Call us: 0300 30 30 333
Home Menu

SBL sector council update (July 2019)

Leadership website.jpg

Welcome to the SBL sector council blog reporting on the work that is being undertaken by the NAHT SBL sector council. We think it is vital for our members, who are our colleagues, to report to you on what NAHT is doing for school business leaders.

To give a little background on the council. Since 2012, 12 SBL council members have directed the journey of NAHT in supporting the SBL community.

A prime example of our work is that in 2016 we took forward a proposal about school funding, reporting that colleagues were having ‘sleepless nights’ trying to balance the budget. This led to the NAHT Breaking Point Survey and the high-profile school funding crisis work that has been a major game-changer in recent politics.

We have also led the way on SBL pay and advice on how to get yourself a better deal. This advice is available to members via the NAHT website. We see this as one of the burning issues for our members and at each meeting, it is a standing agenda item. We have met with politicians, other unions and job evaluation organisations to try and develop a model for SBL pay. We are not quite there yet, but the moment we are, we will let our members know and we will do everything we can to make sure our members receive the recognition they are entitled to.

More recently, at our meeting on 14 of June, we met with the DfE to review the work of the school resource management advisors. We discussed the mechanisms for deployment, and what this actually meant for our members and challenged the methodology behind the programme.

We discussed the challenges around integrated curriculum lead financial planning, especially for primary schools and we are looking to meet with the DfE again at the next meeting to review what the approach may be.

NAHT is committed to supporting our SBL community and we reviewed current communication avenues such as Twitter, amongst others. The committee strongly believes that communication, advice and support for our members at a time of increasing change is vital, and so does the NAHT team. We are looking at how our magazine and website advice can be further tailored to suit the needs of the NAHT membership. If you fancy writing a piece for the website, or our Leadership Focus magazine, get in touch.

A large part of the discussion focused around the NAHT branding and perception in the wider leadership community. We have come a long way since the National Association of Headteachers and NAHT recognises the SBL community as equal members to that of other membership categories. However, you may not see that in the media, ‘Head teachers union march on Downing Street’ seems to make a bigger impact, but don’t be disheartened.

NAHT is here to support all members, as equals. We all pay for membership, and so we should, and we do have equal membership status. We know there is more work to do on this and that is why I would suggest getting involved with your local branch. You are welcome to attend any branch meeting, they are for you to air your views and to get the support that you need both locally, and nationally. I have been a member of a branch since 2012 after just arriving one day, without an invite. I went on to be the president of the branch, and then also the vice president of the West Midlands. It gave me a good opportunity to get the voice of SBLs in my area heard, and to make a difference. If you are not sure where your local branch is, log on to the NAHT website.

Later on this year, you will receive a survey asking for your views and to hear about your concerns. We want to know what you want NAHT to do for you so please complete it. It will drive forward our work over the coming years.

Our next meeting is on Friday 20 September, so if you have anything you would like on the agenda that we can include in our next bulletin, please contact our chair, Rachel Younger via email (, or you can contact me on twitter @stokesbm.

Grahame Colclough is the vice chair of the SBL sector council and business and operations leader in a 690 place, maintained primary school in Stoke on Trent. In 2012, Grahame worked with the National College as an SBM advocate and in 2013 established the North Staffs School Business Leaders Association. Grahame is a school resource management advisor and fellow of ISBL. As well as the SBL qualifications, Grahame has completed the National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership (NPQSL) and the Certificate in Personal Development (CIPD) HR Qualification. 

First published 17 July 2019