The challenges of school business management during COVID-19




The Key releases new report on the challenges of school business management during COVID-19

Our partners at The Key have today released an important new piece of research titled The challenges of school business management during COVID-19.

The study, conducted in both December 2019 and July 2020 among over 1,550 SBMs,

reveals the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had and continues to have, on the work of SBMs. The report highlights some of the many challenges encountered during this period and shines a light on the critical role SBMs have played in keeping schools across the country running throughout the pandemic.

> SBMs have worked even more overtime than usual

Almost a third of SBMs (28%) reported working more than 11 hours unpaid overtime a week during the coronavirus pandemic. This is an increase of 87% on the proportion working this amount of overtime before the pandemic. A further 40% worked between 5 and 11 hours extra per week. ‘Health and safety management’ was in both the top-3 most time-consuming and challenging parts of the role.

> Budgets are not adequate to deal with the impact of COVID-19

The findings reveal the huge concerns SBMs have about the impact of coronavirus on already over-stretched budgets. The majority of respondents (a combined total of 57%) reported that they ‘disagree’ (35%) or ‘strongly disagree’ (22%) that their FY 20/21 budget allows for the impact of COVID-19.

> Wellbeing of SBMs is worryingly low

Worryingly, this period has taken a significant toll on the wellbeing of SBMs. Almost half (49%) of those surveyed shared that their work had a “negative” (41%) or “very negative” (8%) impact on their mental wellbeing during the early months of the pandemic.

Nicola West Jones, head of market research at The Key said, “For many SBMs, the enormity of the challenge presented by COVID-19 has come at the detriment of their own work-life balance and wellbeing. We must make sure that the pivotal role SBMs play in keeping our schools running is recognised, and that addressing their workload and wellbeing challenges is considered as much of a priority as it is for other school staff.”

Where can I find out more?

The full report can be downloaded for free here. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter via @TheKeySL.

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