Bursar's role is still unrecognised

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School business managers are concerned about a lack of recognition and job status, despite the importance of their role in modern education.

School business managers are concerned about a lack of recognition and job status, despite the importance of their role in modern education.

A survey by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has found “growing concerns” among bursars and school business managers about how they and their roles are perceived.

The union spoke to more than 750 bursars and school business managers across the UK and found that while 83.3 per cent said they were included as part of their school’s leadership team, 62.5 per cent felt their pay scales did not reflect their level of responsibility.

A majority (96.9 per cent) did not receive additional overtime payments or time off in lieu despite working significantly longer than their contracted hours. 

Most reported that while they were contracted to work for 37 hours a week, in practice, they worked in excess of 50 hours.

Pay scales also vary widely, according to the survey, with salaries ranging from £17,000 to £79,000. Furthermore, 24.5 per cent said that they did not have all-year-round contracts.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said: “With cuts in services that used to be provided by local authorities, schools are increasingly looking to the skills of their business managers and bursars to provide expert advice on the essential services they need to keep the school running smoothly.

“School business managers are finding themselves with more and more responsibility for making pivotal decisions at the most senior levels. Yet too often, they are not remunerated in a way that reflects their significance. Nor do they always have the sort of job security that usually accompanies a role which may require a long-term commitment.

“It is time to shore up this role by establishing clear guidelines in pay and conditions that reflect the value of these increasingly key players in today’s education system.”


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