This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a School Secretary. This page details the following Information:-Other useful School Secretary Work Information
Finding Suitable Work
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Working Duties Expected
School secretaries have a range of duties, which may include:
- answering the telephone
- word processing documents like letters, reports and memos for the headteacher
- dealing with mail that comes into the school
- printing and photocopying
- meeting visitors at reception
- keeping records of pupils and staff
- ordering equipment and stationery
- arranging for the payment of ordered goods
- keeping inventories of equipment
- dealing with dinner money, petty cash and payments
- being responsible for the sick room or medical room.
Hours and Environment
Secretaries in primary and middle schools usually work for 40 weeks a year. This includes all term times. Many secretaries work part-time for 6 to 15 hours a week but some work full-time for 37 hours a week.
Secretaries in state secondary schools or in independent schools are more likely to work all year round. They are expected to take their holidays only during school holidays. They are likely to work a 37-hour week but part-time work may be available. They may sometimes have to attend evening meetings.
Skills and Interests
To be a school secretary you should:
- be well organised and methodical
- be able to work under pressure and prioritise tasks
- have good spoken and written communication skills
- be patient and calm
- be numerate and able to keep financial and statistical records
- keep personal information confidential
- be a good team worker
- be flexible
- be tactful.
There are no set entry requirements for becoming a school secretary. In practice, though, you will need a good standard of education with good maths and English. You may be asked for a secretarial qualification.
You usually need at least four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) or equivalent qualifications to get onto a full-time secretarial course. Local colleges run courses that usually take one or two years full-time. They also run part-time secretarial courses. There are also secretarial courses that require A levels/H grades or a degree.
To become a school secretary, you will usually be expected to have several years'' previous experience of office work. You should be able to use word processing, database, spreadsheet and accounts computer packages. Employers might offer training in these.
It may be possible for you to begin working as a clerical assistant and, with experience, progress to secretary.
For details of qualification equivalents see:
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.
As a school secretary, you could work towards NVQs/SVQs Levels 3 and 4 in School Administration.
Most schools use specialised computer systems such as Schools Information Management System (SIMS) or similar. Your employer or local education authority will provide training.
Nearly every primary school has a full-time or part-time secretary. Some larger schools also have some clerical assistants. A few secretaries share their time between two small schools.
Most middle, secondary and independent schools have a bursar and one or more clerical assistants. Some also have a school secretary, while others combine the jobs of bursar and school secretary.
There are limited promotion prospects within a school. Secretaries could seek to move to a larger school or a more responsible secretarial post outside education.
The annual income section is intended as a guideline only. There are no set salary scales for school secretaries in England and Wales. Salaries vary according to the size of school and the type of employing organisation and can differ considerably.
Secretaries working full-time in a state school are likely to earn at least £9,000 to £12,000 a year. This figure may be higher for working in a large secondary school, e.g. up to £20,000.
Salaries in private schools vary widely.
Further information about training and vacancies may be available from local careers offices, Connexions Partnerships and/or Jobcentres. Vacancies may be advertised in local newspapers. Local authorities may also publish job bulletins.
National Association of Administrative Staff in Schools and Colleges (NAASSC) incorporated with:
Professionals Allied to Teaching (PAT)
King Edward Camp Hill School for Girls
Tel: 0121 444 2150
Other Useful School Secretary Work Information
We have a section available at this site on School Secretary job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.
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Details of other School Secretary Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
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