is, though so far so good.

I'd be happy to speak by PM if you would like more detail. smile

LoxLass Tue 10-Sep-13 12:35:06

Thanks both of you. I don't want to out myself, but I am working in a new academy, so we are all finding our feet. The job descriptions for me and the secretary seems to be quite vague, so we are very politely trying to negotiate. It feels though like we have more responsibility than we are paid for iyswim? Plus, far too much to do! What have I got myself into smile shock. Is it normal to just have 1 and a half person trying to do everything?

OfflineFor40Years Tue 10-Sep-13 18:32:54

I understand that the reporting requirements are much more burdensome in an academy; your governors/head teacher may not fully appreciate how the change from LA maintained to academy has affected workloads so you may have a case to increase staffing.

I do think it's an underpaid role though - there's a lot of responsibility and it's relentless. I still enjoy it though!

Fairyliz Fri 13-Sep-13 19:21:33

I am a Business Manager at a primary that recently converted to Academy status. Its a really difficult job beause you are responsible for everything that not teaching and learning. So finance, HR ,admin etc. The reporting requirements are also a lot more onerous than when we were part of the LA.
However the most difficult part is that there is really no one to ask or support you, unlike the teachers who can help each other.
I end up doing about 10 hours a week unpaid overtime and for less than our newly appointed 22 year old NQT sad

pensandpaperclips Fri 13-Sep-13 20:16:44

Fairyliz, you're being shafted!

Business Managers should be on at least £30k in a small primary and looking at £40k upwards in a secondary. I know positions that have been advertised for around £60k. They're 2nd in importance after the Headteacher in keeping the school going.

officelady Fri 13-Sep-13 21:02:49

I am a Finance Officer in a primary school. There are 2 of us in the office, both full-time (37 hrs) during term time. The admin officer does all the pupil-related admin: admissions, dinners, assessment data, trips, health & safety, and secretarial support for the head. I do anything finance related (ordering, quotes, banking, petty cash, budgets etc) and personnel (recruitment, contracts, payroll etc). We share first aider responsibilities and both answer the phones, deal with visitors etc.
I don't know any business managers being paid £30k+! My FTE salary is about £26k but pro rata it's only about £22k because I don't get paid for the school hols. Despite having to work through most of them - which seems to be par for the course in my area.
I do love working in a primary school but all the staff get shafted when it comes to pay/work-life balance. It goes with the territory. Never a dull moment though!!

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