Serco Education

Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship for Schools


Serco Education, in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), has developed a bespoke Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) for Schools, which is validated by the University of Gloucestershire.

Please read through the programme information below, including the Key Documents:

Course code: 640

Duration: 3 + Years

Accreditation: UoG

Level: 6 (Degree)

Who can apply?

The CMDA for Schools apprenticeship is open to school professionals including those who already have graduate qualifications in disciplines other than business. 

School professionals based in England of any age who are responsible for managing projects, tasks or people, may be eligible to join the programme.

It is essential that you have the support of your line manager.

So if you are looking to further your managerial career - plus achieve a degree and chartered status - then this really is the qualification for you.

A minimum of English & Maths at Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grade A*-C) are required for this apprenticeship but if you don't have these qualifications we can help you gain the level 2 requirement during your CMDA studies.

PLEASE NOTE: Anyone currently undertaking an apprenticeship or DfE funded programme of study will not be eligible for a higher apprenticeship until they have completed their current apprenticeship/studies.

Programme details

The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) for Schools is an opportunity like no other!

The CMDA for Schools may take up to 3 years to complete (timescales may vary depending on prior learning) and is open to school business managers (or similar) at all levels.

The programme will include face-to-face sessions with online and work-based learning, covering a wide range of management and leadership skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours.

The CMDA for Schools will include modules on:

  • Project management in schools
  • Operations management in schools
  • School business leadership
  • Transforming schools
  • Change management in schools
  • Strategic financial management in schools

18 Modules in total. See the FAQ document (below) for more information on modules included.

There are typically three intakes per year in the Spring, Summer and Autumn terms. The next application window is the 2nd September 2024.There will usually be one or two regional locations for the face-to-face workshops which will have a 2-day duration, however this is dependent on the number of applicants per intake.


CMDA for Schools - how will it benefit me?

Successful apprentices will achieve:

  • An Honours Degree in School Business Management 
  • On-the-job experience
  • A professional pathway for future development
  • Level 2 in maths and English (if you do not already have these qualifications)
  • Helps you gain specialist expertise in areas including finance, procurement, HR, leading school effectiveness and school performance data, and much more.


Other considerations

The apprenticeship levy will cover the cost of the training programme but doesn’t cover travel costs, WebEx call charges (depending on your phone provider) or accommodation should you visit other schools or attend workshops during your studies. Salaries will not be covered.

This is an exciting opportunity to gain a degree whilst working but please think carefully about your time commitment and how you will manage the day-job. Your employer must be able to allocate 20% of your working time for off-the-job study/learning; this does include the face-to-face sessions and coach visits, etc.

Although the programme is delivered flexibly there will be deadlines for assignments and attendance at workshops is mandatory.  Should you wish to discuss this further please contact Serco email:

Remember to discuss this opportunity with your line manager who will be required to support you during your studies.

Please note that, whilst your learning will be guided, with support from your facilitators (at the workshops and online) and your coach, you will be expected to work through the learning materials via Serco Education's online web platform.  Each block of modules which you study will have a start and end date and you may have one or two milestones during the module, but aside from these it will be up to you to determine the pace at which you study and the amount of additional reading you do.  This may be a different style of learning to your previous experience and it relies on your own motivation and commitment to succeed.

Read about the experiences of learners currently on the programme:

Tracey Parsons - Read the full story

Key documents


Complaints Policy

We work hard to ensure that apprentices and their employers receive a high quality experience throughout an apprenticeship.  We endeavour to respond to any concerns as soon as they arise but occasionally complaints do arise.  Our employer complaints process may be found here

Ready to apply?

If you are ready to apply, once you have read the Key Documents and discussed with your employer/line manager the commitment you will be making, please visit download your application pack here to start the application process. 

Please note that there are a number of different sections to the application that will require you to gather information to support your application.  The most important of these sections is to ensure that you have available apprenticeship funding in order to start. This is something that we can advise on should you not be sure where to go to check, but we are unable to find out this information for you.

The next application window is the 2nd September 2024.

All courses

Apprenticeship levy

Your school may pay a 0.5% levy to fund growth in apprenticeships, so it simply makes sense to get out what you put in! Let your school reap the benefits from that investment and further develop high calibre managers.