Level 5 Diploma for School Business Leaders

Level 5 Diploma for School Business Leaders – a professional qualification for experienced school business managers

The newly-developed ILM qualifications are closely linked to the latest ISBL Professional Standards for school business managers (SBMs) and reflect the changing roles performed by school business professionals across schools and academies.

The new Level 5 Diploma for School Business Leaders features:

  • 21 months study
  • Accreditation by ILM
  • Up-to-the-minute content
  • Aligns with latest Professional Standards (ISBL)
  • Aimed at experienced, senior school business professionals
  • Fully online and Blended learning study pathways
  • Apply now for 2022 intakes
  • Prices include ILM accreditation (excludes Individual Unit option)

These qualifications are designed specifically for school business professionals and aim to provide the knowledge and skills required to develop your career further. They will also enable school business management professionals to:

  • manage school resources more efficiently and effectively
  • evaluate the nature of school business operations within your school
  • gain specialist expertise in business support services

These newly-designed ILM diploma programmes are open to all schools and are separate from the apprenticeship scheme.  The Level 5 SBL programme is therefore not eligible for apprenticeship funding and schools are directly invoiced for the programme costs (see Price List link on the right).

The Level 5 Diploma is open to experienced school business managers (or those in similar roles) who work closely with their SLT members, and who already possess a Level 4 or Level 5 qualification – although relevant experience can also be taken into account.

Further information about the SBL can be found under Key Documents (right), including FAQs and price list.

Who can apply?

You should either be a school business manager (or similar) currently performing all or part of the SBM role at either senior administrator or management level, working within, or closely with, the senior leadership team (SLT).  See the FAQ guidance document or our SBM terms & conditions (right) for eligibility conditions. You will need the support of a school in order to carry out work-based study. It is important that the SLT are willing to share information with you in order to help your studies. Please contact us if you need to discuss your eligibility for the most appropriate programme.

We recommend that you complete the Level 4 (formerly CSBM) programme prior to undertaking the Level 5 programme, although we do welcome applications from those who would like to proceed directly to the Level 5 . In these cases you will be asked to provide further information about your professional and academic background as part of the application process.

Need more information? Please see the links under Key Documents panel (on the right) to print or download helpful documents.

The Level 5 Diploma full programme is accredited by the Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) – for more information please click here 

How to apply

Application form

The next intakes of the Level 5 Diploma for School Business Leaders are available in blended learning and online formats – see next dates in the table below.

Level 5 Diploma for School Business Leaders (fully online) costs from £1705 (+ VAT) and includes ILM accreditation. See Price List (Key Documents) for further price information.

Ready to apply?

Scroll down to view the table below and click on the relevant ‘Apply Now’ button. The course application form is located on the Serco Learning Centre website and so you will be automatically transferred to the site when you click on one of the ‘Apply Now’ buttons below.

If this is your first application, you will need to create a user account on the learning centre site, which only takes a few minutes. You will be asked for your name and email address, and to create a username, password, and security question. You will then be able to complete the application form.

Prices: Fully online format:  Single advance payment of £1705 (+ VAT) or two-staged payment (60:40 split) of £1789 (+ VAT). Payments are due shortly before the start of the programme. 

Level 5 SBL Fully Online (740) 16th September 2022 31st October 2022 Apply Now

Key Documents

What the participants think

" All elements of the course from the face to face, online learning and further reading worked well in creating a good all round knowledge of the subject. I have found this knowledge very useful in the workplace and feel that it has greatly enhanced my performance "

Current Level 5 participant, who has just completed Phase 2


Our Programmes

Aspiring School Business Managers

School Administration Foundation Certificate (SAFC)

Level 4 School Business Professional Apprenticeship

Level 4 Diploma for School Business Managers (CSBM)

Level 5 Diploma for School Business Leaders (DSBM)

Level 6 CMDA (School Professionals)

ILM Accredited

We are an Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Approved centre to deliver the Level 4 Diploma for School Business Managers