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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.

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.

These roles are critical to support our county's learners, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID lockdowns.

Whilst specialist qualifications are not always required, it can help to consolidate your skills and build your classroom confidence if you undertake a Teaching Assistant qualification.


As part of Hertfordshire County Council, Step2Skills adult community learning and employment support service provides opportunities for adults in Hertfordshire to get involved in learning and employment within the community. The courses we run are primarily low-cost in order to help improve the skills and wellbeing of people living in Hertfordshire.

To find out more visit: Level 1 Award in Preparing to Work in Schools | Hertfordshire County Council


One route into working as a Teaching Assistant or as an Early Years Practitioner is to utilise the government-funded Apprenticeships programme. 

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you’ll:

  • be an employee earning a wage and getting holiday pay
  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • get time for training and study related to your role (at least 20% of your normal working hours)

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.

There is a great deal of useful information on the Hertfordshire website here:

Apprenticeship & Traineeships

or you can search a national database of apprenticeships by interest and post code here:

Browse apprenticeships before you apply

Many local schools recruit for apprentices here on Teach in Herts, working with local training providers, including: Sporting Futures Training UK Ltd

Sporting Futures offer a dedicated level 3 apprenticeship in Early Years, in collaboration with HFL Education.

Browse training providers here: Register of apprenticeship training providers - GOV.UK (

Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA)

For those with more experience who wish to seek a higher level qualification, Strictly Education 4S, as part of the HLTA national assessment partnership are the regional provider of HLTA status in Hertfordshire. 

A suite of online HLTA preparation courses are available and delivered as 6 x 2hour sessions. Leading to a half day (3 hour) assessment.

For further details please contact the HLTA team at Strictly Education 4S on or see HLTA National Assessment Partnership | HLTA National Assessment Partnership

Early Years Teachers (EYTs) and Early years practitioners (EYPs), including teaching assistants 

EYT/EYPs 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 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 EYT/EYP qualification is not yet recognised as fully qualified teacher status (QTS).

For more on roles in Early Years please see our dedicated page here.

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.