Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management

Recruiting for the Autumn intake starting October 2017.  Apply by Monday 25 September to secure your place. 


The Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management forms part of a suite of school business management qualifications accredited by the ILM.

The Level 4 Diploma is aimed at practising School Business Managers (SBMs), or individuals developing into this role, who are currently performing all or part of the SBM role at either senior administrator or management level.

It enables participants to develop their knowledge, understanding, competencies and confidence in the operational aspects of school business leadership and supports them in understanding the local and political context in which they work. It recognises the importance of effective school business management and the contribution this effectiveness can make to the overall success of the school.

The Level 4 Diploma will enable you to:

  • extend your knowledge of technical and professional aspects of school business management
  • manage resources within your school more efficiently and effectively
  • deepen your understanding of school business management in an educational context
  • evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of school business management in a specific school setting
  • develop your professional competence in relation to the role of the school business manager
  • enable you to demonstrate the impact of your professional learning on yourself and on a school setting
  • prepare you for further study on the suite of ILM SBM programmes

We offer two study options:

  • blended learning, which combines distance learning with face-to-face workshops. Workshops are delivered in Central London locations.
  • distance learning

The Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management provides the opportunity to progress on to the Level 5 Diploma in School Business Management or other CPD opportunities.   Visit the School Leaders or Coaching and Mentoring pages to find out more.

What is the cost of the Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management programme?

For details of costs, please see the Price List.

The price you pay includes the ILM registration fee, which will give you free membership to the Institute* and a range of studying member benefits.  Membership benefits include access to the LearningZone, the Resource Centre, the Ci Zone and access to Institute events and professional seminars.  On successful completion of the programme you will receive an ILM certificate.  You may also be eligible to upgrade to become a professional member of the Institute.

*ILM’s partner, the Institute of Leadership & Management, is a specialist membership organisation that raises the professional standards of leaders and managers.

It is possible to pay the cost of the programme by instalments - see the SBM FAQs for details.

Anglia Ruskin University is an ELC Approved Provider and MOD Enhanced Learning Credits can be used towards the cost of this programme. Visit the ELCAS website for further information.

Preferential rates are offered to schools, academies, local authorities and cluster groups who host their own group deliverires

How do I apply for the Level 4 Diploma?

The application round for the Autumn Blended Learning and Distance Learning programmes are now open.  Apply by Monday 25 September to secure your place for October 2017.


Programme overview

The Level 4 Diploma is approximately one year long. During this time you will complete six units:

Understanding School Business Management
Planning and Leading Projects in Schools
Managing School Finances
Managing Human Resources in Schools
Managing Risk in Schools
Managing Office Services 

Download a copy of the Level 4 Diploma Programme Factsheet to learn more about the content of each unit and the programme structure:

"As a direct result of my course I have saved our school substantial amounts of money and improved procedures and policies.”


In order to undertake the Level 4 Diploma you should be:

  • Employed as an SBM by a state-maintained school, academy or pupil referral unit.
  • Employed by a state-maintained school, academy or Pupil Referral Unit, but not in an SBM role.*
  • Employed by a local authority and visiting schools and/or academies regularly to carry out SBM duties.*
  • Employed as an SBM by an independent school.
  • Employed by an independent school, but not in an SBM role.*
  • Employed by an overseas school which follows the English Curriculum.

 *You should have the support of the Headteacher and be able to access any of the school’s policies and data you will need to cover the content of and complete the coursework for all six units of the Level 4 Diploma.

If you are not currently employed in the school sector but want to become an SBM then you may still be able to apply as an aspiring applicant.

If you have any eligibility queries then please contact the SBM team on 01245 684355 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ILM logo

The application round for the Autumn 2017 intake starting October 2017 is open.  Apply  by Monday 25 September to secure your place.