Our history

The Association can trace its origins to local group meetings in the early 1990s. Bursars began to emerge in the state sector as a result of the new autonomy enjoyed by schools awarded grant-maintained status. In 1994, a meeting of like-minded bursars led to a resolution to promote national participation in an organisation dedicated to representing the profession.

In 1997, the National Bursars Association Ltd was formally incorporated in response to an increasing demand for a more formal representative body.

In 2008, the association commissioned a rebrand exercise and made a conscious move away from the term ‘bursar’ to reflect the broader responsibilities and complexity of school business management. The National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) was born.

The move to become the Institute of School Business Leadership, in 2017, is firmly rooted in this same key principle which saw the emergence of the organisation over 20 years ago.


What will ISBL do for the sector?

The sector can expect ISBL to provide confidence in the school business leadership community. This is being achieved through a framework of qualifications underpinned by professional standards linked to membership categories.

For practitioners, we aim to provide the professional recognition and status they have earned and deserve. With increased levels of scrutiny and more direct accountability, the school business community will need to demonstrate high levels of competency, professionalism and expertise as pivotal education leaders.

This shift in emphasis will not affect the range of core services and events we continue to offer, but we will be linking all future activity to the practice expectations we set out in professional standards.

Institute status further legitimises our professional development oversight role and has the overwhelming support of the sector. Unions, the Department for Education, training providers and professional bodies are endorsing the move and have welcomed the change.


Will ISBL represent all SBPs?

As an institute, it is our responsibility to ensure that our professional members, aspiring or established, are able to access robust training and qualifications recognised by the sector, as evidence of the skills and competency required to fulfil all aspects of school business leadership and management effectively.

The move to become the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) aims to promote the value and impact of the whole profession and remove the risk of underselling the role. We firmly believe that there is a requirement for elements of management and leadership across all of the roles that exist in the school business profession, whether they be generalist, specialist or executive.

Our move to ISBL is to clearly communicate our belief, to continue to raise the profile of the profession, and to demand the recognition for school business professionals as school leaders on a par with their pedagogical peers.


What are the aims of ISBL?

ISBL will shape the expectations of school leadership teams and set the benchmark for school business excellence.

ISBL will demand a commitment and desire for continued professional development from our members, whilst developing accessible professional career pathways.

The institute will work with other sector stakeholders, who represent the other pillars of the leadership team – Heads and Governors – to drive behavioural change where the importance of business excellence in the running of efficient schools which both maintain and improve pupil outcomes is recognised.

It is through the engagement and joining together of ambitious practitioners that we can develop a professional body that will drive recognition of school business leaders.


Who are the team at ISBL?

For more information about the team that are leading the institute, including the Executive Team, Board of Trustees and the Advisory Panel you can learn more about them here.


Articles of Association

To download and view a of a copy of the articles of association please click here.


Annual Accounts & Charity Commission

To access a copy of the annual accounts please click here and to view information held on the Charity Commission website about the association please click here. These accounts are the last posted accounts for NASBM, which has now become the Institute of School Business Leadership with effect from 20 November 2017.