As with most aspects of life there are some unutterable truths to being a School Business Leader and, while I know that autonomy is the thing, in the same vein as Baz Luhrmann’s song “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”, I feel the need to lay out these truths, as I see them, for SBLs.
- Enjoy it all. You will have good days and you will have bad days. Embrace both as part of the role. Tomorrow is a new day.
- Protect yourself. Join a Union and the ISBL. Look at the Union membership as insurance for when it hits the fan (which it will) with additional benefits. You’ll need to pay for this but it is money well spent, believe me. Then decide, with your Headteacher, whether your school or Trust wants you to be a Senior Administrator or a School Business Leader. If it is the latter then the school needs to pay for ISBL membership for you. Insist. It is becoming important, to those leading in Education, in distinguishing the SBL from the SBA.
- Be compliant. Never take shortcuts (or allow others to take them on your behalf). Retain your own integrity even it means saying no to the boss.
- Network. Be part of a regional group but don’t be limited to it. There is a nation of ideas, best practice and support out there. Be part of it. Join #SBLTwitter and just listen to the positivity for your profession that is out there.
- Keep Up. Our profession is changing so quickly. Don’t get left behind in an isolated bubble. Read, network, prioritise your own CPD and get involved. You also need to keep up in your role and to do this you must be part of your SLT.
- Move. Don’t expect to stay in one school forever. An effective SBL is hungry for more, hungry for challenge and willing to push themselves. The message ‘Don’t sit in a comfortable chair for too long’ could have been written for the SBL.
- Don’t worry. Worrying never solved any problem and will only stress you out. If you need help – ask. However experienced, qualified and respected you are as an SBL, there will be times when you need support.
- Accept yourself. You are good at your job and not an imposter. Remember the compliments, learn from mistakes and ignore those who want to bring you down (there will always be someone who wants to bring you down.)
- Look after yourself. You are no good to anyone if you’re tired, stressed or miserable. Your own well-being must be of paramount concern. Sleep, eat properly, exercise and enjoy a hobby.
- .Do it your way. You know your school the best. Listen to advice and recommended best practice but apply it to your context and remember that some things won’t be right for you.
…But trust me about the ISBL…