Level 4 School Business Professional Apprenticeship

Level 4 School Business Professional Apprenticeship

The SBM Level 4 Trailblazers group, which includes the SBM Partnership (Serco, Adfecto and ISBL), has developed a Level 4 School Business Professional apprenticeship launched in early 2018.

It offers a school-based higher apprenticeship for school business professionals and others in school support roles, e.g. senior administrators, school office managers, finance officers, bursars, etc.

The application window for the next cohort is now open – see below for details.

School Business Professional Apprenticeship (SBPA) – overview

  • Five x regional face-to-face workshops together with online learning
  • 21 months duration for studies + attendance at end-point assessment (within a 3-month window)
  • If you work term-time only (or part-time), apprenticeship duration is extended pro rata
  • National cohorts start termly – apply now
  • Your employer is required to allocate 20% off-the-job training time
  • 1:1 support from a coach who will visit your workplace regularly
  • Periodic reviews to include your coach and line manager
  • Development of a work-based portfolio to evidence learning
  • End-point assessment (EPA) process, i.e. as well as on-programme assessment you will need to attend an end-of-programme assessment day after the study period has been successfully completed
  • Mapped to the latest ISBL Professional Standards
  • In order to complete the apprenticeship you will need English & maths at Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grade A* to C) , but if you don’t have these qualifications don’t let this stop you from undertaking the apprenticeship as we can help you gain the Level 2 requirement during your studies.
  • You will need to check with your employer/ parent organisation or local authority funding manager that funding is available first

If you are interested in the Level 4 School Business Professional apprenticeship you must read the supporting documents located under Key Documents (right), and then you can start the two-stage application process.

How do I pay for the apprenticeship?

The Level 4 School Business Apprenticeship has been allocated to the Funding Band of up to £6,000, however the cost of the programme may be reduced depending upon previous experience and qualifications. See Key Documents (above right) for further details.  Providing you are from a levy-paying school, then, as a general guide, 80% of the apprenticeship cost is split into monthly payments to the provider, with the remaining 20% payable on completion (this is a simplified example of the process); this is normally paid out from your school/trust/local authority’s apprenticeship service digital account (referred to as the DAS account).

Important: You must ensure that your funding manager can confirm that there are sufficient funds available in the school/trust/local authority’s levy fund account. Please note that for local authority applicants most LAs will require training providers to submit to their procurement process before funds can be allocated; this may impact on your start date.

Alternative payment options are available for non-levy paying employers – please contact us for more details or see gov.uk information here (updated for 2019).

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

Locations for next intake

Apply now for our next intake. Regional venue locations vary for each intake and are offered subject to minimum numbers (Note: if there is insufficient uptake for a workshop location when we formally offer places, you will be offered a place at the next closest location).

Application process

You will need to gather specific information required for your online application form, and confirm with your funding manager that apprenticeship levy funds are available for you (if your employer is a local authority please check with your relevant finance dept. or apprenticeship funding manager). Please read the supporting documents found in the Key Documents area on the right of this page before completing the application:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (guidance)
  • SBP Terms & Conditions
  • Overview for Participants
  • Line Manager Guidance document
  • Personal Statement & Line Manager Support document

We also recommend that you view a copy of the application form to preview (also available in the Key Documents area). Once you have printed off or downloaded the above documents and discussed the apprenticeship with your line manager (who must support your application) you can then start the two-part application process.

Please note that the Lead Partner, Serco Ltd, is on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP).

Ready to apply?

The application form is located on our sister website and can be accessed when you click on one of the Apply Now buttons in the table below.

Further general information on apprenticeships is available here or visit the gov.uk site apprenticeship area

Schedule 2019 

Programme (course code)Apply byStart date 
Level 4 SBPA (620)CLOSED23rd September 2019Apply Now
Level 4 SBPA (620)20th September 201928th October 2019Open shortly
Level 4 SBPA (620)end November 2019February 2020Open shortly
Level 4 SBPA local groups
Contact us 2019 2019 start dateApply Now

Related programmes

ILM Level 4 and Level 5 Diploma programmes are also available as an alternative. The ILM programmes are separate programmes from the apprenticeships and are funded directly by your school (or the participant) and are not covered by apprenticeship funding.

A Level 6 CMDA for Schools degree apprenticeship (3 years) is now available for senior school business managers and school leaders.

Why choose the SBM Partnership?
Serco has been delivering apprenticeship programmes to a wide audience for many years, and, as part of the SBM Partnership (Serco, Adfecto and ISBL) are the country’s leading exponents of school business manager programmes and have successfully delivered to many thousands of SBMs since 2003.

For further information on our other SBM programmes click on the navigation links on the right.


Page last updated 04/07/19