Focusing on the school business managers

The education sector is changing rapidly and the life blood of every school is reliant on the quality and contribution of its school business management professional. Never before has the blueprint for school business management been defined in its totality – until now.

Following a national consultation across all sector stakeholders and considerable input from school business management professionals; the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) will launch the national professional standards framework at its national conference on Wednesday 18 November 2015.
Even if you have never attended the National Conference before, as a professional it is key that you attend this year and share in the launch of the set of standards that will underpin, develop and catapult the recognition of the profession across the sector. 

Following the feedback from delegates that attended last year, the event will be once again held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 November 2015. This venue allows all delegates to stay on site at the hotel and get the most out of the two-day event. Owing to the oversubscription of the event last year, NASBM has expanded the conference to cater for 300 delegates. That said, 80 per cent of these places have already been sold so book your place now if you wish to attend.

Why attend?
The two-day conference, is the only two day event solely focused on the needs of the school business management professional; providing a wealth of keynotes from educational experts and practical workshops from practitioners, plus a 90 strong exhibition running alongside it. With one of the strongest line ups of speakers, this conference promises not only to be the launch of the professions’ blueprint, but to also ask what is coming next and how school business management professionals can be prepared. 

The conference will be opened with a keynote from Stephen Morales and Lord Lindsay, chairman of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service who will explain how the professional standards will be adopted by the sector, post launch.

The other speakers scheduled to support the conference and provide key insights include Peter Lauener, Howard Jackson, Steve Cunningham, Frank Green and Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools.

Peter Lauener was appointed chief executive and accounting officer when the Education Funding Agency (EFA) was formed in April 2012. His previous roles include: chief executive of the Young People’s Learning Agency; director of the Local Transformation at the Department for Children, Schools and Families; and director at Skills, Department for Education and Skills (DFES).

Although Steve Cunningham lost his sight at the age of 12, he has not allowed this disability to hold him back. Steve speaks with humour and wit recounting his experiences in achieving whatever he has set his mind to. He inspires and entertains while making you re‑evaluate your own goals, ambitions and limits. Steve is the holder of the Blind Land Speed and Powerboat records and was the first blind person to fly a light aircraft around the UK.

Frank Green took up the post of national Schools Commissioner on 1 February 2014. Previously Frank was Chief Executive of Leigh Academies Trust (LAT) for five years. He has a proven record of innovation and transformation as part of the school improvement process, leading three schools through to academy status. In June 2013 he was awarded a CBE for services to Education.

Integral to the conference is a dedicated exhibition hall, catering for 90 exhibitors who all have a good understanding of the needs of the sector and offer a broad range of products and services. This provides delegates with an opportunity to undertake their procurement activities whilst at the conference, thus making the conference more than just a CPD hotspot. You can make new supplier contacts, get three suppliers for benchmarking, get advice from colleagues on the services and set up appointments for when you are back at school.

Each workshop will be provided by a sector specialist who has been vetted by NASBM and is an Approved Partner. Each of these partners will be supported by one of the NASBM Associate Practitioners who will provide the school context and ensure that the workshops provide delegates with practical tools.

This years workshop themes include: Financial Management; Procurement & Estate Management; Legal and HR; Policy and Leadership; Governance and Assurance; and  Data Management, ICT and Marketing.

Recommended workshops on Wednesday 18th include: ‘How to make cost savings and make your budget go further’ by the TES Foundation; ‘Exploiting the opportunity for change within the Finance Function, when creating or growing a Multi Academy Trust’ by Will Jordan of PD Financials; and ’Simplifying procurement - a master class in procuring and practical everyday top tips’ by ESPO.

On the second day, Thursday 19, workshops will include: ‘Managing honest conversations with employees’, delivered by Schools’ Choice; ‘Making school meals count’ by the Children’s Food Trust; and ‘Operational Effectiveness’, by Chris Hallmark of OEE Consulting.

Main Sponsor
NASBM would like to take this opportunity to formally thank our main conference sponsor Schoolcomms.

Kirsty Cumming, marketing manager at Schoolcomms, said: “Communication, organisation and process driven efficiency is at the heart of good management and that’s why we are so keen to support NASBM and School Business Management professionals in what looks to be another first class conference and professional networking event.

“Our goals are common. We’re constantly looking to drive improvement, deliver cost savings and identify efficiencies to free-up time and funding. We want to maximise the resources available to support learning and attainment.

“Providing simple technology driven communication between schools and parents is our business. We currently supply over 2,500 schools. Schoolcomms brings together texting, emailing, online payment collection, parents evening bookings, absence chasing, breakfast and after-school club management and reporting into one simple system. Everything we do has to pass the ‘simple and effective test’. If you haven’t seen Schoolcomms recently we hope you’ll get to know us during the conference.”

The nominated Charity for the NASBM National Conference is Mind, the mental health charity. Mind believes no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone. Whether you are stressed, depressed or in crisis Mind will listen and give support and advice, and fight your corner. Every year one in four people will experience a mental health problem but hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling to get the support they need. Still unable to access the services that could change their life. Still facing prejudice and misunderstanding.

Mind provides direct support to over a quarter of a million people each year and their ambition is that by 2016 millions more people with mental health problems will have the support and respect they need and deserve. For further information on the work of Mind please visit their website.

Emily Rayfield, Community Fundraising Coordinator at Mind, said: “We’re here to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support. We provide information to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

“Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. But hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect.

“On behalf of everyone at Mind I’d like to say a huge thank you to the National Association of School Business Management for choosing to support Mind. Money raised will fund our vital work including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four people who experience a mental health problem every year.”

Free Health Checks
At this year’s National Conference, The Education Broker will be providing free health checks for all delegates. There are no needles, no invasive procedures, the most you may wish to do is remove your socks! The health check is conducted using specialised equipment to record your vital measurements (such as blood pressure, fat, BMI and weight). After the checks have been performed a qualified health technician will explain what your individual results mean and could mean for your long‑term health.  The check-up takes only a few minutes, and will be an enjoyable respite during the conference. So why not come along, you may be surprised at how well you are. The health checks will be available from 8am on Wednesday 18 November and are expected to be in great demand so come along early to guarantee your place.

The Education Broker is providing the health checks in conjunction with its Working Well Together service which is designed to support school improvement by enabling your staff to maintain or improve their health. This unique service is fully funded by The Education Broker for new clients in 2015. We urge you to participate to experience this first-hand.

The Metropole Hotel
The Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel is one of the UK’s largest residential conference hotels. With space for up to 2000 delegates, our 33 meeting and event rooms are perfect for all manner of corporate meetings and events in the West Midlands. The Hilton Birmingham Metropole offers a selection of 790 guest rooms and suites, providing a home-away-from-home for you and your delegates.

The Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel is the number one choice for over 1700 Birmingham conferences and meetings each year. Our Conference & Events team aims to achieve the highest quality and standards, and the hotel boasts three restaurants, outstanding leisure facilities, and all the convenient amenities you’d expect from a pre-eminent business hotel.

At the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel, our staff pride themselves on their dedication to exceptional service. From the moment you arrive until the minute you leave, the comfort and well‑being of you and your delegates will be our absolute priority.

Further information

Supplier Focus


Education is our heritage, for five decades we’ve been providing better value to 30,000 schools. By working with a variety of leading UK suppliers to provide you with a large range of good quality products and services, from art supplies, curriculum products, furniture and EdTech products, to supporting you in setting up compliant contracts for things like electricity, utilities, and cleaning. We can provide you with everything you could possibly need, making it easier for you.