Becoming a Bursar

Becoming a Bursar

There are approximately 1225 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 manager. Many of these positions can be viewed on our job vacancies page and others will be advertised nationally in the education press. Schools often seek to replace retiring 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 a senior member of the support staff within an independent school or have just recently entered the profession why not come along to our popular 'So, You Want to be a Bursar?' course which offers an insight into this stimulating and challenging career.  The course features a half-day briefing and is available to non-members.

New in post as a bursar?

Those new bursars already in post but who would like to develop their knowledge to take their career further can attend the ISBA's 'New Bursars' Course'.  This course runs annually in early November and covers the key issues bursars come across in their day-to today work from inspection regulations to employment law, health and safety, safeguarding duties and more.  

Although the National College for Teaching and Leadership has withdrawn from offering courses in school business management, content from their former programmes is available under open government licence.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 in school business management are available from organisations such as SBM Partnership which is run by NASBM, Serco and Adfecto.

Advice on course suitability

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

The 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 policy entitled 'Recruiting a Bursar'.

Please note that membership of the 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.