School Business Leadership

Ask Anna – Tips for SBMs starting in new roles. 

Dear Anna, you’ve written some tips for new SBMs, got any for the experienced SBM moving into a new school this year? MovingSBM
Dear MovingSBM,

Moving schools is a hugely exciting time for an SBM. You’ve been through the whole rigorous interview process, broached with the Boss about why you’ve applied to move on, been offered and accepted the role, been given a wonderful send-off and are looking forward to an exciting new start. Then…you realise that the change you have made is enormous, daunting and you feel overwhelmed with the fact that the colleagues you know and love won’t be there any more. Don’t Panic! Here are a few get-yourself-started tips to see you through the first few days.

1) Get comfortable in your new space and make it yours. Put up the photos, inspirational quotes and small nik-naks that you have bought with you so that your new desk feels like home right from the start.

2) You will, no doubt, have a planned induction period but take some time to get out and explore your new environment. Introduce yourself to everyone you meet and tell them how much you are looking forward to working with them. Make a point of talking to the Senior Caretaker, IT Manager, Cleaning Supervisor and Catering Manager, these people are often overlooked in the induction process but they are important to get on-side.

3) Work out who your key stakeholders are. Of course there will be the SLT and Governors, but there is often someone (or two) who, in a sort of ‘underworld’ way, have a significant impact on the functioning of the school (for good or bad). Seek them out and make them your friend.

4) Look for some quick wins. In the first few months you want to impress. With your fresh eyes you will see that there are some improvements to be made. Write a list and action what you can or discuss working it into future budgets. Your newbie view won’t last long so get onto this straight away.

5) Keep in touch with your old colleagues. Not only will they be missing you and want to hear how you are getting on, but they also are a very useful source of informal advice should you need a second opinion.

This isn’t an exhaustive list but it gives you some key foundations on which to build your new role. I wish you every success in your new job.

You’ve got this.

If you’d like to ‘Ask Anna’ please email All emails will be read and I hope to be able to answer some of them via this blog. I look forward to hearing from you.

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