We are all in this together

We are all in this together

Posted  21st April 2021

School business leader Sally Boaden tells Leyla Tovey, of School Business Services, why SBLs need to band together to dig their schools out of the quagmire created by the pandemic

The pandemic has put school business leaders to the test, and they’ve shown exactly what they’re made of. The fact is that schools could not have got through this crisis without the school business professional.

Before COVID-19 the SBL was a little-known character to some members of the school community; a person who worked in the office who they didn’t have a direct connection with. That changed in 2020. Now the SBL is known throughout the staff body and wider school community. She or he is the person who led on the health and safety protocols that staff must follow to minimise the risk of infection; they’ve become the school’s guide through stormy times.

Sally Boaden, SBL at Lady Jane Grey Primary in Groby, Leicester, says that these experiences bode well for the future of the profession. “We can’t go back to how it was before the ‘event’ that we’ve all been wrestling with on a professional and personal level for so long,” she says. “Even if you hadn’t had a particularly close working relationship with your headteacher prior to last spring that will almost certainly have changed since. SBLs have been showing their resilience and ingenuity on a daily basis and that, thankfully, has been properly recognised.”

How do we sustain these gains? Nurturing our professional skills is one way, Sally says. “I’ve recently signed up to do a master’s in education leadership and management which has helped me to connect with a wider set of schools leaders. I’ve kept on top of my professional development qualifications over the 17 years since I entered this profession, and each one has brought new skills and fresh connections.”

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