Back to School

6 Sep 2019 | by Scott Sivier

I think all SBMs are familiar with the excitement and fulfilment we all get when switching our ‘Out of Office’ on. It always seems to be the final thing we do before going off on leave or holiday.

However, I feel that excitement is over-shadowed by a sinking feeling and what will be waiting for us when we return? I think this is the same for most professionals who work in the education sector, but for SBMs I think this sinking feeling can be magnified.

SBMs accountability has evolved and the long list of responsibilities seems to continue to grow: finance, human resources, recruitment, marketing, the premises, extended services, service level agreements and health and safety. Basically, everything other than teaching the children. This often results in our teams and us being put under massive amounts of pressure.

So, when that extended break or time off comes, usually in the summer, the prospect of returning to school and the workplace is daunting to say the least. Even though that ‘Out of Office’ is on, many SBMs are, in fact, simply not switching off at all whilst on holiday. Can we honestly all hold our hands up and say we did not take a sneaky peak of what is waiting for us and our emails?

When you do have time off and you realise the benefits and the amount of time you miss with your loved ones, a realisation of what will also be taking away when school begins. It seems to me that family time is a luxury and you should never feel this way, neither should it be a luxury, it should be a given!

I think as a growing and unique group of professionals we need to share and be open on how we all approach and avoid those looming back-to-work blues creeping into your mind. The continuation of blogging and sharing good practice across the network will also mean support for SBMs and professionals. Otherwise my fear is that we are going to lose valued and innovative professionals from our ever-evolving network.

This blog is about being open, raising further awareness that there may be colleagues feeling or experiencing the same issues, and needless to say is not meant to start the new academic year on a negative.  All the current advice is after all about people sharing their feelings and experience, not to suffer in silence. The summer 2019 edition of The Voice had a very poignant article, ‘When the Pressures Become Too Much’.  An article that outlines the importance of growing pressures in the education environment, ensuring as leaders we recognise the importance of supporting staff and the signals. This highlighted to me, as leaders and SBMs we are worrying about our staff and how they are feeling, but what about us, is there someone looking out for us? This is why it is imperative to share and utilise the network around us, SBMs who are all experiencing the same.

All the best for 2019-20