There are many new iterations of school business leadership; some operating as generalist, some as specialist and indeed now a number of practitioners operating at senior executive level. These are all accommodated within the ISBL Professional Standards. 

Many SBLs are working across multiple establishments and in some cases multiple regions as centralisation becomes more commonplace and with greater opportunity comes increased accountability.

The ISBL Professional Standards are intended to: 

  • Set out the core and specialist areas of competence required to be successful in the School Business Leadership role;

  • Assist those currently working in, or aspiring to work in, the School Business Leadership role to undertake their duties as expertly as possible;

  • Set out the content of both initial and continuing professional development for those entering or developing their career in the profession;

  • Provide a framework for the development of qualifications and other professional recognition for school business leaders.


Professional Standards and ISBL Membership

ISBL membership is directly linked to the four tiers described in the Professional Standards with a unique professional institute category available for those at entry level through to those operating as senior executive leaders.



For further information about the national professional standards framework, and to discuss how it might apply to you, please contact the ISBL training team on


Click to access the employer guidance. 

Click to find out more about professional standards. 


Click here to view the ISBL Professional Standards terms and conditions. 


Case studies

The aim of these case studies is to support your career development and to provide an insight as to how the ISBL Professional Standards are deployed. 

These case studies also demonstrate how School Business Leaders are using the Professional Standards to underpin their roles and are making significant contributions in their schools and trusts. 


Aspiring School Business Leader self-assessment

ISBL Members are keen to share their career insights with others. Our case studies, like this one from Charlotte Allin  will help you to understand how you can build your career in the sector. Charlotte is an aspiring School Business Leader based at Keswick School in Cumbria. Click here to access her case study. 

School Business Leader self-assessment 

The ability to realistically self assess the scope and impact of your Professional Development is an important consideration that applies to every stage of your career. ISBL has provided two case studies from School Business Leaders.   

Lesley Burton is a Schools Business Leader based at St John's CE Primary School in Bradford. Click here to access her case study.

Alison Lodge is a School Business Leader based at Broadgreen Primary School in Liverpool. Click here to access her case study. 

School Business Leader role description updates

Gill Sax is Strategic Business Manager based at the James Wolfe School with Centre for Deaf Children in Greenwich, London. Click here to access her case study. 

School Business Leader job role and salary benchmarking using the Professional Standards and sector research

Click here to access the salary benchmarking exercise completed by Jo Marchant which utilised the ISBL Professional Standards as well as ISBL and sector research.

School Business Manager and Company Secretary - career journey, self-assessment and organisational development

Alison Moon is School Business Manager and Company Secretary based at Warden House Primary School in Deal, Kent. Click here to access her case study. 

Christine Bellchambers is Finance and Business Manager based at Wyvern Academy in Weymouth, Dorset. Access her case study. 

Director - supporting the SBM team in a Trust

Josh Greaves is Business and Operations Director based at the Wellspring Academies Trust in Barnsley. Click here to access his case study.