ISBL National Conference 2018 

Our National Conference is the only two-day event solely dedicated to the school business leadership and management professional, where all content is tailored specifically to this target audience, including national networking opportunities, high quality keynote speakers, interactive workshops, policy direction and practical tools to take back to your school.


  Thursday 15th and Friday 16th November 2018


Hilton Birmingham Metropole, The NEC Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, B40 1PP 



This is the first ISBL National Conference and is the only two-day event solely dedicated to the school business leadership professional, where all content is tailored specifically to the audience, including national networking opportunities, high quality keynote speakers, interactive workshops, policy direction and practical tools to take back to your school.


The focus of the conference will be on ‘Projecting Professionalism’ – how this can be achieved, who the stakeholders are that can influence this, and how we, as professionals, can and must control our own professional recognition and acknowledgement.


The school business professional role can be an isolated role within a school setting, principally because you are the only specialist professional of your type or are, at least, outnumbered by the pedagogical team even where you lead a team of school business professionals. The teaching and learning professionals are driven by self-assessment and termly reviews of pupil progress, so it is easier for them to project and promote the direct impact that they have on the school, its strategic plans and delivery of pupil outcomes. Therefore, it is important that as professionals you invest in collaborating with other colleagues at local and national conferences and events.


As school business professionals, it can feel as though there is far less tangible evidence of the impact that you have on the overall school achievements. However, this is far from the case and the conference aims to show practitioners how they can demonstrate and project the impact that they have as a professional and the specialist influence they have on the success of the school.


Our two-day National Conference is held in November each year. The event attracts 350 delegates, the majority being School Business Leaders, representing primary, secondary and special schools and academies. An exhibition runs alongside the conference featuring over 90 exhibitors’ stands. 


With over 350 delegates in attendance and an array of specialist workshops tailored for the school business professional, make sure you are at the CPD event of the year alongside your fellow professionals.



Please click here to download a copy of the full conference programme. 





Headline Sponsor: 

ISBL is pleased to announce the headline sponsor for the National Conference 2018 is Zenergi. 


Gala Dinner 

We will be holding our annual gala dinner which will include the silent auction for our charity of the year. 


Charity of the year: 

We will be fundraising in aid of Dementia UK, our chosen charity of the year, by holding a raffle and silent auction at the conference. Dementia UK provides specialist dementia support for families through their Admiral Nurse service. When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them, giving the one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions people need. The unique dementia expertise and experience an Admiral Nurse brings is a lifeline - it helps everyone in the family to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear. Please click here to see further details of this charity. 


Keynote Speakers:

  • Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System
  • The Real David Cameron (independent thinking associate)
  • Leora Cuddas, CEO of Freedom and Autonomy for Schools (FASNA) 
  • Professor Karen Starr, Deakin University, Australia
  • Charles E. Peterson, President, ASBO International, USA 
  • Paul Whiteman, General Secretary, NAHT 
  • Dr Robin Bevan, ISBL Patron and National Education Union (NEU) Vice-chair 



There will be twenty workshop sessions across the two-day conference, which have been developed to respond to the ISBL Professional Standards disciplines. 

The topics covered will include:

  • Emotional confidence and resilience
  • Well-being (staff & pupils)
  • Strategic financial management - how to make your headteacher listen?
  • Complete Catering Support to enable schools to self manage their own catering operation
  • Live mock disciplinary hearing
  • An introduction to the regulatory and legal compliance requirements in the new Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance.
  • Employment law update
  • Managing compliance across your trust
  • Be your own Superhero – what does your brand say about you



Please click here to download a copy of the workshops.






Delegate rates

OPTION                                                                                      MEMBER*  |   NON MEMBER* 


Full conference                                                                            Please email if you wish to book a full conference place.  

(Includes attendance both days, gala dinner & B&B night of 15 November 2018)

Day 1 delegate - 15 November 2018                                           £195 + vat                  £250 + vat

Day 2 delegate - 16 November 2018                                           £125 + vat                  £170 + vat

B&B                                                                                              Sold out - please contact the venue directly 

(Wednesday 14 November - single occupancy)

Dinner, B&B                                                                                 Sold out - please contact the venue directly

(Wednesday 14 November - single occupancy)

Gala dinner                                                                                   £65 + vat                     £95 + vat

(for guest or day delegates)

*All rates are exclusive of VAT.  **Early bird only available until 30 April 2018.

VAT will be applied at the prevailing rate at the time of booking 



Exhibitor opportunities


OPTION                                                                                             RATE*

Prime exhibition stand - 4m x 2m space only in prime location     SOLD OUT

Standard exhibition stand - 3m x 2m space only                          SOLD OUT

Additional representative - price per rep per day                               £50 + vat

Gala dinner - price per person                                                            £99 + vat

Exhibition competition                                                                        £50 + vat

- to be included on the competition where delegates need to visit the relevant stands to have the chance to win high street vouchers (max 25)

Insert into delegate packs                                                                £250 + vat

Sponsorship of delegate bags                                                       School Business Services

Sponsorship of pens                                                                        £750 + vat

Sponsorship of badges                                                                    InVentry

Sponsorship of pre-dinner drinks                                                  Forbes Solicitors

Sponsorship of gala dinner wine                                                  telephone europe

Sponsorship of evening entertainment                                          £1500 + vat

Sponsorship of opening event                                                         £500 + vat

Sponsorship of after dinner speaker                                               £1000 + vat

 *All rates are exclusive of vat.  Vat will be added at the prevailing rate at the time of booking.


If you have not attended one of our conferences before please take a look at previous year's conference by clicking on the video below: 

And, if that does not entice you enough, we always ensure our delegates have fun too watch here