Education Executive has partnered with friend of Education Executive, Laura Williams to share some of her fantastic podcasts with our audience. Laura’s podcasts offer inspiration and actionable tips, tricks and techniques from school business leaders, advocates of school business leaders and of course, Laura herself! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

School Business Leadership Podcast with Laura Williams

In this podcast series, we’re talking all things school leadership, finance, governance, HR and everything in between including things like imposter syndrome, personal journeys into and within the profession and professional development.

School business leaders are superheroes and this podcast is not only about sharing knowledge and expertise but to also shine a light on the amazing work that they do.

Latest Podcast

The One With 10% Braver, Stats And Thanks!

Today, I’m bringing the first season of the podcast to a close. I’m sharing some stats, some news and saying a massive thank you to you all! 

Previous Episodes

Where To Start With Delegation

In this episode, I’m sharing my top delegation tips. If you’ve ever thought, ‘it’s just easier to do it myself’ rather than delegate to a member of your team then this episode is for you! 

I talk about what might be stopping you and how you can go about it without stressing yourself out even more… 

A Framework For Line Management

In this episode, I’m sharing the line management framework I recommend to SBLs, Heads and CEOs. 

Not sure how often you should meet with your staff? 

Want to improve communication with your team? 

Trying to build up to a difficult conversation? 

This episode has the answers!

School Business Leadership: In Australia

In today’s episode, we are going international for the very first time!

Katie Taylor joins me from Western Australia to talk about how the role of School Business Leader compares across the two countries. We talk job titles, job roles, CPD, networks and much, much more!

SBLs & ICT Teams: How To Work Better Together

Neil Limbrick, IT Consultant and Partner of Limbrick Consultancy LLP, joins me to talk about the challenges facing the sector today and how SBLs and ICT teams can work together to create some truly innovative and sustainable solutions.

In particular, Neil digs into the key relationship that is the SBL and ICT lead and talks about how you can develop a shared mission and vocabulary to make that partnership even stronger.

A Strategy To Deal With Interruptions

In this episode, I’m sharing my go-to system to help school business leaders manage interruptions. 

I’m also sharing a 3-step process to help you to create structure, set boundaries and say no as well as some useful phrases to say to others to help you get started!

Where To Start With Financial Benchmarking

Micon Metcalfe, School Business Professional and MAT Executive Leader, returns to the show to talk about all things financial benchmarking. Is it worth it? How does it work? What info should you be looking at? This episode has all the answers!

And because it’s us… we didn’t stop there (again!) We also talk about governance, Ofsted, the ESFA, the DfE, the SRMA role and MATs in terms of growth, central team structures and what we think the future holds for education generally…

Really, there is nowhere we won’t go!

My SBL Journey: Micon Metcalfe

Micon Metcalfe, School Business Professional and MAT Executive Leader, joins me to talk about her SBL journey, the evolution of the SBL role, what the future holds for the profession and how SBLs can prepare themselves for it…

My SBL Journey: 1 Year On – A Fresh Perspective

David McClelland, School Business Manager, joins me to reflect on his first year as a SBM and also share his thoughts on the profession more generally – with his new and fresh perspective!

Advice For New School Business Managers

In this episode, I’m sharing my top tips and advice to help new SBLs gather all the information, evidence and intelligence they need to get to grips with the role quickly and become the SBL superhero they were meant to be!

The Key To SBL Success: Building Positive Relationships

Tina Button, School Business Manager, joins me to talk about the importance of building and maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders and shares her tips on how to do just that!

We talk about Headteachers, SLT, staff, governors, parents, contractors, local businesses and fellow School Business Leaders!

My SBL Journey: 30 Years In – My Advice To You

Margaret Johnson, Director of Business Operations, joins me to share her advice, tips and wisdom from a SBL career spanning 30 years. 

If you’re in need of some perspective, inspiration & wisdom then this episode will give you all those things and more…

How To Hit The Ground Running In September

Shirley Si Ahmed, School Business Leader, returns to share her advice on how to hit the ground running this September! We talk about all the key areas of the SBL role plus what you need to get covered off quickly, the things you might forget (but won’t now!) and some tips to help you feel ready for anything!

Difficult Conversations: 3 Questions To Ask Yourself

In the final episode of the Summer of CPD series, I’m flying solo and I’m tackling a big topic – difficult conversations. I talk you through the three questions that you need to ask yourself before you have a difficult conversation with a member of staff and how to deal with a variety of possible scenarios.

Website Branding, Marketing & Compliance

Becky Hall and Jeff Eden from School Business Services join me for the eighth and penultimate episode of the Summer of CPD podcast series! Becky and Jeff share their knowledge and expertise about all things to do with your school website – how can you make sure your website is attractive, user friendly, engaging and of course, compliant? We have all the answers for you in this episode…

How To Get Started With Social Media For Your School

Ally Bigwood, School Business Manager, returns for the seventh episode of the Summer of CPD podcast series! 

Ally joins me to talk about what’s involved in running multiple social media accounts for his school. We talk all things platforms, audience, content and time commitments as well as how to manage your online relationships with stakeholders…

Why You Should Employ An ICT Apprentice

In the sixth episode of the Summer of CPD podcast series, Simon Martin from SBS joins me to talk about why schools should employ an ICT apprentice, what the job might involve and how it could help you in your SBL role.

How To Become A Paperless School

Jonny Coates, Business and Finance Director, returns for the fifth episode of the Summer of CPD podcast series!

Jonny joins me to talk about the how’s, why’s and what on earth’s involved in becoming a paperless school! He shares his tips on where to start, the benefits you’ll see and how to get others on board…

Sustainability In Schools: Where To Start

Helen Burge, Deputy Chief Operations Officer, returns for the fourth episode of the Summer of CPD podcast series. Helen joins me to talk about sustainability, why it’s important and what she thinks the SBL role has to do with it! She shares her ideas about what actions we can take and gives us tips on how we can get the conversation going.

How To Plan Your Procurement Timetable

Lorraine Ashover, Director of Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services, returns for the third episode of the Summer of CPD podcast series!

She joins me to share her tips on how to plan your procurement timetable.

How long should it take? How long could it take? How long should each stage of the process last for?

We’ve got the answers for you in today’s episode!

Budget Setting & Monitoring 

In the second episode of the Summer of CPD podcast series, Marcus Peedell and Sean Clark from School Business Services join me to talk about the things you need to consider when setting your budget and monitoring your expenditure. 

We talk about why consistency is key, why change is inevitable and how we can make sure we’re flexible when it counts. 

And if you’re listening to this episode and feeling a little bit lost, stay tuned until the end to find out how I can help!

How To Achieve Inbox Zero

Leyla Tovey and Richard Page from SBS join me to talk about the holy grail of SBL life… Inbox Zero!

We talk starting points, sorting and strategies to maintain it as well as the impact a tidy inbox can have on your mental wellbeing. 

Also, stay tuned until the end to find out my Inbox status and what Leyla and Richard think of that!

What Is The Role Of A SBL?

Cheryl Campbell, Kemi Arogundade and Helen Burge from ABBLed join me for the third and final part of a special series of podcasts discussing the hot topics that SBLs are dealing with right now.

In Part 3, we’re talking about what the role of SBL is all about, the three core elements – day to day, reactionary and strategic – how to unpack the ISBL standards, the SBL role in relation to change and developing culture and why you’re actually more strategic than you think…

SBL Wellbeing – Top Tips

Kemi Arogundade, Sally Boaden and Husham Khan from ABBLed join me for the second in a special series of podcasts discussing the hot topics that SBLs are dealing with right now.

In Part 2, we’re talking all things SBL wellbeing and we have a lot to say! We talk about the power of saying no, how you can take control of your workload, the hidden powers of your diary, how to tame your inbox plus what we should be doing to help our future selves…

Financial Management Post-COVID

Laura is joined by Cheryl Campbell, Kemi Arogundade, and Husham Khan from ABBLed for the first in a special series of podcasts discussing the hot topics that SBLs are dealing with right now.

In Part 1, they talk all things post-Covid finance – digging into insurance and contracts and lettings, as well as risk management, pupil numbers and contingencies. It’s a good one!

Advice & Support for Aspiring SBMs

Emma Burditt, an Aspiring School Business Manager, joins Laura to talk about her discovery of and journey into the profession, her experiences so far, and her advice for her fellow Aspiring SBMs.

Your Career & CPD – How To Decide What’s Next

Laura talks about all things career paths and CPD plans. Think of this as a mini-coaching session, talking you through a process to help you to figure out how you feel about where you’re at, where you want to go and of course, how you’re going to get there!

It’s time to grab a pad, a pen, and a brew – and take some time out to reflect…

Why SBLs are vital to the success of a school

Vicki Manning, Headteacher, talks about her amazing School Business Manager, how they have built a strong relationship & why the School Business Manager role is essential to the success of a school. Listen to the episode now!

7 Tips for Good Estates Management

Claire Walters, Academy Business Manager, joins me to share 7 tips to help you manage your school site safely and efficiently. We talk site managers, systems, schedules and contractors. You will definitely need a pad and a pen for this one!

Moving From Primary To Secondary

Jonny Coates, Business and Finance Director, joins me to talk about making the move from primary to secondary, the jaw-dropping challenges that came with it and the lessons he learned along the way….

The One With The Q&A – About Me

You asked and I answered…  Today, it’s me in the hot seat answering your questions! Talking about my life as a SBL, my journey to SBL coach, supporter and champion and everything in between…

The Importance of CPD for SBL’s

Ally Bigwood, joins me to talk about his school business leadership journey, the value of CPD and what it’s really like to be a School Business Manager!

GDPR: A Collaborative Model

Lisa Murphy, school business manager, talks about the collaborative approach her school cluster have taken to GDPR and the Data Protection Officer structure. She talks about how they did it and shares tips on how you can do it too!

Six strategic tools for SBLs

Helen Burge, deputy chief operations officer, shares six tools to help SBLs have more strategic conversations with their head and SLT… or as we like to call it, ‘The One With All The Tools’.

How to tackle imposter syndrome

Shirley Si Ahmed, school business manager, talks about the challenges of having never worked in a school, how she tackled imposter syndrome and why SBLs are real-life superheroes.

Five things SBL’s need to know about procurement

Lorraine Ashover, director of Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services, tells me why she wanted to work in the education sector, how she got into procurement and why it can be a tricky area to navigate.

How to hit the ground running without a handover

Sara Poultney, school business manager, shares nine hot handover tips. If you’re new to your school or you’re about to start your first school business manager role, this episode is for you!

Trailer – What’s it all about?

Welcome to the show about all things School Business Leadership! If it doesn’t involve teaching children, then I can guarantee we’ll be talking about it here! Finance, HR, governance and everything in between. If you’re a school business manager, headteacher, senior leader, governor actually, any type of school leader (!) – aspiring, new or experienced – and you want to learn more about the ‘business of education’ then this podcast is for you.