School Business Leadership

It starts with YOU!

I was very pleased to have been offered the opportunity to speak at (or facilitate) a workshop of SBLs today. It wasn’t long, just 50 minutes. I was nervous, as it was my first time, but I think it went OK. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m taking some improvement points away with me.

More importantly, my agreeing to be a speaker meant I could spend the day there, listening (and learning) from other speakers.

Now you probably know that I don’t get out much, I find the day job difficult to put down and part of my role is still very operational. So it has been wonderful to meet and chat with other SBMs and the networking alone has made the whole day worthwhile, hauling up to London and the 134 emails that are winking at me as I resolutely ignore them and think about my day on the train home.

There was a useful mix of subjects. I learned about; the current finance situation, the pitfalls of staff restructuring, one MATs centralised model, how to work smarter, ways to promote resilience in staff as well the current limitations of my ‘facilitating’ skills.

It’s been a good day.


I feel a bit overwhelmed by the general feeling that I got from other speakers and from delegates in my workshop. This ‘feeling’ might be incorrect (we were all tired by 15.20 when the last workshops started) but to come away from a conference with it, makes me think it is a worthy of analysis.

I’ve been left wondering today if our humble-ness, our lack of confidence in our contribution to whole school strategy and improvement planning, and our reticence in leading and driving change forward, is building barriers and ring fencing our role as SBMs to “support” and only “support”.

I don’t want to build a Business Strategic Plan, I want to be involved in building a whole school Strategic Plan that includes the Business function.

I don’t want to celebrate being humble. I want to shout from the rooftops “I AM A SCHOOL LEADER” as worthy and capable to discuss T&L, curriculum planning, data, pastoral care, staffing, strategy, vision and finance as the rest of the SLT.

I don’t want to limit collaboration to my relationships with other SBMs, I want to talk to other school SLTs about efficient procurement, generating income, shared services and building new structures.

I don’t think I’m being too demanding?

The attitude that we are not as good as…,not as valuable as…,not as professional as…, needs to come, first and foremost, from…


So please stop with the “humble”. Put those hard earned qualifications on your email sign-off and business card and accept that you are of equal value to the school as the rest of the SLT.

Because no one else will believe it until you do.

2 thoughts on “It starts with YOU!”

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