Bursars are senior financial and administrative managers in schools and other educational establishments. The job role may sometimes be known as a school business manager or school business director. Depending on their employer's size and type, their management responsibilities may include other areas such as premises and facilities, marketing, human resources and contract management.
Finance and accountancy functions are central to all bursar jobs. Duties include:
Most bursars are also involved in the recruitment, training and management of support staff such as technicians, teaching assistants, caterers and maintenance staff. 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. Essentially they work to make sure a school's budget and resources ae being used in an efficient way.
Other general duties include responsibility for health and safety policies, site security, arranging appropriate insurance, managing computer systems and the cleaning and catering services.
Bursars usually work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Unsocial hours may be required, such attending governors’ meetings, and there may also be events to attend at weekends.
Holidays must be taken as and when the academic year will allow.
To be a successful bursar you will need skills in tact and diplomacy, along with patience and tolerance. You will also need to:
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. Vacancies are advertised on the NBA and Bursar jobs websites.
Bursars may progress by moving to a larger school. They could look to move into financial or education administration with a local authority.
If you would like to know anything about Bursar that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
National College for School Leadership
Tel: 0870 001 1155
National Bursars Association (NBA)
140 Wood Street
Tel: 01788 573300
Financial Services Skills Council
51 Gresham Street
Tel: 020 7216 7366