ILM Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management

The ILM Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management (formally CSBM) is an internationally recognised programme for school business managers. It has been designed to develop professional knowledge, understanding and competencies so that those completing the qualification can contribute effectively to key areas of school business management.


Who is this for?

The ILM Level 4 DSBM qualification is designed for SBM professionals who wish to enhance both their leadership, management and administrative skills and their knowledge and understanding in key elements of school business management. Professionals working outside the education sector will find this qualification essential if they wish to start a career in school business management.

International applicants are welcome to register but may be required to provide evidence of a suitable breadth of achievement in English language. Please contact us if you would like further information about this.

What are the benefits?

The Level 4 Diploma of School Business Management will equip senior administrators and new SBMs with the operational skills required to be an effective school business manager. Throughout the programme you will have:

  • opportunities to enhance your leadership, administrative and managerial skills
  • a personalised framework to develop your knowledge, understanding of key areas of SBM
  • opportunities to develop your communication skills in a range of contexts
  • access to coaching support to help you reflect on your personal development and the requirements of the school business manager role
  • a foundation for future advanced professional development as a school business manager

How is it delivered?

The ILM Level 4 Diploma in School Business Management programme (qualification no. 601/5603/X) is delivered over 12 months.

The ILM credit value of the qualification is 46 to 48 credits, which comprises of 3 essential modules (24 credits), plus elective modules up to 22 or 24 credits.

The modules are:

Essential Modules Elective Modules
  • Understanding school business management
    15 learning hours
  • Planning and leading projects in school
    10 learning hours
  • Managing school finances
    20 learning hours
  • Managing Human Resources in schools
    23 learning hours
  • Managing school facilities
    20 learning hours
  • Managing risk in schools
    16 learning hours
  • Managing school office services
    20 learning hours


Participants have a choice of pathway through the programme:

Blended learning pathway – a mix of face-to-face and online training

  • Face to face delivery from a professional facilitator (4 full days)
  • Facilitated online modules
  • School-based projects
  • Online seminars with expert facilitators

Online learning pathway – online training only

Undertaken entirely online at your own pace this pathway provides you with the flexibility to study at your own pace and without the need to attend face to face training. The pathway includes:

  • Facilitated online modules
  • Online seminars with expert facilitators
  • A dedicated coach/tutor who will provide you with intensive support throughout the programme.


The programme is accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). Your learning will be assessed through assignments submitted on completion of each of the five phases of the programme and a work-based project submitted on completion of all modules. The assessment will ensure rigorous coverage of the learning outcomes of each module and a clear focus on the development of professional skills.

You will receive formative feedback on completion of each phase of the programme which contributes to summative assessment. Learners are required to undertake a minimum of 46 credits or a maximum of 48 credits to achieve this qualification.


We are delivering ILM Level 4 DSBM in the following regions:

  • East Midlands
  • London
  • North West
  • South West
  • West Midlands

School networks or alliances with several business managers wishing to complete the qualification should contact us about bespoke training that can be arranged at a local level and delivered within their schools.

What does it cost?

The full cost of the programme including assessment and certification is:

  • Blended learning pathway - £1,200 +VAT
  • Online learning pathway - £950 +VAT

Bespoke delivery for your school alliance

We are able to offer bespoke groups for schools or school alliances where a minimum of 10 staff register for DSBM. This arrangement provides schools with the potential benefits of using their own facilities for face to face training, determining the most convenient dates and delivery model (twilights, school holidays or half-days). A collaborative group may also bring financial benefits as candidate fees can be reduced to reflect larger groups and savings achieved by using school facilities. Please contact us to discuss setting up a bespoke training group.

How to apply

Please complete the online registration form below to apply for a place.

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