School Business Leader Programme

Programme details – see important update below

The School Business Leader (SBL) programme is a postgraduate programme (equivalent to level 7 standard), designed to support the professional learning of those currently employed, or aspiring to work, at the highest levels of professional practice in school business management. It is suitable for school business leaders in MATs (multi-academy trusts), those in schools considering joining a MAT, as well as those in other complex or federated school and academy settings.

Please see update for 2017 at foot of page

The programme will provide those who are specialists in their own field with a greater understanding of the full range of responsibilities as well as grow the skill set of those who work across all disciplines of school business management

Key Features

  •  12-month programme
  • Linked to new Professional Standards
  • Designed for senior business leaders/school directors
  • Peer-to-peer networking opportunities

The School Business Leader (SBL) programme provides experienced and aspiring school business leaders with a personalised solution to further develop their professional learning.

Participants will be school business leaders who work in the context of increasingly diverse and complex settings, and who face new challenges in terms of their leadership and management skills both within and outside of the school. For eligibility conditions please see FAQ document (right).

Programme aims

The School Business Leader programme is designed to support the advanced professional learning of participants and their ability to perform the extended school business leader roles. The programme is designed not simply to transmit knowledge and develop skills, but to facilitate the creation of new knowledge and understanding of the contribution school business leaders can make to the school effectiveness and efficiency agenda. It requires participants to reflect deeply, not just on their practice in their own institutions, but also on the contributions they can make to the broader education community. It challenges them to become system leaders.

You are likely to be working in large, complex groups of schools such as a federation, MAT, trust or other formal partnership, including cross-phase and multi-agency settings. Alternatively, you may have a significant leadership role in school business management, working, for example, as an independent consultant or a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE).

Programme structure

The School Business Leader (SBL) programme consists of five phases studied over 12 months. There will be an initial development centre to define learning goals followed by three further one-day workshops held at the beginning of phase 2-4. The programme also includes a one-day assessment centre held in the final phase. The location for face-to-face events is likely to be in the West Midlands area. See FAQ document (right) for a summary of the five phases and further details..

The programme draws on blended learning strategies that combine a number of innovative approaches to support participants’ professional development. These include online learning, face-to-face development workshops, one-to-one coaching conversations, reciprocal learning visits to other participants’ schools/academies, and peer consultancy.

The programme takes approximately 12 months to complete, depending on your personalised learning path. Many participants completing the SBL programme continue their learning at Master’s level.

We are currently developing accreditation arrangements for the SBL programme and will provide an update in the near future. External accreditations will be an additional cost.

How to apply for the School Business Leader programme

Update August 2017: Note that the SBL programme is no longer available in its current format.

New SBM trailblazer apprenticeships being developed for 2017/2018 will offer new training opportunities for levy-paying schools to use levy funding for current staff (includes senior school leaders and executives). Click here for more information about the trailblazer apprenticeships.

A new Level 7 Senior Leader Masters higher apprenticeship at Master’s level is under development and progressing through the final approval stages.  We will aim to include SBL content within this new 2-year Master’s qualification. Please contact us on to register your interest and we will update you with further details in the Autumn Term once these have been confirmed (indicative start date Spring/ Summer 2018).