Job Description: Nursery Manager / School Principal

in this article, we review the job description of the nursery manager / school principal - what they’re responsible for, what they need to do, when they need to do it, how it needs to be done, what systems they need to use and the KPIs on performance


Key Information

Post Title

School Principal 

Direct Report

Area Manager/  Operations Manager & CEO

Works with

School Business Manager and Central team personnel - Marketing etc

Line Manages

Nursery Staff


6 Months


25 days exclusive of bank holidays (200 hours)

Working Hours

Target 40 hours but as required to fulfil the obligations of the nursery. NB as Designated Safeguarding lead for the nursery, Nursery managers must be contactable at all times by staff and local safeguarding bodies


Full time permanent contract


Area Manager


To take primary ownership of and responsibility for the execution of our educational and business model at the school in which you are the senior leader, training your staff team to be competent, autonomous leaders in their own right tasked with delivering on the tasks you assign to ensure that your school hits target. You must, above all else, ensure the school operates in line with our policies and procedures, and delivers on the requirements of the  EYFS Statutory Framework and all supporting compliance requirements from Ofsted and the Department of Education regarding welfare.

Responsibilities & KPIs



Audit Method



  • Hitting budgeted revenue targets across all business streams (nursery / weekend school / nannying)   
  • Achieving and maintaining 85%< occupancy 
  • Conversion rates of show around to registration of 60%<
  • All settles & transitions in line with policy
  • Achieving target sales call out volume of 5 / day
  • Achieving response rates of 2 days<
  • Achieving task completion rates of 85%<
  • Monthly collation of data into Sales Report on MIP (see Procedural Guide and our introduction to Hubspot on the Knowledge Base)

Xero Budget Variance

EY Man Occupancy 

Hubspot Sales report

Settling In Calendar

Hubspot Sales Activities Report

Google Sheets - MIP







  • Hold 1 X cultural festival per month
  • Hold 1 X stay and play group each month
  • Delivering one open day / term
  • Undertake street level flyering twice / month
  • Provide steady stream of high quality content to marketing team each Friday for Newsletters
  • 85%< positive internal reviews from marketing team 

Event Wrap Up Report

Eventbrite attendance

Google Calendar diary








Customer Relations

  • 85%< positive parent feedback reviews 
  • 85%< positive show around reviews
  • 1> complaint received / month   

Hubspot Surveys

Hubspot Surveys

Hubspot Service Tracker




Quality & Compliance

  • Achieving Good< grading from Ofsted
  • 1> formal complaints to Ofsted / year
  • 100% adherence to notifications to Ofsted policy
  • Rigorous adherence to safeguarding procedures
  • Achieving Good< grading from Consultants
  • Achieving Good< grading from Head of Education
  • 90%< completion of administrative paperwork and filing on Drive / Management systems
  • Compliance with policies and procedures

Ofsted Report

Ofsted notification

Ofsted Comms folder

Safeguarding Audit

Consultant Inspection

Termly inspection

Management Meeting Report

Policy Reviews

As & when

As & when






Leadership & Management

  • 100% Submission of School Development Plan
  • 100% delivery of staff team meetings 
  • 100% attendance of central management meetings
  • Successful preparation of monthly reporting for management meetings - submission 2 days prior to (see below for management reporting detail)  

Workast & Diary target

Minutes shared

Google Calendar






Personal Effectiveness & Internal Comms

  • Clear and consistent Google Calendar diary management for the school
  • 85%< completion rate of Workast Task items
  • Clear and consistent allocation of workast tasks to Kanban boards 
  • 2 days> response time for Slack / internal comms

Google calendar review

Workast Report

Workast Review

Slack Report





HR & Staffing

  • Forward planning recruitment requests every month
  • 2> response time for recruitment candidates   
  • 100% compliance with deployment & staffing model
  • Security of 15< bank staff on on-going basis
  • 85%< positive staff reviews
  • 5%> staff attrition / churn across year
  • 100% compliance with safer recruitment data & documentation
  • 100% compliance with staff induction policy and procedure data & documentation
  • 100% compliance with staff probation / supervision & Assessment procedures
  • Ensuring staff diarised off floor for central training as required
  • Delivering staff social each term

EY Man deployment

Bamboo Hiring 

EY Man Deployment

Bamboo HR

Bamboo HR Peer Report

Bamboo HR Exit Report

Bamboo HR SCR Report

Bamboo HR Onboarding Report

Bamboo HR Performance Report

Training Report

Google Calendar












  • Delivering on budget targets for the year

Xero Management Accounts


Health & Safety

  • Submission of termly facilities improvements requests
  • Addressing H&S risk issues within 1 week of notification
  • Archiving & Checking all Food & Kitchen compliance
  • Termly audit of all risk assessments   


  • Annual H&S inspections of all systems and supply

MIP / Workast tracker

MIP / Workast tracker

Drive audit

Workast / Google calendar

Workast / Google calendar





Cultural Fit

  • 85%< positive peer reviews from colleagues

Bamboo HR Peer Assessments


Areas of Responsibility


What to Do (Policy Requirement)


How (Procedural Guide)


Leadership, Management & Quality Control - 20% - See Quality Control Policy - The Nursery Manager is primarily responsible for ensuring the whole nursery  is driving towards Outstanding through effective leadership and management of room and nursery wide improvements. See Outstanding Practice as outlined in pages 28-44 of the Ofsted early years inspectors handbook

Monthly Management Pack

To collate the monthly management pack report that outlines all key management controls in the school for review / analysis and discussion at the central team meeting


Pack is to contain:

- EY Man occupancy reports to compare previous month against current

- EY Man deployment reports on ratio management and recruitment need

- Bamboo HR Hiring reports on recruitment candidates

- budget variance reports

- Management Information Pack updates

- BambooHR Training / performance / time off and other HR trackers

See Management meeting template for further information


EY Man



Nursery Improvement Plan

To review Room Leaders individual Room Improvement Plans and factor into the wider School IMprovement Plan for submission to the board on monthly basis

Every updated SDP needs to be pdf’d and stored on the school’s team drive in a chronological order


Update School Improvement Plan (Template)on weekly and monthly basis, setting tasks for the team to achieve on on-going basis through team meetings. Photo and share with manager each month

Google Docs/ Workast

Inspection Test

Prepare the nursery and team for Ofsted / Inspections from central team through on-going tests of policy knowledge and practice inspections and to maintain an Ofsted inspection folder with all information required in checklist


Test staff knowledge through policy matrix test and run through Inspection Checklist in School Improvement Plan to ensure we are always ready

Google Docs / Workast

Room Audits / Evaluation

To invest time each week to working with the team within a room to evaluate the practice, knowledge and orderliness of the team



Diarise repeatable periods in the nursery operating calendars to and provide updates on Room Evaluation forms (Template) at end of each month

Workast / Bamboo HR

Team building

To hold staff meetings once / week to discuss issues arising (children starting / welfare / holidays / deployment / policy)


Use Room Meeting template to on Bamboo HR to complete and send to manager

Bamboo HR / Google Docs

Monitoring Standards

Ensure nursery is clean, organised and presentable at all times with all visual defects addressed and all paperwork adequately and diligently organised and stored.

Ensure staff adhere to terms of Code of Conduct, Staff Language Policy; Dress code & safeguarding policies (e.g. on mobile phones) and confidentiality policies with parents. See Monitoring Staff Policy


Managers must undertake site wide walk arounds with the manager checklist form to instruct staff to clean / organise and ensure the site is in line with our H&S Policy

Managers should instruct RLs to use probationary tracker templates & peer on peer observations & policy knowledge matrix tests to measure staff. Take photo and share with manager

Bamboo HR / Workast

Health & Safety - 7.5 % - see General H&S policy. The nursery manager has overall responsibility for health and safety in the setting and so assumes ultimate responsibility for audits, inspections and assessments from internal and external agencies to maintain excellent standards throughout. Managers must be effective in overseeing the management and mitigation of risk and ensure that kitchen / food hygiene and evacuations are well documented for external review 

Risk Assessment

To review and sign off Room Leaders’ daily room risk assessments and maintain accurate records of risks identified and mitigated. Oversee general risk assessment of whole setting See R/A policy |Safety Checks policy 



Review completed Daily Risk assessments submitted on Workast and sign off.

Undertake overall Risk assessment on Workast and advise board of risks requiring intervention. 

Workast / Slack

Food Hygiene

Ensuring Room Leader and Kitchen staff deliver to food hygiene standards  and our policies - Food Hygiene & Healthy Workplace policies 


Check chef and Room Leader lunch-time Workast compliance submissions and sign off

Workast / Log File

Fire Evacuation

To have lead responsibility in organising and coordinating weekly fire drills to ensure procedures are met and recording outcomes to improve delivery. See fire policy


Undertake overall headcount and record on digital Workast logs for future improvements - liaise with RLs via walkie talkie

Workast / Log File


To ensure Room Leaders are maintaining an equitable cleaning rota between the staff and that our cleaning procedures are met. 

Oversee cleaning staff to ensure that linen and floors and toys are kept clean oin line with Covid procedures / infection control



End of Day

Daily / Weekly

Review shut down procedure check lists by room leaders on Workast and sign off

Ensure recycled waste is separated in line with policy

To keep adequate logs of cleaning activity and photography / send to Business manager

Workast / Log File


To oversee Room Leader checks on medication cabinets and ensure that they are adequately stocked each month, with medication expiry checked on an on-going basis


Review monthly health & Safety check logs by Room Leader and sign off - logs need to be photographed and shared with School Business manager for maintenance in logs



Ensuring that the Visitor Management Policy and security policies of the setting are delivered on an on-going basis

To monitor the video feed logins from Ring video cameras for safeguarding puproses


Review visitor and staff sign in logs via Sign-In App and check for emergency procedures

App


Ensure that the School Business manager receives any / all H&S related issues via slack to update the spreadsheets /log and ensure that you’re reviewing the logs to mitigate risks identified


Use digital logs (Workast) as much as possible but maintain strategic controls / overview of H&S

Workast / Google sheets

Child Welfare / Safeguarding / Protection -7.5% - see Safeguarding Policy. Room Leaders hold overall responsibility for ensuring the safety for the children in their room including the safeguarding duty of care we have. They can depute below actions to subordinate staff but must sign off on logs and checks to ensure that activities are happening in line with policy


To assume overall responsibility for all child protection and safeguarding measures within the school, liaising with board directors directly on any grounds for concern via 

Also to liaise directly with external agencies (see safeguarding policy, safer recruitment)


Review nappy change records for each child (EY Man)

Update cleaning log by nappy change station ad share with manager via Google Photo

Review sleeping logs for each child (EY Man) and inspect sleeping area during Risk Assessment

EY Log

DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead)

To deal with all safeguarding issues in the absence of the nursery manager. 

To ensure you are aware of the local authority referral procedure and the early intervention process 

Are committed to inter-agency working and understand the different roles and responsibilities of other organisations.

To ensure you understand the nursery safeguarding and child protection policy.


-Work with the staff team to provide advice and support on safeguarding concerns/child protection policies

-Liaise and refer cases to the local authority and third party organisations.

- Keep a detailed accurate written records of any concerns or referrals

- Refer cases where a person is dismissed due to risk/harm to disclosure barring service

- Monitor children who are on a child protection plan



To ensure that the Accident & Injury policy is met by signing off all accidents submitted by floor staff.

Ad Hoc

Review draft accident forms on EY Log and submit to parents for review.

EY Man 


To oversee and sign off all incidents (including behavior) are logged and managed consistent with Behaviour Management , Biting and Incident policies

Ad Hoc

Update Behaviour Management log and Child incident log template, Share with manager 

Workast / Log file


To ensure child medication as administered in line with medication policy

Ad Hoc

Update administering medication log, ensure parents sign take photo and share with manager

Workast / Log File


To ensure that the outings policy is met and that during outings all aspects of health & safety are considered

Ad Hoc

- Undertake Outings R/A for each outing and ensure that staff team are trained prior to outing

Workast / Log File


To ensure that all child protection records are clearly organised and available to external agencies


Use Workast logs and your own print outs in the ofsted folder for any issues arising

Workast / Google Sheets

Child Management - 2.5% - See Supervision policy for more information. 

Settling In

To ensure settling in policy is met and all new starters, including parents, receive a full and comprehensive introduction to the school, the team and our policies

Ad Hoc

Book settling in post contract with parent and room leader and introduce parent to setting

Workast / Log File / Google Calendar


To ensure that the transition policy is met and all new transitioning children are given the same process as with a settle

Ad Hoc

Book new transition on google calendar to arrange transition conferences 

Workast / Log File / Google Calendar

Staff Management - 25% - See Monitoring Staff Behaviour

Safer Recruitment

To alert Central to all new forecasted requirements and to undertake all interviews when booked by central

Ad Hoc

To use interview templates to ensure GAPs in employment are assessed and to sign / date completion // feedback to Central on next steps

Bamboo HR / Adobe Design


To induct new starters and agency staff into nursery. See induction policy and sample induction checklist

Ad Hoc

To run through induction checklist on Bamboo HR and secure commentary / feedback before handing over to RL

BambooHR / Google Calendar / Workast


To work with School Business manager to develop deployment on the school management system in line with compliance and our business model being aware of occasions where Single Worker is possible


Work with business manager to maintain deployment model for nursery at all times unless advised by central team. Note that deployment may be planned on a google sheet, but must be inputted to the school management system for forecasting / staff communications

Deputy / BambooHR / Walkie Talkie / Slack

Key Worker

To oversee the RLs implementation of key worker policy, ensuring that children have both Chinese and non-Chinese staff assigned. See policy

Ad Hoc

Ensure that Room Boards have clear KW system demonstrating adherence to our policy

EY Man / Log

Attendance, Sickness and Holiday

To review holiday requests, sickness and attendance for payroll see policy


RL’s to use Slack on tablets to notify manager of any on-going issue via Direct Message

BambooHR / Deputy / Slack


To review and deduct payroll elements in line with policy (sickness etc) and note for appraisal / supervision


Work with business manager to process payroll based on contracted hours vs delivered

Bamboo HR / Deputy / Sign-In 

Probationary Assessments

To ensure RLs deliver probationary assessments of new starters in line with policy  and review recommendations See Probation policy

Ad hoc / monthly

Review peer observations / reviews submitted on Bamboo HR


Supervision & CPD

To provide the whole staff team with formal supervisions every 3 months to set SMART objectives. See policy 


Use Bamboo HR Pre-built signature forms for staff to complete

Bamboo HR / Google Calendar

Grievance & Disciplinary

To oversee all grievance and disciplinary proceedings within the setting in line with policy and with the Business Manager

Ad hoc

To undertake proceedings with Business Manager, minute all discussions and have signed by couterparty and uploaded to Bamboo

Bamboo HR


To provide staff with on site training, evaluation and opportunities to further their CPD through online / offline training provided by third party suppliers


Review supervision / assessments to identify areas and apply staffer for training required to be inline with our training policy

BambooHR / Google Calendar

Learning & Development - 15% - See Bilingual Policy, Pedagogy Statement and our Approach to Learning and Development / Annual Planning Cycle. Nursery managers assume full responsibility for ensuring that the learning and development provided within the setting is in line with our approach and of an  Outstanding quality. Work with ROom Leaders on an on-going basis to train excellence and delivery on formative and summative assessments

Bilingual Model / Educational Approach - Outputs

Working with Room Leaders to ensure that our bilingual policy and Our Approach to Education to is delivered through reviews of planning

Twice / Month

Sit with Room Leaders during non-Contact time to review bi-monthly scheduled planning (see here for Dragon Flight / Blue Dragons / Baby Dragons and Hatchlings templates for the City, approve and then ensure copied to Google Calendar

Workast / EY Log

Baseline / Formative & Summative Assessment

Review Room Leaders outputs on formative assessment for their children - one observation / child / week


Undertake spot checks on quality of observations and sanity check development of child against observations for RL feedback

EY Log

EY Log

Cultural / Values Programme

Being lead proponent of planning the community events and monthly festivals that are the mainstay of our educational provision

Ensure that annual planning (graphic) is being delivered in terms of values


Assign staff non-contact time to undertake their planning and review in line with policies

Submit weekly planning schedules to manager for review

Oversee development of one activity plan / week

Google Calendar

Editable PDF


Undertake bi-monthly procurement runs in line with planning 

Twice / month

Submit procurement requests based on planning to manager via email


Parents Relationships / External Communications 15% - See Parent Communications Policy; Complaints Policy; Late Arrival / collection Policy


Ensuring that parents receive both digital daily diaries (RL responsibility) and weekly newsletter outlining forward issues

Provide parents with more comprehensive monthly newsletter on new month’s educational planning and school development plan



Liaise with RLs and forward content to digital manager on slack

Slack / Mailchimp


To hold regular termly PTA to garner feedback from parent representatives either individually or colelctively


Institute a you said we did board and provide feedback on monthly newsletter on progress against milestones set

Mailchimp / EY Log

Complaints / Compliments

To manage all compliments and complaints for the setting

Ad hoc

Advise parent of Complaints Policy and inform management / central team


Sales & marketing - 7.5% - 

Enquiries & follow up enquiries

Managing telephone enquiries and inputting into the Hubspot CRM system. 

To call up families in pipeline to push to close / update contact logs

Ad hoc

Review Hubspot on tablet / laptop and add


Show Arounds

To manage show arounds and ensure that attending families sign in to institute automation

Ad hoc

Review Show Arounds Calendar and ensure that signed in.

Google Calendar

Person Specification 

Qualifications & Certificates

  • Relevant childcare qualification to level 3 or above; 
  • Up to date DBS; Pediatric first aid; safeguarding training (Level 3); Food Hygiene; SEND; Fire Safety; A positive approach to gaining further qualifications and trainings.


  • People skills - this is a people management role and you will be measured on how effective you are in building leadership and management capacity in your staff teams through room leaders and deputy managerial candidates
  • Organisational discipline and diligence - this is about effective time-keeping and project management to stay on task, complete task and communicate the completion of task
  • Financial and budget management capability - understanding what your budget is and staying on top of the allocation of resource / sales targets is crucial to the role
  • Early Years Educational knowledge and expertise - knowing how to deliver an outstanding, compliant early years provision is the name of the game
  • The ability to model, motivate and support staff - this is about setting examples of discipline, organisation, capability, agency and commitment. If the leader cannot do, then the staff team won’t do. So believe in yourself and prove that they can be more than what they are
  • Problem-solving skills - school management is as much about proactive, collegiate problem solving as it is about anything else. We want self-starters who can analyse problems, and identify the quickest, most efficient and cost-effective solution available that will negate the problem going forward. We need thinkers and doers, not complainers
  • Technologically savvy - we are and intend to become more of a data driven business to capture not just child development but how we are performing and communicating internally and externally. We use a series of apps to measure this so you need to be confident in cloud based management systems to fit in
  • Desired – Mandarin


  • At least three years experience working and managing UK childcare settings as a nursery manager or as part of the management team
  • Strong track record in (EYFS) high quality early years provision for Ofsted Good rating and above
  • Managerial experience in nursery industry in settings of over 40 places (children) aged 6 months to 5
  • Training experience required
  • Conflict resolution experience - being able to deliver a tough message in a fair way
  • Organizing nursery marketing events experience

Person Specification

  • Organised and strategic - an ability to maintain and build school improvement plans
  • Process driven to be in line with reporting lines and corporate compliance
  • Clear, consistent and regular communication and reporting - to board directors, staff and parents
  • Adaptable, energetic and solutions oriented / problem solver
  • Positive and professional - in control of their emotions in a high-stress, complex environment
  • High emotional intelligence and empathetic
  • Commercial awareness & Sensible on operational spending
  • Excellent written and verbal skills in English
  • Motivated to work and progress 
  • Committed to personal development - we want examples of people who have invested in themselves in their spare time to further their professional development
  • Managerial – Strong ability to lead team building and team cohesion
  • A positive approach to inclusive practice with children, parents and colleagues