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School Bursar Profile


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 Bursar. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a School Bursar
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful School Bursars Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Bursars perform a financial management role in educational establishments, and are usually members of the senior management team. In some instances, the job may be titled business manager or business director. Depending on their employer''s size and type, their responsibilities may include managing other areas such as marketing, personnel, administration, training and development, and premises management.

Finance and accountancy functions are central to all bursars jobs. This includes keeping accounts and preparing summaries of the establishments financial position, advising on general financial policy, ordering goods and services, paying suppliers and contractors and processing salaries. There is much use of management information tools to assess trends and develop long term financial strategies, and to prepare reports for agencies such as the local education authority and the Department for Education and Skills.

Most bursars are also involved in staff management, which includes recruitment and training of support staff such as technicians, teaching assistants, caterers and maintenance staff, and carrying out appraisals and producing staff development plans. Some jobs require a bursar to bid competitively for funding and sponsorships, and to manage contracts, tenders and agreements for the provision of support services such as IT systems and energy supplies.

Other general duties include formulating and implementing health and safety policies, seeking appropriate insurances for the establishment, checking that the site''s transport regulations are followed, managing the computer systems and the cleaning and catering services, and overall responsibility for site security.

Hours and Environment

Bursars usually work a 37-hour week, Monday to Friday. Unsocial hours may be required, such as when attending governors̢۪ meetings, and there may also be events to attend at weekends.

Holidays must be taken as and when the academic year will allow.

Skills and Interests

To be a bursar you should:

  • be interested in and committed to education
  • be well organised and methodical
  • be able to work well as a member of a management team
  • be able to plan the use of funds and future developments
  • have the ability to keep information confidential
  • be numerate and computer literate
  • have a pleasant, confident manner
  • be able to organise and lead the work of others such as clerks and support staff
  • be able to work under pressure and prioritise work
  • have excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • be knowledgeable in employment law, commercial law, taxation and town planning.


There are no standard entry qualifications for work as a bursar. However, most people enter from a financial, management or related field and hold appropriate professional qualifications. Management experience in education, accountancy, business, industry, personnel or the armed forces is useful.

It is possible to be promoted to bursar from an administration role after having obtained relevant experience and qualifications. Qualifications that can be useful include NVQ/SVQ Level 3 in Administration and Finance, or Level 4 in Management, or an accountancy or management qualification. Administration staff may also work towards NVQ/SVQ Levels 3 and 4 in School Administration.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with course providers for exact entry requirements.


The National College for School Leadership offers a Certificate and a Diploma of School Business Management which together make up their Bursar Development Programme. The certificate is intended for those new to the role, while the diploma expands on this foundation knowledge. Both qualifications are modular and are delivered through a combination of distance- and face-to-face learning. Holders of the diploma are allowed credits towards the Institute of Leadership and Management''s Level 5 Executive Diploma in Management.

Bursars can work towards the NVQ/SVQ in Management at Levels 4 and 5, and can take a variety of short courses offered by the National Bursars'' Association (NBA). Those with extensive experience can work towards becoming a registered bursar through the NBAs registration scheme.


Bursars in state schools are employed by local education authorities or the school governors. In an independent school, the governors or educational trust that runs the school would appoint bursars.

Bursars may progress by moving to a larger school. They could look to move into financial or education administration with a local authority.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only. Salaries vary according to the establishment and can differ considerably. Extra payments may be made for additional responsibility and length of service.

Many bursars in state schools are paid on local government scales. Earnings average between £20,000 and £25,000 a year.
Those with extensive experience may earn up to £35,000 a year.

Bursars in independent schools may be paid more than those in the public sector, and could have accommodation or a company car included in their package.

Further information

National College for School Leadership
Triumph Road
Tel: 0870 001 1155

National Bursars Association
140 Wood Street
CV21 2SP
Tel: 01788 573300

Other Useful School Bursars Work Information

We have a section available at this site on School Bursars 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.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other School Bursars Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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