Sources of training and support for school business professionals in schools, trusts and other organisations.

Continuing professional development and training is available for school business professionals in:

  • schools
  • trusts
  • other organisations

This is supported by:

Professional standards

The Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) has published a suite of professional standards for school business professionals.

Use these standards to:

  • review your abilities
  • identify areas for development

Head teachers and governors may use these standards for recruitment and performance management.


There are a variety of qualifications for school business professionals, depending on your experience and preferred method of study.

We do not endorse any particular qualification. You should make sure that any course of study meets your needs.

If you think a qualification is missing from this list please email [email protected].


Qualifications include:


Qualifications include:

National professional qualifications

Qualifications include:

Specialist qualifications

ISBL have published a list of specialist qualifications, which includes:

  • estate management
  • finance training
  • occupational safety and health
  • human resources

Sector organisations

These organisations provide training and support for school and trust leaders.

This list is not exhaustive. Other organisations provide training and support that may better meet your needs.

We do not endorse any particular organisation. You should follow your procurement process if you choose to buy any of the services offered.

Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)

ASCL is a leading professional body representing school, college and education system leaders across the UK.

Its annual conference for school business leaders includes a range of professional development activities on strategic financial management.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

CIPFA is the professional body for people in public finance.

Their services include academy specialists who provide guidance on:

  • accounting
  • financial management
  • business matters

Confederation of School Trusts (CST)

CST is the national organisation and sector body for school trusts in England.

They advocate, connect and support executive and governance leaders.

Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL)

ISBL represents and supports school business professionals through a framework of qualifications, underpinned by professional standards.

Local authorities

Most local authorities offer training in financial management for their local schools. They may offer services to other schools and trusts too.

National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)

NAHT is an independent trade union and professional association whose services include direct support and training on finance and resource management.

National Governance Association (NGA)

NGA is an independent charity that supports and promotes good governance in schools and trusts.


UNISON is the UK’s largest public service union. They represent full time and part time staff who provide public services, including school business professionals.

Published 25 January 2019 Contents