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'The pace is much quicker here than in banking'

It might seem like a step down for Debbie Brisco. In the past she has been used to closing multi-million-pound deals with some of the biggest firms in the country.

But in her new position as a business manager of an inner-city secondary school, her priorities have changed. She is managing a small team of support staff and making sure that the relatively modest pound;4 million budget is kept in check.

Mrs Brisco, former corporate credit manager at Barclays Bank, said: "If anything, this job is more demanding. We're not dealing with the same sums, but the pace of school life is much quicker here than in banking."

She finished a National College for School Leadership diploma in school business management before she quit the bank last September to take up the job at 1,250-pupil Broughton Hall technology college, in Liverpool.

She has since re-calculated the school's procurement contracts, put its catering services out to tender and redeployed support staff to new posts in the school.

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