Become a bursar

There are more than 1300 independent schools within the Independent Schools Council (ISC) offering senior level support management roles.  The most senior of these is the bursar or school business director/manager.

Many of these positions can be viewed on our job vacancies page and others will be advertised in the national press and online recruitment websites. Schools often seek to replace bursars at the beginning or at the end of the academic year so it is worth looking out for advertisements in the autumn and spring terms.

So you want to be a bursar?

If you are considering a new career as a bursar or currently working in as a member of the support staff in schools and looking to progress your career within the independent school sector, we are currently running this course as a series of webinars.  At £185 for a set of four webinars, including a follow-up one hour one-to-one call with our COO or CEO, these webinars represent great value for money.

Our next set of webinars will be held on 10 and 12 September 2024 - click here for more details and to book.

External courses

Although the National College for Teaching and Leadership has withdrawn from offering courses in school business management, content from their former programmes is available under open government licence. Courses leading to Level 4, 5 and 6 Diplomas and beyond in school business management are available through the SBM Partnership made up of the National Association of School Business Management, Serco and Adecto.

Advice on course suitability

ISBA is able to offer advice on the suitability of the different courses available.   Email us or phone us on 01256 330369.

Bursar appointments

ISBA is not involved in the direct appointment of bursars as this is the responsibility of a school's board of governors, however, we can provide schools with guidance on the subject including a useful ISBA document entitled 'Recruiting a Bursar'.

Please note that membership of ISBA is vested in the school and not the bursar and, while schools generally nominate the bursar as their ISBA representative, there is no scope for individuals to join the association.