What have you done today to make you feel proud?


As a school business professional there will rarely be a day that passes where you haven’t helped shape the life chances of the children within your setting, supported a colleague or delivered some improvement across the estate. You will see this simply as all being part of your typical daily life and will rarely highlight your own triumphs.

Perhaps this is the year to do just that! Let’s work together to encourage others, grow the promotion and profile of the profession and inspire one another to illuminate our own leadership.

If we look back in history, we can see that those that prospered and thrived were the ones that seized the day, like the Romans, or like Henry Ford identified opportunities for growth and advancement, as he said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

Education has significantly changed over the last decade and as professionals we have been responding to these changes and developments. However, with the pace of change have we made time to stop and reflect on our own personal development strategy as well as the school we serve.

We all need to take time to reflect on where we are going and how we got to this point in our career. We need to consider what we want to do more of, where we would like to develop and what we would like to change in both our careers and settings?

Many of us will speak to colleagues who are dissatisfied by the role that that they are undertaking, the lack of recognition they receive or the opportunities that exist. If we reflect on the phrases above, then who’s responsibility is it to change the current situation they face?

Don’t we all have some level of responsibility for breaking the model, changing our behaviour and approach. This may involve conversations with work colleagues, line managers or looking for a new job opportunity.

The main reason that many professionals stay sitting in the comfy chair rather then reaching up and smashing the glass ceiling; is our own professional confidence and belief. Therefore, we need to be supporting one another as professionals by celebrating one another’s achievements, capability and competency – this in turn will help to develop confidence and wider recognition of the role of school business professionals.

This year the ISBL’s national conference will focus on how professionals can illuminate their own leadership and that of their colleagues; both within their own setting and across the sector. If you have never invested in your attendance at this dedicated two-event solely focused on school business professionals, then look at what it can offer.

ISBL National Conference – Illuminating Leadership

As, the school business profession celebrates its 30th anniversary as a unique and identifiable role within the state education sector.

The conference will consider how we shine a spotlight on leadership across every role in school business leadership and demonstrate the significance and impact that all school business professionals have in the sector. It is through the encouragement, praise and support of our peers that we can all continue to grow, inspire and aspire as professionals.

What does leadership truly mean?

The content will consider how all school business professionals across all roles and at every career stage are leaders and can demonstrate the behaviours of leadership.

Our speaker line up:

  • Emma Knights, CEO, National Governance Association

  • Tom Wohlleber, President, Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO)

  • Geoff Barton, General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders

  • Jenny Garrett, Coach, Speaker and Trainer, Jenny Garrett Global

  • Matthew Syed, British Journalist, Broadcaster and Thought Leader, Matthew Syed Consulting

The conference will explore leadership, the evolution of the school business professional role over the last 30 years and shine a spotlight on good practice and what we can collectively do as a professional body and practitioners to further raise the profile of our profession and the impact of SBPs.

The conference delivery provides a range of learning opportunities and a variety of learning methods including high quality keynote speakers, interactive workshops, policy direction, practical tools to take back to your school and networking opportunities with practitioners from across the country.

Who, where and when?

The event attracts over 300 school business professionals each year, from a range of school types, phases and settings. ISBL ensure that the content developed covers both maintained and academy schools of all sizes and type. It is essential that we consider practice at every level and across all types of school setting, as good practice is emerging across all of these.

“You’ll find tangible inspiration for your own career growth from a whole nation of SBLs all in one room”, Emma Gray, finance director, Stroud

It takes place on 20-21 November 2019 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, The NEC Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, B40 1PP.

With an array of specialist workshops tailored for the school business professional, make sure you take the time to invest in yourself and your own development this year and book your place to attend.

“The national conference is an essential part of my CPD, a chance to recalibrate. It’s my annual MOT”, Lesley Burton, school business leader, Bradford

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