From School Business Manager to Managing Director – Louise’s Story
Working as a School Business Manager or in a school support position can be stressful at times, but it’s also really rewarding.
2020 marks 12 years since I first started Campion Consultancy, so I wanted to take some time to look back on how and why I got started.
My career in education started off in 1997. At the time I was working with an agency. They sent me to a position that was one week’s temporary cover working as an admin officer. This was at a school in Bethnal Green. Having enjoyed that first week, I ended up working there for 7 years!
Over the years at the junior school, my responsibility increased. As schools became self-managed and received their funding from the LA, the role developed somewhat. I went from becoming an Admin Officer and School Secretary, to Finance Officer and then to finally becoming an SBM.
During my time in Bethnal Green, the role developed again and training was offered to me. At that time, schools went on to become small businesses in themselves. The need to have an SBM in place who could manage the business side of things was crucial.
I went on to complete a Certificate of School Business Management (CSBM) and a Diploma of School Business Management (DSBM). Enrolling in these courses enabled me to understand the evolving role of the SBM and the importance of this role within a school.
Working as an SBM
In 2005 I then moved to a bigger primary school as the SBM and managed a large team as part of the Senior Leadership Team. Whilst at this school, I had the opportunity to continue with my training. I went on to complete a Master’s in Educational Business Leadership, at the International College of School Leadership.
This was a two year course so I needed more flexibility to study. I started working as a Senior Financial Consultant. The company I worked with, partnered with Local Authorities who needed Financial support in schools. At the time, the LA did not have the correct skills in place in order to support schools in these areas.
The Early Years of Campion Consultancy
For just over a year I worked for the same company, before I went on to set up my own business, Campion Consultancy in the February of 2008.
That same Summer I also completed my Master’s degree. I always had a passion for helping schools and helping them to achieve greater efficiency. Setting up my own business was something I always wanted to do. I have never looked back.
Over the years I have developed the company in many ways. At first I only offered Financial Support services, but could see that schools needed assistance in other areas such as Facilities Management. Many primary schools only have one staff member working as their Premises Manager/Caretaker/Site Officer (the name for this role has changed considerably through the years, as did the original name for an SBM!) I could see that this was an area that my company could provide support for in schools. Since then I have gone on to establish a team of staff who have expertise in this area. We now help support many schools in Facilities Management both in London and the East.
With schools outsourcing to agencies in order to cover absences such as holiday or sickness with their admin, premises and SBM roles, we also moved into offering support staff recruitment.
Many generic recruitment agencies fail to have an understanding of how a school works, and we wanted to be able to offer experienced people to fill these roles. We adapted again to meet this need.
We now offer a full non-teaching support staff recruitment service for permanent or contract cover, and are really proud of the partnerships we have built up over the years.
Every school is different in their individual needs and with the right approach can achieve great things.
I am so proud to celebrate the achievements since setting up the company in 2008 and look forward to the next 12 years to come!