A major priority for NASBM in 2015 was the development of a suite of professional standards for school business leaders, comparable to those already available for other staff in schools. 

There have been significant developments in the education sector since then, and we felt the time was right to review these standards to ensure both their natural evolution and relevance.

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 now all accommodated within our revised standards.

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

These 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 now 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 training@isbl.org.uk


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

To support the development of your career and to provide an insight as to how the ISBL Professional Standards are deployed, a number of case studies have been developed. These case studies demonstrate how School Business Leaders are using the Professional Standards to underpin their roles and make a significant contribution to their schools

Training for School Business Leaders - Leading through strategic change 

ISBL has provided this free, easily accessible training for aspiring School Business Leaders. The content has been constructed to guide you the Professional Standards. Click here to learn the skills you need to take on a leadership role

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 , we hope that this 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 Leaders - 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 three 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.

The second of our three case studies has been provided by Hayley Dunn. Hayley is a School Business Leader based at Windmill Primary School in Telford. Click here to access her case study. 

Our third case study in this series has been provided by Alison Lodge. Alison  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 Manager - job role and salary benchmarking using the Professional Standards and sector research

Jo Marchant is School Business Manager based at Sittingbourne School in Kent. Click here to access her salary benchmarking exercise 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. 

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.