SLE – Just an education acronym?


Jane Taylor, school business manager at Osborne Primary School, specialist leader in education and Chair of BASBM, asks, ‘Is SLE just an education ancronym?’

Jane Taylor
Jane Taylor

The short answer is no; the long answer is…

The official meaning of an SLE is a Specialist Leader in Education and is exactly what it says; a leader in a school who can share their expertise of their specialism. My specialism is in business management, and I was appointed as an SLE within the Arthur Terry Teaching School Alliance. This was a privilege as other SLE’s, in the main, were from the teaching profession.
My appointment as an SLE was based on the work that I had completed both in and out of school in respect of school to school support. I provided in-house financial training to the Children’s Centre in order for them to be more self-supporting and to obtain value for money. I completed a full due diligence assessment of another school during the hard federation process which enabled leaders to understand the differences and similarities between the schools. Plus, I was able to support the Teaching School with the introduction of a masters degree programme, in conjunction with Birmingham City University (BCU), by utilising the skills and knowledge from my own training experiences.
I believe that we all have a part to play in education; this is not dependent upon the job role. Furthermore, this is not limited to the school where you are employed, but equally to schools in your community and those nationally and internationally. I really enjoy working with others and this may not always be with a member of staff doing the same job, but the focus has always been on seeking improvement.
I am actively engaged as the chair of my local group – Birmingham Association of School Business Management (BASBM). This group has grown significantly since its origin in 1999 and now has over 350 members across Birmingham. We meet on a termly basis to share experiences, gain up to date information on topics of interest and actively seek the benefit for all who work in our schools.
I have also worked with the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) as part of their professional stakeholders group. This group, along with other interested parties, was tasked with designing and implementing the Professional Standards for staff working in schools. This provides a framework for the development of qualifications and other professional recognition for school business management professionals.
I do not believe in reinventing the wheel, what I do believe in is sharing and knowledge transfer, in this way we not only have the power to make change, but we also have the capacity to sustain change. If you are interested in becoming an SLE or would like to make use of the skills from an SLE contact your local Teaching School for more information.

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