Headlines: July 14th, 2006

Head teachers are being given special guidance on the role of school bursars and how they can help heads to have more free time to lead their schools. The new guide has been produced by the Training and Development Agency for Schools following a big rise in the number of state schools that now have bursars.Almost 4,000 bursars are currently undergoing training for the National College for School Leadership’s Certificate and Diploma of School Business Management and the total number has risen from 4,000 in 1997 to 6,800 today according to school workforce statistics.

Bursars, also known as school business managers or senior administrators are seen as is increasingly important in supporting head teachers and to make sure schools of every size make the most of all their resources. The guide says this can mean much more than achieving effective financial management. The role can also embrace strategic planning, human resources and estate management, marketing and whole school administration, including managing and improving school ICT systems.

Jill Staley, Director of Wider Workforce at the Training and Development Agency, said, “As schools look to modernise their staffing, more head teachers are recognising the important contribution which a bursar can make to school performance. This guidance sets out how bursars can help schools of all age ranges and sizes achieve value for money, assist in the smooth running of schools and, ultimately, contribute to children’s learning.”Jane Nicklin, head of St Chad’s Church of England primary school in Staffordshire said her bursar’s in depth knowledge of school systems, including finance, facilities, health and safety and personnel, had enabled her to be the head teacher she had planned to be with time to concentrate on maintaining high standards in teaching and learning.