Career Journey – Sue Underhill

Name:  Sue Underhill

Current Position:  Director of Business & Finance at Bridgnorth Endowed School

Previous Positions:  Started career in 2001 as primary school administrator, bursar then School Business Manager

What is your current role, and what does it involve?  My current role is Director of Business & Finance.  My main areas of responsibility include the below, however this list is not exhaustive, we do what needs to be done to support the school in achieving its objectives.

Financial strategy and management for local school – day to day financial operation including paying of invoicing, monitoring of departmental budgets, budget forecasting for multiple years using a number of scenarios to inform strategy with the Head, income generation development – a key focus at the moment, looking at innovative ways of generating income and gaining sponsors to support capital works and development of leisure centre facility,

Contract management: including working hand in hand with Halo Leisure for our leisure centre and Innovate (caterers) to ensure KPIs are met and financial impact to school budget is minimal and supporting where possible in improving revenue generation

Compliance / H&S management, premises management including capital plan

Administration services management, management of associate staff but direct reports from admin, IT and premises teams.

What has been your journey from your first role within the education sector, to your current role?  I fell into the role as a primary administrator to support after a staff member left suddenly – I was due to go to Uni as a mature student some 24 years ago, which I never did as I fell in love with the role.  My Head then fully supported me in gaining qualifications whilst I worked i.e. CSBM, DSBM and then to do the BA Hons in School Business Management – at the time of completing this I was working at BES as a School Business Manager.  The role developed even further when we became a SAT, with all the changes that bought with it.  I am passionate about the role and coach other SBMs / admin persons and am chair of the local group (SEBA) and arrange conferences / workshops etc to support all in the / or similar role.  As such being part of the 3-18 has allowed me the opportunity to study for L5 Coaching apprenticeship which I would like to use to support any associate staff member

What do you most enjoy about your job in school?  The challenge, you never know what each day will bring, the people – we are genuinely a team, a family – we support each other.

What does it mean to be part of The 3 – 18 Education Trust?  The added level of support is invaluable in my role, networking and peer to peer support, being a SAT was quite a lonely place to be.