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We speak to Lorraine Gillot, school business manager at Field House Infant School, part of the Embark Federation Trust family in Derbyshire, about retrieving Lego from toilets and dinosaur snot!

What led to your current role?

I’m not sure ‘led’ is the right word, more like ‘How the hell did that happen?!’ It was a new role within the school as I was previously job-sharing an admin role and my better half of the role retired. So, the governors decided to take the opportunity to introduce a SBM and, for some reason, they had faith that I could pull it off.

Tell us something unusual or interesting about yourself.

I have a habit of knowing unusual information at the right time – a knack for turning everything upside down – and have made confusion a new art form.

What has been your favourite aspect of working as a school business professional so far?

Variety. No two days are the same and it can range from having to fish Lego out of the urinals to showing important guests around. I am very grateful that the school I am part of is a community, and all roles are equally important, so when I am seen out in the classrooms or corridors – and even the supermarket – I am not known as just ‘the woman in the office’ by either the children or the parents.

What’s been your greatest professional achievement to date?

Gaining my Level 5 (DSBM) qualification without adding more than 10 grey hairs, and only two additional frown lines.

How do you ensure that you continue to grow personally and professionally?

By sharing experience and ideas with others – not just those in the same role as myself but with all within the school community and supporting services.

Where do you take inspiration from, both work and life-wise?

Everywhere; my own kids, life experiences, opportunities that arise and social media memes.

What three words would you use to describe your role?

Random, intense, worthwhile.

If there was one thing about your job you could change, what would it be?

Too hard to pick just one.

Funniest SBM moment you’d care to share?

We have a flooding risk during heavy downpours, and I am usually the idiot that runs out to sandbag the doors in six-inch heels as it never seems to happen when the caretaker is on site! On one particular wet afternoon, I had done the bagging dash, wrecked my fifth pair of heels and had to use a different door than usual to get back into the building. Walking through the reception class area, dripping, a four-year-old proceeded to quiz me about the state I was in and the conversation went something like:

Child (whilst squeezing the water out my top hem): Why are you wet?

Me (not wanting to bore the poor kid with a long explanation about flooding problems): I have been outside, to make sure the water stays out there, but I bumped into a huge dinosaurs who sneezed all over me!

Child: Wow, dinosaur snot!

Child runs off to look for dinosaurs out of the window with half a dozen mates – but not before giving me a tissue!

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