School Business Manager Apprenticeships

Introduction to the new apprenticeship standards

New apprenticeship standards are being developed during 2017/18 by employer-led ‘Trailblazer’ groups across the country.

The government has introduced an employer levy to fund growth in these new apprenticeship standards from April 2017.  All levy paying schools should be able to access the funding through a levy account to use towards training for current employees (at present, if you do not pay the levy, you won’t be able to use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until at least 2018 according to the latest information from site).  SBM trailblazer employer groups are in the process of developing a range of new apprenticeship programmes that will be eligible for up to 100% of this funding (for levy paying schools).

New SBM apprenticeship programmes will be available from Spring 2018 onwards (pending Institute for Apprenticeship approvals) and will be suitable for current school staff including school business managers and leaders, support staff, teaching assistants and others.

The Level 4 School Business Professional has recently (February 2018) been approved as an apprenticeship standard and we are now accepting applications.

The apprenticeship levy may be used to cover up to 100% funding for the professional development of current school staff

What can schools spend the levy on?

A range of new apprenticeship standards are currently being developed by ‘Trailblazer’ employer groups. Some of these are specifically aimed at school support staff, including school business managers, teaching assistants, school administrators and more. Some will also be aimed at school leaders.

How will the funding for an apprenticeship work?

If your school is an employer contributing to the levy fund (from April 2017), then you should be able to access either the school’s apprenticeship account or the local authority’s apprenticeship account (for those schools who staff pay bills are held by the local authority) to pay for the apprenticeship; payment is collected by HMRC via the PAYE system.

Even if your school doesn’t pay the apprenticeship levy you may still be able to access up to 90% of the funding from the levy in 2018 (but details are still to be confirmed by the Institute for Apprenticeships).

Who is eligible?

Any current staff members over the age of 18 yrs. There will be a range of apprenticeship qualifications from Level 3 right up to Level 7 (Master’s level), so there should be a suitable qualification for most school staff.

Level 2 in English and maths will also be required, but if you don’t have these qualifications we can help you gain the level 2 requirement during your SBM studies.

When can I start?

Although a number of the new apprenticeship standards will commence from May 2017, those specifically being developed for school staff will not be available until Spring 2018 in most cases (subject to Institute for Apprenticeships approval) or even later in 2018.

How does my school access the levy funding?

All schools who contribute monthly to the levy fund (i.e. those with a staffing budget exceeding £3m/year) will be allocated a digital (or levy) account. The school can access their digital apprenticeship account to draw down funds to pay a training provider. The account funds must be used within two years. Schools will then pay their training provider monthly.

Latest government guidance on apprenticeship funding can be found here.

Many schools may find that they pay the levy as part of their local authority contribution. If this is the case, speak to the finance team at your local authority to find out how you can access these funds.

What apprenticeships will the SBM Partnership offer?

Serco (part of the SBM Partnership) has been a provider of apprenticeship training for many years, and now, through the SBM Partnership (Serco Education and Adfecto) we are hoping to deliver apprenticeship qualifications specifically aimed at school staff, from Level 3 up to Level 7 (Level 4 to 7 apprenticeships are sometimes referred to as ‘higher apprenticeships’).

The following apprenticeship standards are in development and should be available (subject to Institute for Apprenticeships approval) from Serco and our SBM partner, Adfecto, from Spring 2018 onwards (dates below are indicative only):

• Level 4 School Business Professional (2018) – now approved – click here for further details
• Level 6 CMDA for Schools (2018) – planned start date: Autumn 2018. Click here for information.
• Level 3 School Business Administrator (2018)
• Level 7 Senior Leader Masters (School Leaders) (late 2018)

This section only summarises key points of the government’s trailblazer apprenticeship scheme. (‘Trailblazers’ refers to the employer-led groups that are developing the various apprenticeship standards).

For further information, please visit the government’s apprenticeship area or contact us directly (see below).

Summary – Ready, Levy, Go!

  • Up to 100% funding is available to spend on current school staff – you do not need to recruit new employees to take advantage of the scheme.
  • Non-levy paying schools are expected to be able to access up to 90% funding during 2018 (details still to be confirmed), and will be required to pay 10% of the costs themselves.
  • Specialist apprenticeship qualifications, at various levels, for school staff should be available during 2018 (from Spring 2018 onwards) – you can simply register your interest by emailing us now (with no commitment to join an apprenticeship) and we will update you once more details become available.

Further documentation and information about the new apprenticeship standards and levy funding published on the main Gov.UK website can also be found here.

Next step

To register interest in one or more of the above proposed apprenticeships please email us now:

Enquiries: 01452 727272 (office hours)


page last updated 03/01/2018