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Professional and support roles in schools

School business managers

School business managers (SBMs) are the leading business professionals within schools and form part of the senior leadership team (SLT). SBMs provide strategic leadership for all non-curriculum aspects of the school and work alongside headteachers in their duties to ensure that schools meet their educational aims. SBMs are accountable for the delivery of schools’ business management functions, including financial planning; financial resource management; administration management; management information and ICT; human resource management; facility and property management; health and safety; and business development and marketing.

Bursars

Bursars play a crucial role in managing schools’ financial resources and contracts. They focus on providing expert managerial, administrative and financial services to support schools and their leadership teams. Bursars may also be called finance officers or finance managers.

School administrators

School administrators play an important role in supporting the teaching and learning within schools. They are the first point of contact for parents and visitors, and contribute to effective communication with stakeholders. School administrators perform a wide range of office support duties, including dealing with admissions, attendance, cash handling, data entry, reception duties, diary management and correspondence. There are a variety of roles within the administration function of different schools, depending on the staffing structure of each setting. Job titles for administrators could be office administrator, administration assistant, receptionist, secretary, office manager, or personal assistant.

Teaching assistants

Teaching assistants support children with their learning and act as additional adults in the classroom to enable pupils to be independent learners. They work closely with teachers to support lesson plans, through marking and feedback of pupils’ work and assessing the children within the lesson.

This role involves working with children and helping them with their education and wellbeing. It requires good literacy and numeracy skills, and usually some experience of working with children. There are NVQ training programmes as well as apprenticeship schemes for teaching assistants.

Early years practitioners (EYPs), including teaching assistants and EYP/EYT status

Early years practitioners may work in schools or in private, voluntary or independent (PVI) settings, including preschools and day care. They work alongside teachers and leaders to support childcare and the learning and development of children aged 0–5. An NVQ Level 3 qualification in early years is mandatory in some posts.

Graduate, qualified EYPs, and those holding the early years teacher (EYT) qualification, may work as early years specialist teaching assistants in Nursery and Reception classes in maintained schools, alongside class teachers and other teaching assistants. The EYP qualification is not yet recognised as fully qualified teacher status (QTS).

Premises staff

Premises staff ensure that school environments are safe and secure, and provide a positive learning environment for students.

Premise managers/caretakers are responsible for the maintenance of school sites, ensuring health and safety compliance and asset management planning.

Cleaning staff work either on their own or in a team, ensuring that the school premises are kept clean and hygienic.