Ofsted inspection: role of the school business manager (SBM)

SBMs have an important role to play during an Ofsted inspection. Find out how you may be involved on the day, and what you can do to help your school prepare.

Last reviewed on 3 May 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 7982
  1. Conversations with inspectors will be brief
  2. Most of your role will be helping the school prepare
  3. What you may need to do during an inspection

Conversations with inspectors will be brief

In fact, inspectors may not speak to you at all. Inspection teams use their professional judgement to decide which members of staff they speak to, according to an Ofsted representative.

Inspectors will most likely want to speak to you if they have questions about:

  • Your school's finances (including your school's use of the pupil premium grant, and PE and sport premium funding)
  • Compliance
  • Safeguarding
  • Governance
  • Staff wellbeing

Inspectors may also speak to you, or other support staff, about pupils' behaviour and attitudes.

See examples of questions inspectors may ask SBMs.

Most of your role will be helping the school prepare

Even though inspectors may not spend much time talking to you, they are still evaluating your work. 

Read our articles on the following key inspection criteria to understand how your work will be assessed, what evidence inspectors are looking for, and how you can prepare:

Work through

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