12 Feb 2019 | by Fiona Gill






As a parent and SBL, I naturally have and continue to want children to achieve the qualifications in line with their ability levels. Educational outcomes have significant impact on the individual’s future and on the community collectively. Education after all is our business and the name of the game.

However, I am also excited about the draft OFSTED inspection framework presently under consultation and the move away from a concentrated focus of ‘teaching to the test.’ My reaction stems from, I feel, the reduced attention in the draft framework about performance data judgements, thereby creating a potential to highlight the added quality SBLs can bring to a school in areas such as strategic financial management, fundraising, stakeholder engagement, facility and premise management. 

The draft suggests the following changes to the four-point scale on judgement:




In our profession as SBLs, we are good at recognising the opportunities to enrich the experiences of the children and young people in schools. This can vary dependent on school context from making arrangements for the annual whole school trip to project managing a building extension. SBLs consistently demonstrate leadership and management through accountability, good procurement practice and project management to name but a few areas. The draft changes will allow SBLs to further use their skills to ensure quality and positive social impacts provided by the whole school.


The SBL management areas are often qualitative in nature. One simple way of looking at it is the provision of school catering – if the standard of catering is poor, the pupils will not have a school lunch or if they do nutrition levels may be low. The impact of this may not be quantified by exam results but could be qualified in the longer term through unhealthy eating. Another example is a school with limited or no extra-curricular activities and/or trips, resulting in a lack of engagement for pupils in areas such as team work, socialisation and communication skills.


The suggested changes should enable inspectors to report and focus on the great work carried out by all school staff.  This creates a recognition of the resources and tools put in place by schools to ensure each pupil’s resilience to their adult life challenges. The SBL oversees these resources from funding to procurement. Judgements within pupil personal development and quality of education will reflect on the SBLs effective management, a positive outcome for the SBL role.









Department for Education, 2019, Draft for Inspection Framework, Accessed on 7.2.19 at