The Professional Role

School Business Professionals (SBPs) perform a role which is unique to schools, administering and managing the financial, site and support services within the school context. They provide essential support to school leadership teams, implementing their financial and business decisions. 

SBPs may work in any school phase (primary, secondary, special) and in different school structures: Single Academy Trusts (SATs), Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), local authority maintained schools, Free schools and Federations, etc. Consequently, they can work in very different settings with varying numbers of people that they report to including the headteacher or School Business Director (SBD). 

Within this context, SBPs have a shared number of roles which shape their day-to-day activity to make this a homogeneous role in schools. The role typically includes: budget, payroll, procurement, site management, marketing, managing support staff, implementing HR and ensuring compliance.

The Learning Journey

The length of the course is typically 18 months plus the End Point Assessment.

On Programme Learning

This course is delivered through a series of fortnightly masterclasses using a blended learning model, including independent study and work based assignments to evidence the knowledge, skills and behaviours for this qualification (see table). 

Some of this training may be delivered virtually using video calling.

Knowledge Skills Behaviours
  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Human resources
  • Managing support services
  • Governance and risk
  • Marketing
  • Infrastructure
  • Ethical standards
  • Financial and operational management
  • Project management
  • Change management
  • Communication and relationship building
  • Strategic management

  • Change catalyst
  • Decision maker
  • Skilled negotiator
  • Collaborative
  • Resilient
  • Challenger

Once achieved you will be able to perform the role of the School Business Professional/Manager. The qualification may also be used as a stepping stone for those aspiring to senior or strategic roles in the school business profession. 

Upon successful completion of this apprenticeship candidates will be eligible to become a full member of the Institute of School Business Management.

Assessment Note

The Business Administration apprenticeship has two possible overall pass grades: Pass or Distinction. You must pass all assessment elements to achieve your standard.

Additional Requirements

You will need to achieve a level 2 qualification in English and maths, if you do not already hold an equivalent qualification.

End Point Assessment

Once you have met all the criteria to pass Gateway, the EPA will consist of:

  • Simulated task involving 2 assessment methods
  • Project report and presentation with questions and answers underpinned by the workplace project and portfolio of learning