School business leaders to hold roundtable discussion

A group of school business professionals have convened a roundtable discussion in Birmingham on the 30th May. The event will take place just days before the General Election. I’m one of the SBMs who came up with the idea and I am convinced the time is right to hear from school business leaders as the country decides which party it wants in government from June 9th.

“The snap election presents an opportunity for school business leaders to take join the policy debate. We want to influence the national conversation about what does (and doesn’t!) work in state schools”

Just as with the Headteachers’ Roundtable, the event will be non-party political in nature. It will seek to celebrate what works and to champion those manifesto ideas that make sense irrespective of party.


Rooted in participants’ deep understanding of effective practice, we want to set out an agenda for change that will improve the way schools are run and articulate how the school business leadership profession can contribute to better outcomes for pupils.

Historically, the school business management profession in the UK have stayed away from big policy issues, preferring to focus on the tweaks and improvements needed to make the existing system work. But the enforced decline of local authorities and the increasingly autonomous nature of large groups of schools in academy chains has changed things.

The width of the school business leader’s horizon is now broader than ever before. More and more practitioners are moving from micro or hyper-local procedural issues to macro-educational policy and system-leadership themes.

“As the county goes to the polls, it seems right and proper that the school leaders who handle the day-today transactions which make up the multi-billion-pound education budget in the UK pause and consider if this expenditure is being used in the right way.”

Do you want to be part of the debate?

The event is open to all school business leaders interested in looking at wider policy issues (including those supporting schools and academy trusts as consultants). Registration is free and further information is available here.


This roundtable is a practitioner-led, seize-the-moment chance to get SBM/Ls discussing the bigger issues. In the longer term, it would be great to see Headteachers, Governors and School Business Leaders regularly in conversation together. Much work is being done by NASBM, ASCL, NAHT, NGA and others to build these import communication channels and we don’t want to ignore or replace this work.

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