Business Leaders: Support Hub

Case studies

In this section, we share a range of approaches members utilise when setting business leaders' pay and conditions
to provide leaders with contextual, real-life examples.  

Case Study

Paul Steward | Director of Business and Operations | La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls' School

La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls' School is an Inner London voluntary-aided 11-18 secondary school with approximately 1,200 students on roll.   The SLT here comprises the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, Director of Business and Operations, one Director of Learning and six Assistant Headteachers - the team all work extremely cohesively.   The Director of Business and Operations takes an active role in the SLT and his views and opinions are generally welcomed by the other SLT members on a range of curricular and non-curricular matters.  His is a strategic role when it comes to resource planning and developing support services in the school to enable the best possible quality of teaching and learning;  students can then achieve outstanding results!     
In his 17-year tenure, he has successfully overseen the smooth transition of many key support services historically provided to the school by outsourced companies to an in-house operation e.g. catering,  ICT support. 

This has not only improved service quality but has provided greater value for money for the school.   The school always tries to be commercially astute where it can be and the school generates at least an extra £600,000 annually from hiring out its facilities and outsourcing its own staff, for example IT, premises, and business management, who support other schools.
He takes an active role in SLT responsibilities involving students e.g. gate, lunch, bus stop duties, and is well known across the school community with many students knowing him by name. 
The Headteacher and governors recognise the importance of having an experienced and confident individual in the role and, as such, remunerate the role at the same ISR as the Deputy Headteacher.

Case Study

CEO | Primary multi-academy trust, East Midlands

The MAT Business Manager/CFO is a full member of the leadership team and leads on all non-teaching functions, including finance, HR, operations, organisational change, service delivery and contract administration.

As a small MAT the role is vital to the effective operations of the business and plays a key role in the MAT’s overall success. The postholder has been pivotal to the transformation of the trust and its continued growth and development.

All the leadership positions across the trust were evaluated to create an executive pay structure that is fair, equitable and consistent for all roles. It also built in progression based on the size of the individual schools (Group ranges) and the number of schools supported within the trust. 

As part of the evaluation, the trust believed that it was important to transfer the MAT Business Manager/CFO to the leadership scale to reflect the individual’s role and the high level of responsibility undertaken. The position remains in the local government pension scheme. 

The role ranges from L14 – L28 depending on the number of schools within the trust and progression is based on performance against rigorous targets, evaluated by the CEO and trust board.

Case Study

Birchwood High School

Birchwood High School is a large, 11 to 18 single academy trust.  The SLT comprises Principal, two Deputy Principals, three Assistant Principals and the Finance Director (FD). 

The FD is paid on a five-point leadership scale (ISR), subject to performance-related annual increments. The ISR is comparable with the Assistant Principal ISR.  This also gives parity in terms of pension and annual leave. 

The FD can also work flexibly from home for specific work.  He works closely with the School HR Manager around contracts, salary and pensions.  

The FD and HR Manager are the two most senior members of our non-teaching team.  The FD is part of a local network of FDs and SBMs and has a CPD budget allocation to support his CPD. 

It is a structure which works well for us as a school and provides us with leadership, compliance and financial accuracy.  

Case Study

Secondary Headteacher | Secondary, single academy trust, South East England

The Business Manager (BM) is a full member of the leadership team and leader for all support staff in the school.

The BM’s job description is evaluated against the Green Book pay scale but we add a retention payment to match pay progression through leadership scale L11 to L15 – this is the same pay range as for our two Assistant Headteachers. The BM, like all support staff, is eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

Although we are an academy, we continue to follow the Green Book for pay and conditions, and mirror our local authority’s practice, eg for annual leave.

We see the professional development of our BM as crucial with particular benefit in networking opportunities, eg the local Business Managers’ group.

"Being recognised as a full member of the leadership team and being included and encouraged to participate fully in meetings, underpins everything I do even if not directly related to my role. I believe a Business Manager can only be fully effective if they ground their approach in the context of Leadership Team meetings. A strong school will recognise the Business Manager has an important part to play in the leadership of the school and the parity of pay with the AHTs recognises this."

Case Study

Finance and Operations Director | Multi-academy trust, South East

The trust is a six-school trust (soon to be ten schools) in the South East. The central team consists of CEO, Finance and Operations Director, Director of School Improvement, HR Director and some part-time support staff.

The FOD is paid on a spot salary which is set apart from the Support Staff Pay Grades. Pay is recommended by the CEO and ratified by the Pay and HR Committee. There are 30 days’ holiday plus bank holidays and an additional three days during Christmas close down. Holidays can be taken during term time.

The FOD is able to work flexibly and also receives financial benefit towards private healthcare.

The FOD works very closely with the CEO and attends all Finance Audit and Risk Committee meetings and all full trust board meetings.

I have always felt truly valued by the trustees and my colleagues. I believe that I am well paid and although I cover many areas, I love the working at the Trust as part of the executive team.”

Case Study

Director of Finance and Operations | 11 to 19 Single academy secondary school (1,250 students and sixth form, South West)

The Director of Finance and Operations (DOFO) is a full member of the SLT and attends all SLT meetings unless focused on teaching and learning in detail. This ensures a collegiate approach to working and joined up conversations regarding education outcomes, finance and operations. The SLT consist of the Headteacher, two Deputies, two Assistant Heads and Head of Sixth Form. The DOFO is the most senior non-teaching member of staff and works with a number of managers for the school functions, with all services in-house.

The DOFO is employed under local government terms and conditions but paid on the teaching leadership scale with a five-point band subject to performance related progression. The pay is between the Deputy and Assistant Head roles. Additional benefits such as private medical insurance for SLT staff extents to the DOFO.

Governors recognise the considerable responsibility that the DOFO undertakes and whilst it may appear to be an expensive stand-alone post the generated income, efficiency savings and joined up focus on education outcomes more than justifies this strategic role and the standing within the SLT and school.

Case Study

Business leader | Multi-academy trust, Yorkshire

Part of a family of primary and secondary schools in a Diocesan multi-academy trust, all of the school business leaders are part of the SLT and it would not be considered for them not to be at the table.  The strategic advice they provide is essential to being able to deliver the development plan.  You wouldn’t build your house without advice on the finance, manpower and safety aspects, would you? 
They are valued by the headteachers, the trust executive team, the trustees and board who recognise that they strive for the success of the school and will move mountains to make things happen.
Pay structure across the business leaders reflects how they are valued.  Performance management is undertaken twice a year with the headteachers and a member of the Central Finance Team. 
Colleagues also work collaboratively across the trust leading professional learning communities and supporting each other.
"It is a pleasure to serve our communities and our trust."

Business Leaders: Support Hub