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How to Become a School Administrator

If you are organised and possess great communication skills then working as a school administrator could be for you.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Learn about a school administrator's role and responsibilities

A school administrator’s responsibilities can vary depending on not only the size of the school but also the type of school they are working in. For example a small primary school will have very different administrative needs compared to a large high school. 

The responsibilities of a school administrator could vary but here is a list of typical tasks you might have to undertake:

  • Greeting school visitors and dealing with any enquiries they might have
  • Dealing with the day-day administrative responsibilities of a school such as answering the phone, duties relating to pupil attendance, managing emails/post and using photocopying equipment
  • Utilising IT systems to write letters, emails, reports and newsletters
  • Keeping paper and electronic records up to date including financial records
  • Procuring and monitoring school resources 
  • Sending key educational data about the school to the Department of Education or equivalent


If this sounds like the job for you then you’ll need to make sure you have the right qualifications and experience to succeed at getting the role.

When you'll be working

As a school administrator you’ll mostly be working in term time, but you could find yourself working outside of it occasionally.

What does a school administrator earn?

The average salary for a school administrator is around £19,997. The starting salary for a school administrator is around £17,759 but as an experienced school administrator you could earn up to around £25,493, though your wage could vary depending on the responsibilities of the role and the region you are in.

If you want to learn more about what a teaching assistant earns then check out our school administrator salary page where you can find our breakdown!

How can you progress as a school administrator?

School administrator career progression

If you want to know how you could progress, take a look at some of our other career advice pages and find out what you’ll need to get where you want to be!

Step 2: Improve your chances of getting a position as a school administrator

Though this will vary depending on the school or local authority to be a school administrator you usually will need an administration qualification or to be applying for an apprenticeship. As you are working in a school you’ll also require a valid DBS certificate.

Which qualifications do you need to become a school administrator?

To become a school administrator, a Level 2 qualification in administration is usually required unless you are applying for a school administration apprenticeship but even then relevant qualifications can help put you ahead of the competition. If you are set on being a school administrator then getting a qualification in school administration instead of a more general administration qualification might help your chances even more. 

Administration courses often have entry requirements to enrol, the requirements are usually GCSE A*-C in English and Maths or an equivalent qualification. If you don’t meet these requirements we offer some great Functional Skills English and Functional Skills Maths courses that will fit the bill.

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Get some supporting qualifications valuable to the job

Though not essential, having supporting qualifications can really improve your chances of getting the position that you want and help you stand out among other applicants. Getting your supporting qualifications will let you demonstrate additional knowledge and specialisations that other candidates might not have.

As a school administrator there are a number of supporting qualifications that could be helpful. A Safeguarding and Prevent course is going to equip you with the knowledge you need to help meet your safeguarding obligations. Employers are going to feel assured knowing you have the knowledge you need to support the organisation’s safeguarding responsibilities.

For any role that is in a school, a Support Work in Schools and Colleges course provides valuable knowledge about how schools function and the responsibilities of each role. This will make it easier for you to understand working in a school environment and what you’ll need to succeed.

How to get experience as a school administrator

Already having administrative experience can be really valuable when applying for a school administrator role. Volunteering as an administrative assistant can be a great way of getting the required experience and shows potential employers that you’re dedicated to the working in the role. Experience working in a school environment can be a great asset to you when applying for a school administrator job. 

Think about the transferable skills you’ll be bringing from other work. As a school administrator having good organisational and communication skills is key, being able to work well with children and young people is also essential. Checking out our jobs board is a great way to start searching for the experience you need!

Typical weekly hours

As a school administrator you could be working around 37-40 hours a week depending on your school and responsibilities.

Step 3: Make sure your CV is up-to-date

You should make sure your CV includes your most up-to-date information, including any relevant qualifications and work experience you might’ve gained since you last updated it. It’s important to present yourself as best you can, since we all know first impressions are important, and your CV is more often than not going to be the first thing potential employers will see. It’s essential that they’re done right.

To make the best impression you can, you’ll need to convey the right information and present it well. Given how important your CV is, we’ve created a short guide to help give you the best chance of landing an interview and starting your career in school administration!

Top school administrator CV writing tips

When you’re looking at a position as a School Administrator, it’s crucial that your CV is high quality and reflects your passion for the role. An effective CV is well presented, displays relevant skills and experience, and gives your potential employers an insight into who you are. 

It’s important that you use grammar correctly, that your writing is concise but informative, and any non-relevant information is left out. Not following these rules could mean your application is rejected, since employers could see it as too unprofessional. Our school administrator CV writing tips are here to help you to land that position you’ve been waiting for!

1. Grab their attention with a personal profile

Your personal profile is the first section of your CV that employers will read to find out more about you. This is your chance to introduce yourself, sell your skills and outline your characteristics. Personal profiles are a perfect way to persuade recruiters, as it tells them straight off why they should hire you. 

This section can include relevant experience and achievements, but it’s important to tailor this to the job description and what’s prioritised there to show your enthusiasm for the role and that you’re a serious candidate for the position who has what they’re looking for. 

There are no set rules on the length of this section but you should aim for a few short sentences and no longer than 100 words. This way you can keep it concise and effectively highlight who you are to employers without giving them too much information, increasing the chances of them reading through the rest of your CV and considering you for the job. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and presenting the things that you think make yourself stand out.

Talk about yourself (when it's relevant)

Though your CV should be more focused on your skills and work experience rather than your personality, it can be good to include some relevant personal information such as your hobbies in your CV. What counts as relevant will vary from job to job. 

2. Sell your skills

There should be a section in your CV that outlines your relevant skills. This makes it easy for the employer to read and more easily determine if you meet the requirements of the role. You should format this section using bullet points so that it’s simple and easy for employers to read. Make sure to include relevant skills that you think make you a good candidate for the position. Such as:

  • Being organised is important in administrative roles as you often work with databases and filing  
  • Being friendly and approachable. Having a fun positive demeanour is important when your work is based around supporting others
  • Being a good communicator is vital in any job that involves working with others

If you’re struggling to think of skills that are relevant to the job then it’s a good idea to check vacancy advertisements for some ideas. Start off by rereading the job you’re applying for and what might be useful to mention, but if you’re still stuck then take a look at other similar job postings. You should also think about which of your skills have been helpful in any of your past work or study. 

It’s important when talking about your skills to try and include both hard and soft skills, so that you can show some variety. Hard skills are the skills you gain through experience, knowledge, or learning such as through a qualification or after undertaking training. Soft skills refer to your personal traits and habits that determine how you work, like being an effective communicator, able to work in a team, or organisational skills.

3. Outline your experience

You should outline any past experiences in either work or volunteer positions that are relevant to becoming a school administrator and can best show your potential employer the value that you’d be bringing to the position. 

The most valuable experience you can have as a school administrator is working in that position before and, if you have it, is something you should present front and centre. Give details of where you worked, including the dates you started and finished your employment (these don’t have to be specific, usually the month and year are fine), alongside your key responsibilities within the role. If you have a lot of relevant experience then list it from most to least recent. Employers will want to know more of what you’ve been doing recently, rather than years ago, as it’s more relevant to the jobs you’ll be applying for now.

If you have no relevant experience then you should include any previous employment you’ve been in and the transferable skills you gained that will be useful in the role. Try and think about any similarities between your previous positions and the one you’re applying for. Is there anything listed on the job advertisement that sounds familiar?

4. List your education and qualifications

Making sure you mention your education clearly on your CV is very important, as it will show that you have the knowledge and qualifications needed for the job. When listing your qualifications you should prioritise two things: the level of the qualification (is it a degree or a GCSE?) and when you received it. Much like your experience, it’s best to list your qualifications from your most to least recent.

When you’re listing your qualifications make sure you include the name of the institution, the dates you attended them from, the subject(s) you studied or name of the qualification, as well as the final grade you received. If there’s a particular aspect of your study that is very relevant to the position you’re applying to then it would be a good idea to briefly mention it at some point.

Include your certificates and other qualifications

Don’t think you just need to include your experiences from school or university, things like standalone courses that award you with a certificate or diploma are more than relevant, especially if they cover a subject that’s relevant to your work. Add your certificates in the same way you’d add your other qualifications, providing any additional information as needed.

5. Remember to include your contact details

It might seem obvious, but having your contact details clearly signposted on your CV is extremely important, without them potential employers may have no way to contact you. You should include your up-to-date email, phone number, and address somewhere near the top of your CV so that they don’t get lost amongst the rest of your information.

Example school administrator CV

School Administrator CV Template

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Step 4: Search for school administrator jobs you can apply for

Searching for a school administrator position should be simple, and shouldn’t be any different than finding any other job you’ve applied for before. Make sure that the positions you apply for are a good fit for you and you have all the necessary qualifications and you should have no trouble! Checking out our job board could be a good start for your search.

Step 5: Write a job-specific school administrator cover letter

You should write your cover letter using the job description of the vacancy you’re applying for. Your cover letter is an important part of many job applications. 

No matter what kind of job you’re applying for, your cover letter is going to help demonstrate to potential employers the passion that you have for the role and allow you to sell yourself as a valuable candidate that they need to consider hiring. 

Top school administrator cover letter writing tips

Cover letters are your chance to really sell yourself to a prospective employer and progress to the next stage of the hiring process. This opportunity isn’t always fully exploited by candidates, and sometimes cover letters just become reworked CVs or are poorly planned and formatted.

1. What should a cover letter look like?

The header of your cover letter should have your up-to-date email, contact number, and the current date, as well as the recipient’s contact information. You should start your cover letter with a greeting such as “Dear [Company] Hiring Manager” or “Dear Mr/Ms Surname”, if you know who you’ll be contacting directly.

When choosing your font you need to make sure it’s not only easy to read but also looks professional, as well as the right size. Try to stick between a size 10pt-12pt font on your cover letter, as making your font size too big could come across unprofessionally, but it should still be clear and legible. Make sure to split the main body of text into multiple paragraphs, this not only makes it easier to read but also easier to plan the structure of your cover letter (each paragraph might have a specific topic, for example). 

It’s a good idea to sign off your cover letter using your name and a complimentary close. Using “Yours Sincerely” or “Your Faithfully” are seen as very formal, but can sometimes appear outdated, try using “Kind Regards” as a formal alternative that is still professionally acceptable.

2. What should I write in my cover letter?

Here are some suggestions for each of the paragraphs in your cover letter and what you might want to mention to your prospective employer: 

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First paragraph


Start by explaining why you're writing the letter, making sure to mention the job you're interested in by its specific title, you could also mention where you saw or heard about the vacancy. Give a brief sentence stating your experience or a relevant qualification. 

Second paragraph

Experience and Qualifications

Highlight your relevant experience or qualifications. Talk about relevant responsibilities you had in previous roles, and go into more detail about how this makes you suitable for the role--is there a particular achievement you're proud of in your previous work or study that is relevant to the job? Mention it here!

Third paragraph


Discuss the skills you have that are relevant to the job and make sure that you mention how they make you well-suited for the role. Always be showing the employer what you have to offer them if they were to hire you. 

Final paragraph

Final note

Reiterate your interest in the role. Outline your motivations for not only working this type of job but why you want to work for this employer. It's a good idea to include some relevant knowledge about your potential employer, as it shows you are taking an extra interest.  

3. How can I make my cover letter unique for each role I apply for?

A good way of making your cover letter stand out from other candidates is by tailoring it to the particular role you’re applying for. It’s always easiest to look back through the job posting and pick out relevant information like the job title and employer and making sure to mention them early on. This will show your employer that your cover letter is tailored towards them, rather than being something generic you’re sending around to every employer.

When you’re going through the job posting take note of the specific skills and experience listed as desirable by the employer, you can tailor the skills and experience you mention to what they’re looking for. Try not to follow along too closely and risk looking like you’ve just copied the advertisement, but do enough to show that you’re the ideal candidate. Order your skills, experience, and qualifications in order of relevancy–what’s highlighted or mentioned first in the job posting? Is there something very specific that they’re looking for? Make sure you bring it up!

4. Finishing touches

Now that your cover letter is well-formatted, has the main body of it’s content written, and has been tailored to the job role, it’s time to put the finishing touches to your work.

Proofread what you’ve written a few times over to check for punctuation or grammar errors and how well your writing flows. Try and enlist the help of a friend or relative to give it a read over, they may spot something you missed!

Now you should go back to the job vacancy and re-read all of it. Check if there are any special instructions you should follow when applying for the position, like if they’re asking for the documents to be submitted as a particular file type or maybe want you to add a job reference number to your cover letter. Make any of the changes you need and ensure everything’s in order. Overlooking small things like this could ruin your otherwise perfect cover letter!

Example school administrator cover letter

School Administrator Cover letter Template

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Struggling to put your cover letter together? Download our free cover letter template and get a head start on writing an amazing cover letter. Make sure to follow the rest of our tips and learn how to land that job you’ve always wanted!

Step 6: Prepare for interviews

We all know that job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but being well prepared for the interview will help you to appear calmer and more confident. It might seem obvious, but make sure that you always present yourself professionally at interviews, dress well, and always be polite. First impressions can make or break your chances!

Interviews can be daunting and hard to prepare for–especially if you don’t have much experience–but we’re here to help you out. 

We’ve compiled a list of common questions that you might be asked in your interview for an early years job and how you should go about answering them, as well as some questions you can ask your interviewer to help show your interest in the position!

Questions your interviewer might ask

Your motivations

The interviewer is looking for genuine reasons why you want to be a school administrator. You could mention something like opportunities for career progression. In that case, make sure to reassure the interviewer that you wish to progress within the company rather than moving on. You could also mention your enjoyment of the tasks involved in the role as another motivation. Enthusiasm about the job can be another way to show that you wish to be a long-term employee.

This question is to see if you have done your research on the school you are applying for. This can be especially important for an administrator role as being well informed is important to ensure the smooth running of the departments around you. Mentioning the school’s ethos and your attitude towards it is a good start. Personal ties to that school such as living in close proximity or having gone there yourself are also a great thing to talk about, this can help show employers that you will be more invested in the job than other candidates. 

Your personal approach to the role

This is the interviewer trying to find out how independently you work and if you will need to be micromanaged. There is no correct answer to this question it’s all about personal preference. It’s good to remember that different managers have different styles and the most important thing is that you both work well together. 

This is a more subtle way of the interviewer asking a weakness question. Make sure to try keep things positive, but don’t be afraid to talk about difficulties you might have had as long as you explain how you overcame them. When asked a question like this it can be easy for you to get muddled or ramble, a good approach when being asked a question that requires you to recall past events is to use the STAR method

Qualifications and experience

An interviewer is usually looking for someone who can use email software, Microsoft office, photocopying machines, and phones. Be honest about what you do and don’t know, getting caught out in a lie could ruin your chances of getting the job. If you are the right candidate for the job, training will be given to you in relevant areas if you lack experience, so make sure to emphasise you are ready and able to learn. Enthusiasm and willingness to learn can sometimes trump experience.

Employers usually are going to favour those who have been qualified for longer but this is not always the case. The employer could be looking for someone recently qualified as they wish to mould you to fit their more niche administrative requirements. Also courses could have been recently changed, your more up-to-date knowledge could be an asset. Either way, just be honest!

Questions for you to ask your interviewer

Now let's recap...

Final note

After reading through our guide, you should be ready to embark on a new career as a school administrator with the confidence you need to excel. If you follow our tips then you’ll be more than ready to get the job role you’ve been looking for! Good luck, and if you need any more advice on other career options, don’t forget to take a look through our career advice page.

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