Move to the Institute of School Business Leadership

Changes to education policy over the last decade have resulted in an increase in the range of responsibilities and expectations on school business leaders. Increased school-level autonomy and a diminishing role for local authorities also now means many schools must identify internal capacity and expertise in order to manage complex operational disciplines historically supported by the LA directorates.

It is with this backdrop that the National Association of School Business Management has decided to transition to institute status. This is the obvious next step in NASBM’s ongoing workforce professionalisation initiative, and there are two principal audiences that have motivated the association to make the change.

Firstly, the sector at large, to which we aim to provide confidence in the school business leadership community. This is being achieved through a framework of qualifications underpinned by professional standards linked to membership categories. Then secondly, practitioners, to whom we aim to provide the professional recognition and status they have earned and deserve. With increased levels of scrutiny and more direct accountability, the school business community will need to demonstrate high levels of competency, professionalism and expertise as pivotal education leaders.

The institute will also guide practitioners through a personalised CPD journey setting out clear career pathways and development options.

This shift in emphasis will not affect the range of core services and events we continue to offer as an association, but we will be linking all future activity to the practice expectations we set out in professional standards.

Over the last 20 years, NASBM has successfully brought together SBM professionals from diverse backgrounds and from a variety of settings. In many ways, our strength has been the networks we have created; sharing experiences, success stories and challenges. However, we now feel it is time to take a more formal approach to the validation of effective practice and offer our community nationally recognised professional status through membership of its own institute.

Following the vacuum left by the National College as the Government chose to withdraw from the sponsorship of the SBM qualifications programme, NASBM has picked up the baton. A move to institute status further legitimises NASBM’s professional development oversight role.

This transition has the overwhelming support of the sector. Unions, the Department for Education, training providers and professional bodies are endorsing the move.Companies House has accepted our application, and we aim to register as an institute in the autumn with an official launch planned at our national conference in November.


Next steps

In making the transition, we believe that the new institute (ISBL) will better support its members and the sector at large. However, to do this effectively it is imperative that all school business professionals share with us what they see as the priorities for their professional body, so that we can serve you effectively from day one as an institute.

We ask for you to share your views by the end of the Summer Term 2017, using the following link:


Further information

View our recent press announcement on the planned changes.

View our FAQs on the move to the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL)