We asked Gill McDonald to answer five questions about being a School Business Leader. Here’s what she said:

How did you become a School Business Manager/Leader?

I‘ve always wanted to work in education and needed a part time job that would fit around me and my family. I started as admin support and when the opportunity came along to do the Certificate in School Business Management, I seized the opportunity. Not long after I had finished studying, I applied for a School Business Leader role and have been working as a School Business Leader for 6 years

What would be your one top tip for aspiring/new School Business Managers/Leaders?

My advice would be to join a Governing Body I found the experience very beneficial. It was also something I could relate to. Just remember everything will not always go to plan, you just need to be resourceful and find another way. And try to prioritise accordingly everyone has their own priorities but only you will know what deadlines you need to meet.

If you had an independent mentor and you asked for their support in one area of your role, what would you ask for?

For me it would be around the finance area that is the area I’ve received the least guidance and it’s an area I would like to know learn more about.

Thinking about when you first started as a school leader, what one piece of advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?

The advice I would give is to make sure you are organised. We have to juggle so many tasks this really is key and to remember you are not alone and don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Many school business managers/Leaders report feeling isolated, how do you think this could be addressed?

I think some of the isolation is down to people not understanding what we really do. I think you need to build a really good working relationship with your Headteacher as this can make a lot of difference. I am a member of my local SBL group which is really helpful and supportive. There are also groups on Facebook and Twitter that have also been very helpful and inspiring.

Gill is a School Business Leader at Erdington Hall Primary School in Birmingham. You can connect with Gill on Linked In

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