Above and Beyond the Bottom Line

Professor Karen Starr's new book chronicles rise and rise of the education business manager.

Above and Beyond the Bottom Line is published by ACER Press.
Above and Beyond the Bottom Line is published by ACER Press.

A new book by Deakin researcher Professor Karen Starr takes a unique and much-needed look at the “extraordinary evolution of the education business manager”.

The book, called Above and Beyond the Bottom line, has been described as giving a “real and valuable insight into a new and emerging profession in education” by British based educationist, Trevor Summerson.

The education business manager is something that has fascinated Professor Starr since she became a school principal in the 1990s.

Since then, as both a principal and more recently as the Foundation Chair in School Development and Leadership at Deakin, she has witness an astonishing but hitherto not properly recorded growth in the importance of the business manager to an efficiently run school.

“When I first became a principal, I was immediately amazed at how much time, thinking and effort had to occur behind the scenes to ensure the business aspects of the school ran in a sound, thorough and timely manner,” she said.

“I soon realised the immensity and importance of a complete range of my new responsibilities, many of which, to that point, had honestly never crossed my mind.”

These included budgets, mandated audits and surveys, enterprise agreements with staff and unions, building approvals, publicity and public relations, IT issues and a host of other compliance and accountability matters.

“Very quickly I realised the importance of working closely with the school business manager,” Professor Starr said.

The book contains samples of education business managers’ experiences, reflections, perceptions, opinions and ideas.

“I have been amazed at the energy, commitment, creativity and ideas that exist within the profession,” Professor Starr said.

“I am pleased that this book emerges to fill a research gap about the extraordinary evolution of the education business manager and trust that it marks the beginning of many further studies in this field.”

The book was launched on International Women's Day and is published by ACER Press.

Listen to Professor Starr on Life Matters on ABC Radio National.

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