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The Association can trace its origins to local group meetings in the early 1990s. Bursars began to emerge in the state sector as a result of the new autonomy enjoyed by schools awarded grant-maintained status. In 1994, a meeting of like-minded bursars led to a resolution to promote national participation in an organisation dedicated to representing the profession.
In 1997, the National Bursars Association Ltd was formally incorporated in response to an increasing demand for a more formal representative body.
In 2008, the association commissioned a rebrand exercise and made a conscious move away from the term ‘bursar’ to reflect the broader responsibilities and complexity of school business management. The National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) was born.
The move to become the Institute of School Business Leadership, in 2017, is firmly rooted in this same key principle which saw the emergence of the organisation over 20 years ago.