E-connect: SBL communities online

Being an SBL can often feel like a very isolating job – but you’re not alone. We’ve scoured through the internet to provide you with just a few of the many places you can find other SBLs online

The internet is a vast space, filled with knowledge and support, but it can be difficult to know where to start when looking for SBL communities online. We’ve done the hard work for you and have selected just some of the communities you can connect with online.

One of the options available to you is joining the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL); as a member so you can gain access to their forum. The forum runs many discussion topics such as cashless schools, GDPR, signing-in systems and staff codes of conduct. Membership will enable you to have detailed discussions of specific topics where you can exchange ideas with other SBLs.

The Department for Education also has a website where you can find a school business professional network in your area.

The website lets you click on a region and see all the networks which operate in that area; it also provides the contact details and names of the leaders of each network. This website is great for developing in-person, as well as online, connections because, if you connect with people in your region through the website, the proximity means you could also meet in person. It also allows conversations to develop about topics which are region-specific.

As well as website-based communities, there are many SBL communities on social media too. Twitter is a hot bed of SBL communities, using the hashtags #SBLconnect, #SBLtwitter and #SBMtwitter will lead you to find SBL-related discussions and other SBLs who are active on Twitter. The benefit of social media is that it is instant which means you can put out a thought or a question and instantly get responses – which you can also instantly reply to if you wish. Twitter is more personal than website-based communities, and you are more likely to make personal connections which could result in genuine friendships.

There are also forums dedicated to specific sectors which form part of the SBL role. For example, there is a computing and ICT forum where you can discuss ideas and share best ICT practice and there is also a forum for those who work in finance in academies as well as forums for queries around employment law, managing staff and HR. Perhaps, most excitingly, there is even a GDPR forum which discusses all of the latest GDPR developments.

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