4 Putting plans into action
In part, the business manager can and should be an ‘educational resource manager’. By having someone who concentrates on areas such as administration, facilities management or human resources, it allows others to focus on teaching.
When I applied for the post of business and community manager, the advertisement specified that the successful candidate would have ‘an empathy and understanding of comprehensive education’.
The head explained after my appointment that he did not want someone from industry or commerce who ‘knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing’. Rather, he wanted someone who would fit with the ethos of the school, its staff, pupils and local community.
Crucially, the business manager should take part in, or at least be aware of, SMT deliberations regarding teaching and learning priorities – timetable and curriculum changes and other ‘big picture’ aspects of the school – in order that he/she can help ensure that the hidden work underpinning this ‘big picture’ is in place. For example, identifying timelines, financial resources, actions and activities for internal and external staff to ensure the correct classroom equipment, décor, ICT infrastructure etc. are in place in an effective, efficient, academic and timely manner.
Developments such as consistent financial reporting and other comparison methods can help you compare and contrast expenditure. Be warned, however, that it is essential to ask key questions – who, what, when, where, how and why – in relation to differences and similarities.