Tracey Parsons is a School Business Manager (SBM) at a Primary School in the West Midlands. Tracey is in one of the first cohorts to be enrolled on the new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) for Schools, run by Serco Education and including a Bachelors Degree qualification which is validated by the University of Gloucestershire.
When the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced the Local Authority maintained school was keen to make the most of their investment through employing apprentices and training of existing staff. Tracey said “having worked previously in a Job Centre I was already a fan of Apprenticeships as I had experience of the value they offer as a vocational training route. The role of a School Business Manager is very varied, and I was keen to find a qualification that would ensure I had the best possible skills to apply to the many aspects of my role.”
Tracey started the CMDA in 2019 and has already seen the benefits of the learning in the School setting. Tracey said “all of the course content is extremely useful whether to consolidate existing learning or learn totally new approaches and ideas. For example, I have already been able to apply Integrated Curriculum Finance Planning in School which is a new initiative from the Department of Education.
One of the key benefits is the opportunity the course gives you to meet with other people in different roles and at different Schools. In a Primary School setting there will generally be just one Business Manager which can be a little isolating. It is helpful to meet others and understand the views of those from Secondary Schools or Multi Academy Trusts as well as being able to bounce ideas with them. The course content is also helpful for providing new perspectives which would also be useful for anyone wishing to develop their career into a different school setting.”
When asked if she would recommend the course to others Tracey said “yes I would highly recommend the course, it provides you with knowledge on how to save money and best make use of resources to benefit the children. Also, the role of an SBM can at times feel quite isolated and it is great to have an opportunity to meet with likeminded peers, share experiences and develop together.”
Find out more about the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship for Schools