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Professional development of school business leaders


We know that our school business leader (SBL) members have taken their professional development very seriously, with the majority having undertaken at least one level of the National College SBM qualifications.  We were, therefore, very concerned in 2015 when the government announced it was no longer going to offer bursaries for these qualifications nor oversee the integrity of the qualifications. We were concerned about the future of these qualifications that underpin our members' professional recognition.

We, therefore, joined forces with our partners NASBM to ensure the qualifications developed by the Institute for Leadership and Management were robust and based on NASBM's professional standards that we have also supported.

In the meantime, the new apprenticeship levy of 0.5% of payroll costs was imposed on schools last April, and we have also been keen to explore the opportunity to use this funding to replace the bursaries for SBLs to undertake professional development. Unfortunately, the Institute for Apprenticeships would not just accredit the ILM qualifications but it also required a different apprenticeship route.

The result of this is that we have two new suites of qualifications, and one of these can be funded through the apprenticeship levy while the other route has to be funded by the school or the individual. To help our members to navigate this, and compare these qualifications, our partner NASBM has provided a very simple comparison that you can find below.