Free up time for headteachers

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New research shows that headteachers can save time and money to reinvest in children's education if they delegate responsibility for the school's administration and finance to a qualified, high-level School Business Manager.

Advanced School Business Managers (ASBMs) and School Business Directors (SBDs) specialise in leading the business element of their schools. With the announcement by the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) of an additional 12 demonstration projects being rolled out across England, a total of 180 schools with more than 51,500 pupils will benefit from this additional level of expertise.

Key findings of the interim report by NCSL and the University of Manchester - focussing on the first wave of demonstration projects - include:

  • Headteachers beginning to report reduced workload, with the higher level SBM role having a potential to free up to 30 per cent of their time;
  • Evidence that the new roles are allowing schools to release funds by maximising existing resources and engaging clusters of schools to work together strategically -- savings of £30,000 have already been identified across five schools in Durham with reinvestment being made in learning;
  • SBMs are attracting new sources of funding -- in West Grantham, £20,000 has been sourced to support the introduction of Montessori learning in its foundation stage;
  • More effective liaison between schools including the provision of additional support and professional development
  • Links with external agencies to support the Every Child Matters agenda; and
  • A broader remit for SBMs by bringing new skills to school leadership teams and managing important whole school projects.

Toby Salt, Deputy Chief Executive of NCSL, said: "Although it's still early days, these interim findings are very encouraging. They demonstrate for the first time the true potential that properly deployed school business managers can have to free up time and money for school leaders.

"All schools stand to benefit greatly from high-level school business managers. Whether emerging from special measures, operating in inner city areas or undergoing change, the skills of an SBM will prove invaluable.

"By maximising resources and ensuring schools are effectively run, SBMs enable headteachers to bring dynamic leadership to bear on challenging situations. That can only mean one thing -- better attainment and outcomes for more of our children and young people."


School Leadership Today