School business managers in England: Negotiating identity

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This paper explores the concept of group identity formation amongst school business managers in the English school system.

Data were generated via a research project that employed semi-structured interviews with school business managers as a means of exploring their experiences as a relatively nascent group, carving out their own territory within a school system traditionally led and managed by trained educationalists.

The findings provide insight into the enabling and inhibiting factors encountered by school business managers in establishing and negotiating a distinguishable group identity within the wider school workforce including their variable career trajectories and motives, the suitability of their qualifications and the diverse composition of their roles.

The paper throws light on the identity formation of a cohort of the school workforce in England who are not directly involved in educational leadership or classroom practice but nevertheless play a crucial role in the ecosystem of the school. While the research reported is situated within England, the issues raised can be applied to education systems in other contexts given the universal importance of financial and organizational management in schools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1277
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number7
Early online date10 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • School Business Management
  • Identity
  • Educational management


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