ISBL Fellowship – making a difference, building the profession

By growing the ISBL community of Fellows, and then actively engaging with you and other stakeholders, ISBL will continue to:

  • Formally recognise and raise awareness of excellent practice and expertise within the profession
  • Encourage the profession to aspire to excellence and higher standards of practice
  • Improve the practice of School Business Leadership by encouraging ongoing participation in professional development

Register of ISBL Fellows

See our register of current Fellows here.

What the practitioners say…

Case studies

Read more about the journey to Fellowship in a case study by Amanda Kaye who was awarded in October 2019.

Benefits of becoming an ISBL Fellow

If successful, you will become part of a strong, growing, influential and diverse network of like-minded people who want to develop and drive forward the School Business Leadership professional standards and build the reputation of the profession.

You will be working alongside the Institute and our sector stakeholders to ensure that school leaders and governors fully recognise the contribution School Business Leadership professionals make to school improvement and development.

Being recognised as an ISBL Fellow demonstrates that you are a leader within the profession, have achieved a high level of professional expertise and are committed to developing your knowledge and skills to meet the ever-changing demands of the education sector.

You are also showing your commitment to upholding the very highest ethical standards. ISBL maintains a public register of our Fellows and ISBL Fellows can use the designation FISBL after their name and on printed material.

Our Fellows receive:

  • An ISBL Certificate
  • An invitation to an annual dedicated professional development event for ISBL Fellows
  • An invitation to have your achievements showcased in The Voice, ISBL’s member magazine
  • An opportunity to join the ISBL Network of School Resource Management Advisors
  • A variety of opportunities to be involved in ISBL projects and initiatives e.g. Fellow blogs

Following award, your name will be included on our current Fellows register.

Eligibility criteria

1. Have at least three years recent experience working at a senior level in School Business Leadership professional role.

2. Hold a qualification at Level 6 or above in school business management or in a subject which supports your professional practice in at least one of the following areas of school business management outlined in the ISBL Professional Standards:

  • Leading Support Services
  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Infrastructure
  • HR
  • Marketing

Don’t have a Level 6 qualification?

For individuals not currently holding a level 6 (graduate qualification) then the Certificate in Strategic Educational Leadership, which accredits prior learning and experience, may be the best route to fellowship.

3. Demonstrate significant experience and evidence of impact in at least two of the disciplines listed below (one discipline must be LSS).

  • Leading Support Services (LSS)
  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Infrastructure
  • HR
  • Marketing

4. Provide evidence of ongoing commitment to, and impact of, continuing professional development (CPD).

5. Provide evidence of leadership within your school/trust and system leadership within the School Business Leadership profession.

6. Demonstrate the highest standards of professional conduct.

Providing evidence means to submit documents which confirm your work and impact against the requirements. These documents should be submitted in addition to your application form. Please read the ISBL Fellowship guidance for applicants for more information.

How to make your application including examples

The guidance document explaining the application process and the application form are available using the links below:

  • Guidance for applicants – read this prior to completing your application form and gathering your evidence
  • Application form – use this for your application
  • Personal Development Plan template – the format of this template is supportive and not prescriptive
  • Practical application tips – PDF powerpoint containing 6 slides outlining requirements and practical tips to help you fulfill them
  • Example – this is a example application submitted by a previous successful applicant (use the application form above for your own application)

ISBL requires submission of a PDP in relation to requirement 4. If you use the template above, you are free to add and remove columns and content to ensure the information you provide within it best reflects your personal development considerations and plans.

When to apply

The application windows are open each year between:

Apply between 1 October and 31 March for the Fellowship Assessment Panel in early May

Apply between 1 April and 30 September for the Fellowship Assessment Panel in early October

Submitting your application

ISBL requires both an e-copy and hard copy of your application. 

By email: Completed applications can be submitted via email to [email protected].

By post: Please send your completed application to: ISBL, 53 Butts Road, Coventry, CV1 3BH. Mark the envelope ‘Fellowship application’

Fees: Please note that an administration charge of £75 applies to all applications for Membership. Please read our Fellowship guidance for full details.