The nimble School Business Manager
School Business Leadership

The nimble School Business Manager

The nimble School Business Manager

Our youngest, DJ is very keen on design, specifically artwork on clothing. Recently he has been using the word ‘Graded’ (as a play on his name) with it’s definition as a logo. It got me thinking about a word I’d like to use if I was designing a hoodie. I’ve decided on the word ‘Nimble’ and the more I thought about it, the more I concluded that it applies perfectly to my role. The nimble School Business Manager.

What does the word ‘nimble’ bring into your mind? I’m of an age that I immediately think of hot air balloons and airy bread (if that is not familiar, here’s a link) but the definition of the word is so relevant to the requirements of our role as School Business Managers;

  • quick in movement or action, agile
  • able to think and understand quickly

How am I nimble?

In the context of my role in school, I constantly have to be nimble and think on my feet. The School Business Manager has to react quickly to certain issues, but also understand when it is important to take time to consider and consult on the impact and outcomes of decision- making.

I need to be agile enough to hot foot it over to the other side of the site (and ours is half a mile end to end) and I have to be able to look ahead as well round the corner!

As a child, I started learning the violin and continued until I was 16. There are two things that still ring in my ears from my lovely teacher Mr Frewer;

  1. It’s important you read the music ahead of what you are playing. You wouldn’t look down on the road you are currently travelling on your bicycle.
  2. You just can’t play the violin and have nails as long as those, Emma!

The nails won the day in the end, and are still far too long to be a decent violin player (or an adequate touch typist come to that!)

The long and winding road

Being a School Business Manager is about looking at the road ahead. It’s about anticipating what the outcomes will be. Where to allocate a budget to have the greatest impact on the educational experience. When to get the maintenance work done so that it doesn’t impact teaching and learning. How to achieve buy-in from colleagues for new ideas. It’s about keeping up with the day-to-day AND fulfilling the strategic part of the role. When to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’.

Sometimes these decisions aren’t made consciously, but each one is a decision that we make using our experience, training, support from our network and our own nimble wits.

So, I’m going to ask DJ to design me a hoodie that says;

Nimble – def: a School Business Manager

Maybe they will be in the shops in time for Christmas?

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