Sometimes I worry that my writing can be a bit…obvious. I accept my niche readership. Sometimes I don’t even put fingers-to-keyboard on an idea because I decide that “everyone knows this”. Recently though I’ve become aware that there is something which I thought was obvious, but that needs saying…Is anybody out there?
Who exactly is supporting and promoting our School Business Profession?
Whatever your title or role, whether you are happiest as a manager, leader, professional or A.N. Other, you are part of our SBM profession as a whole. It can be easy to forget that when you are buried in an audit or at the start of a days daunting to-do list. But it’s important to remember…you are not alone.
So, at risk of stating the obvious, this is who’s out there.
The Institute of School Business Leaders
I know I bang on about the ISBL but I firmly believe that it is up to us all to recognise, support and engage with our own professional body. They give our profession standing, status and reputation. They work with many other bodies (all included below) to promote our profession with training frameworks, professional standards and a voice in government and policy making. Individuals cannot do what they do and the ISBL cannot do it without us. We need to get behind them to support and engage with the direction of travel we all want (i.e. upwards).
ASCL, NAHT and NGA
These associations all work with the ISBL as well as having a School Business Leadership focus of their own. Our own @shropshiresbm is the Business Leadership Specialist for the ASCL and the NAHT have a SBL sector council chaired by a working SBM. All of them, along with others such as Unison, have a vested interest in promoting the work and status of the School Business Manager, recognising that working together is key to development, success and fitness-for-purpose.
It’s easy to dismiss our regional groups as termly get-togethers with only local value. But actually, I believe the DfE is really starting to listen. The regional groups build into a national picture that has, collectively, a strong voice. A voice that can feedback mood, issues, ideas and desire for improvement.
The Department for Education
The DfE now very clearly recognise the value of the School Business Leader. For all its nay-sayers, the School Resource Management Adviser (SRMA) programme has demonstrated that. We are being listened to through all the platforms listed above, as well as their own channels which they are busy cultivating behind the scenes
Never underestimate the power of social media. #SBLTwitter is growing. In my view, it still has a way to go to reach serious impact status but participators are curious, generous, friendly and supportive. Those of us who are already there will be the ones guiding it into the force we know it can be, supporting and promoting the profession. I maintain that #SBLTwitter needs to work with all the other bodies by sharing our views, experience and data. The profession is listening.
So, the answer to the question “Is anybody out there?” is a definite and resounding YES! But, as with everything, it is up to you to engage with it. Your school gains no benefit from your head always down over your screen. The SBM role isn’t contained within the walls of your office or your school’s perimeter fence. It’s out there, with many other varied supporters of the SBM community working to raise the profile of your profession, discussing what needs to be done, what training is needed, who can support us all, both individually and collectively, and guiding us towards the super status of respect and equality we’d all like to see.