SCHOOL BOARDS MEMBERS' HANDBOOK
Scottish Executive December 2003
This document is also available in pdf format (79k)
The Role of the Scottish Executive Education Department
The Role of Local Authority Education Departments
The Role of the School Board
Officers of Education Authorities and Local Councillors
Meetings at the Request of Parents
- What School Boards Can Do
School Board Funds
- Meetings & Paperwork
The School Board Chairperson
The Role of the Clerk
How to Handles Documentation & Paperwork
- The School Board's role in senior staff appointments
- National Priorities / Statement of Improvement Objectives / School Development Plans
School Development Plans
SCOTTISH SCHOOL BOARD ASSOCIATION (SSBA)
Education in Scotland has always enjoyed a high status and most of the key principles and values on which it is built are long established. The provision of free, compulsory education for all within a specified age group (currently 5-16) is fundamental.
The role of the Scottish Executive Education Department
The Scottish Executive is the devolved government for Scotland. It is responsible for most of the issues of day-to-day concern to the people of Scotland, including health, education, justice, rural affairs, and transport.
The Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) aims amongst other things to:
- ensure that every child or young person receiving a public education is able to develop to their fullest potential
- ensure all children have access to early learning and quality care
- promote social justice for children and young people
- raise standards and broaden achievement in education
- modernise schools, strengthen leadership in schools and reward professionalism in teaching.
The department is responsible for administering policy on pre-school and school education, and children and young people at a national level. It promotes a high quality education service for over 830,000 pupils in over 5,000 pre-school centres, primary and secondary schools and special schools and units. The role of local authority education departments
The 32 Scottish local authorities have direct responsibility for providing schools, employing educational staff, and providing and financing most educational services . They implement Scottish Executive policies at a local level and should be the first people you approach if you have questions about your school or about the education provided there.
The role of the School Board
School Boards are partnership bodies of parents, school staff and co-opted members involved in the running of the school. School Boards have a number of specific statutory rights and obligations which are dealt with in more detail in the section of this document entitled What School Boards Can Do. Broadly speaking, the main functions of a School Board are to promote contact and the exchange of information between the school, parents and the wider community. They should help to improve parents' understanding of what the school is trying to achieve and they should carry out all their functions with a view to raising the standard of education at the school
This handbook provides background information for you to help you perform your role as a School Board member. However we strongly recommend that you also attend the training courses that are available to you, either via your local authority or from the Scottish School Boards Association (SSBA). Further details on the courses available in your area will be circulated by your local education authority.
School Boards are made up of three different categories of membership: parent members, (including parents who are co-opted as members); staff members; and co-opted members. Parents co-opted as members, fall within the category of parent member and are entirely separate from the category of co-opted member.
Parent members are the largest single group represented on a School Board and are directly elected by parents of children at the school or co-opted by the Board.
Parent members may carry out all or any of a Board's duties including being the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson; representing the Board on appointment committees; encouraging contact between the Board and parents; and discussing matters relevant to the day to day running of the school.
To be eligible for election or co-option as a parent member (or to vote in elections) a person must be the parent of a child at the school at the time the election is held, and their name must be entered on the list of parents maintained by the local authority for that purpose.
The primary mechanism for parents to join a School Board is through election. However, where an established Board still has a vacancy or vacancies after an election, it may co-opt up to two parent members.
If a parent member vacancy arises as a result of a parent member resigning part way through their term of office, the School Board Clerk should notify the education authority as soon as possible. The Board can co-opt to fill that vacancy unless 30 parents, or a quarter of the electoral roll (whichever is smaller) sign a request for a by-election. The request to hold a by-election must be received by the education authority within two months of the vacancy arising. The Board must therefore wait two months before they can co-opt to fill the vacancy.
There is no restriction on the number of "casual" parent vacancies which a Board can fill by co-option in this way.
It is the responsibility of the education authority to take reasonable steps to notify parents when a vacancy arises, and to explain the circumstances in which a by-election will be held. If a by-election is requested to fill a casual vacancy, the authority must hold that by-election within three months of the vacancy arising. It is therefore important that Boards inform the authority as soon as possible when a parent member vacancy arises.
Staff members are elected by members of staff at the school. A staff member may be a teacher or instructor, including a classroom assistant, additional support needs auxiliary or a nursery nurse, if he or she is employed for the purposes of providing education at the school, and must be employed at that school for at least 40% of the normal hours of work for a full-time teacher. Administrative and domestic staff employed at the school cannot be elected under this category. A person who is eligible to be a staff member at a school cannot be a member in any other capacity.
Staff members may carry out most of the Board's duties but they may not be Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson and they may not sit on appointment committees, although they may propose and vote on who should take up these positions.
Co-opted members are chosen by the Board. They must not be parents or teaching staff at the school but they may be other members of staff such as the school secretary or janitor. Co-opted members have the same rights as parent members.
A Board may continue to operate where there are no co-opted members or no staff member provided that it is quorate. (See under "Quorum" below.)
Where the school is a denominational school, the Board must accept one nominee from the church or denominational body concerned.
The provision for the selection of co-opted members gives Boards the option of being able to co-opt a representative from the local community whom they consider may be helpful to the Board. Such a person may for example, be a member of the business community, an experienced committee member, a member of an ethnic community or, in a secondary school, a senior pupil (over 16).
Terms of Office
Generally, a member's place on the Board is held for four years, from 1 December in the election year to 30 November four years later. However, when a new Board comes into being or when a disestablished Board is re-established, half of the parent members will serve for only two years. Members may of course resign at any time if they are unable to continue, by giving written notice either to the Clerk or the education authority. It is important that Boards inform the education authority as soon as a vacancy arises, so that steps can be taken to fill the vacancy within the required timeframe.
Parents who are co-opted onto the Board to fill a casual vacancy serve until the end of the regular election period.
Board members may not be able to attend every single meeting, but as long as all Board members have been told of a meeting and at least a third of the total possible membership turn up, the Board can carry on its business in the normal way.
The size of the School Board is set down by law, as follows:
School Boards for schools that have only one member of staff should have 3 parent members and 2 co-opted members and the quorum will be 3.
(Further information on the role of the Clerk is available in Section 4 below)
Every board must have a Clerk appointed by the Board. He/she is the person responsible for all the Board's paperwork. The Clerk takes minutes of Board meetings and ensures that members receive the necessary papers. The Clerk may be chosen from amongst the Board members, in which case he/she is not paid. Alternatively, the Clerk can be a non-Board member, in which case he/she is paid. Different local authorities have different policies on how the Clerk should be paid and anyone interested should contact their own education authority for further information.
The Headteacher is not a member of the Board but does have a right to be present and to speak at Board meetings, and to act in an advisory capacity on any matter that falls within the Board's remit. How this works in practice may vary from Board to Board. It is for Boards to reach their own decisions, taking account of the advice given to them by their Headteachers.
The Board is free to invite anyone to attend any of their meetings as an adviser on matters under discussion. Boards may also invite anyone who represents people interested in matters under discussion. As well as this, the Board may invite non-Board members to contribute to committees reporting to the Board which have been set up to consider particular issues.
The power to invite advice and representation from outside the school and the education authority gives Boards much scope to decide for themselves from whom they seek information and support. This may be especially useful to Boards whose schools have wide community links or which provide specialised services, for example to children with special educational needs.
Officers of Education Authorities and Local Councillors
Officers of the education authority and local councillors for any electoral ward which falls wholly or partly within the catchment area of the school are entitled to attend and to speak at Board meetings. A Councillor is not allowed to become a member of a school board in the local authority area where they are elected members. Officers of the education authority are not permitted to become members of School Boards within their Council's area in their official capacity, although they can in their personal capacity.
Meetings at the request of parents
Boards have a general duty to communicate with parents (see following section) through the normal channels. Boards are also obliged to hold and attend meetings at the request of parents at which the activities of the Board can be discussed and parents' views expressed on specified matters. The request, which must be in writing, has to be made by either 30 parents of children at the school, or by one quarter of the number of parents who were eligible to vote at the most recent election, whichever number is the least. Parents may also use such a meeting to pass resolutions which relate to the Board's activities and which the Board must subsequently consider. The Headteacher, Board members and parents may all attend and speak at such meetings as may any person invited by the Board.
The chair of the meeting will determine the procedure for the meeting, and may refuse to permit discussion on any matter or proposed resolution not specified in the original request for the meeting.
4. What School Boards Can Do
School Boards have certain formal duties, powers and rights, but it is up to each Board to decide how active they wish to be. They must, however, carry out their functions with a view to raising the standard of education in their school.
- The Board must be consulted on and can discuss the Headteacher's plans for spending the money for books and equipment allocated to a school by the education authority. The Board's approval is necessary before any such funds are spent. In practice, it is for the Headteacher to present proposals to the Board for their approval. What tends to happen is that the Board has a general discussion of the Headteacher's proposals, asks for explanations, and sometimes makes suggestions. These discussions are generally constructive.
- The Board has a right to manage the use of the school buildings after school hours, but it has to follow any guidelines laid down by the education authority. In many cases, Boards have handed the detailed management of this function back to the education authority and merely get involved once a year to consider the authority's proposals.
- Boards can fix dates for occasional holidays during term-time, provided they have consulted their education authority on the arrangements already in place.
- Board members take part in the appointment committees set up by an education authority to consider candidates for Headteacher, and Deputy Headteacher posts. The details of how this works in practice vary from authority to authority. Under schemes of devolved school management, Boards may have the opportunity to play a similar role in the selection of other school staff.
- Boards have a special duty to promote relations between the school, its parents, and the community. They may make representations about information, statements, and reports provided to them by the education authority and Headteacher, and their views must be taken into account and replied to.
- Boards must make a report to parents at least once a year on their activities as a Board, and have a duty to find out as often as necessary parents' views on matters which are the responsibility of the Board. A number of Boards produce regular newsletters in addition to their annual report, and some also hold regular open meetings.
- Beyond these formal duties, Boards may discuss any matter which is of interest to anyone connected with the school.
- Education authorities may, in consultation with the Board, delegate other functions to the Board.
Boards should not discuss any individual members of staff, either former or current, or any individual pupil or prospective pupil at the school. To do so would be inappropriate as meetings are open to the public. Similarly, and papers relating to meetings and the minutes of each meeting are made available for public inspection, and so should not refer to such individuals. In the event that such discussion is required, then the Board, in order to respect confidentiality, can exclude members of the public from a meeting and should remove any reference to an individual from such documents,
School Board Funds
All School Boards are given an amount of money to run their affairs and exercise their formal obligations, as well as administrative expenses such as postage costs and photocopying. Some Boards claim these expenses back from their authority after an initial allocation, whilst others have their own bank account.
How much money Boards are given and what this covers varies from authority to authority, but authorities must consult Boards each year on the level of funding to be provided. Provision also exists for funds in addition to those allocated at the beginning of the financial year to be made available to a Board where the authority deems appropriate.
Where, at the end of a financial year, a Board has not spent its full allocation, the education authority must make the surplus available to the Board for it to use the money for the benefit of the school, taking into account the views of the Headteacher.
5. Meetings and Paperwork
Although the law does not say how often a School Board must meet, it is generally expected that Boards will meet about 6 times per year for primary schools and 10 times per year for secondary schools. School Board meetings are public meetings although those who attend do so as observers and may only speak if invited to do so by the chairperson.
The School Boards (Scotland) Act 1988 allows Boards to organise their business largely as they wish. Once they decide on this, they should write down the procedures they are to adopt (usually called "Standing Orders"). These are necessary both to ensure that official Board procedures can be clearly understood and to assist in the operation of the Board.
While Boards can draw up their Standing Orders to suit their own requirements, the Act requires that certain provisions must be covered. These include, for example, the quorum required for Board meetings and the right of the public to have access to Board meetings and Board papers.
The School Board Chairperson
The positions of School Board Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson can be held by either a Parent member or Co-opted member.
The role of the Chairperson, or in his/her absence the Vice-Chairperson, has a significant effect on how a Board operates and involves more than simply chairing the meeting.
Before The Meeting
The Chairperson should, together with the School Board Clerk, draw up the agenda for the meeting. The Headteacher should also be included in this process as he/she may be able to suggest appropriate/relevant matters for discussion. This will enable the Headteacher to have advance notice of what is to be discussed and to prepare any information required. The final say on what does or does not appear on the agenda does, however, rest with the Chairperson. The Chairperson should be clear as to why each item has been placed on the agenda and how discussion on each item should be approached.
The Chairperson should ensure that there are arrangements in place for Board members and the Headteacher to be sent copies of the agenda and all appropriate papers. Ideally, these should be sent out at least a week before a Board meeting. This is to enable Board members to come to the meeting prepared to discuss issues on the agenda. A lot of time during Board meetings can be lost by papers being tabled in the course of the meeting which members have to spend time reading during a meeting.
The local councillor has the right to attend and speak at Board meetings of any school within his/her own electoral division and should therefore also receive copies of the agenda and papers. Similarly the Director of Education (or his/her representative) is entitled to attend and speak at Board meetings and the local Education Department should, where requested, receive copies of the agenda and papers for all meetings.
The agenda for each Board meeting should also be made publicly available in the school.
During The Meeting
Progress made during a meeting is to a large extent in the hands of the Chairperson. Many Board agendas are lengthy and the Chairperson should therefore allocate an appropriate amount of time to each item. That is not to say that discussion of an item should be discouraged, but the Chairman should ensure that the meeting keeps moving through the agenda and discussion is focused on the subject in hand. Placing a time limit on meetings may help focus any debate, and avoid frustration.
Where there is disagreement, a Chairperson should consider when to ask for a motion to be proposed.
The Chairperson should ensure that all Board members are given the opportunity to participate wherever possible. This means encouraging quieter Board members to contribute to discussion at the same time as ensuring that more dominant Board members are not allowed to take over the meeting.
At the end of discussion of each item on the agenda the Chairperson should clearly summarise any decision(s) of the Board on the subject concerned. This will help to clarify decisions which have been made and will also assist the Clerk, who has to write up the minutes of the meeting. Where any further action is required on an item, the Chairperson should make clear what has to be done, by whom and when.
Discussion of any item not on the agenda should be at the discretion of the Chairperson. As a School Board meeting is a public meeting with an agenda published in advance, generally only items considered to be urgent should be taken under the heading of "Any Other Business".
After The Meeting
Once the draft minutes of the meeting have been prepared by the Clerk, the Chairperson should check them for accuracy. The Headteacher might also be involved at this stage, for example, to assist in clarifying terminology. Responsibility for approving the draft minutes lies with the Chairperson.
Appropriate action should be taken on relevant items and preparations begun for the next meeting.
The Role of the Clerk
The role of School Board Clerk is also important. The exact nature of the Clerk's duties is very much a matter for the individual Board, since there are few which are prescribed.
There are, however, a number of activities which could be considered to form the principal duties of a Clerk.
The Clerk should receive the Board's mail and send out all correspondence from the Board.
The Chairperson, Headteacher and Clerk should consult in drawing up the agenda.
Circulation of Agenda and Papers
The Clerk should send out the agenda and papers, along with a copy of the minutes of the previous meeting, to members, the Headteacher, the local councillor and, if requested by the Authority, designated officials. The agenda and papers must also be made available for public inspection within the school.
The Clerk should take minutes at Board meetings. It is a matter for the Board to decide whether the minutes should be a comprehensive record of discussion or whether they should only be a summary of decisions taken and action points.
Advice on Procedures and Statute
The Clerk should be able to advise the Chairperson and the Board on procedural and statutory matters and should have a working knowledge of the legislation relating to school boards and the Board's own Standing Orders. Advice on these matters can be obtained from the education authority.
Preparation of Minutes
The Clerk should prepare draft minutes for approval by the Chairperson. These minutes should clearly show decisions taken, actions to be followed through and the person(s) responsible for so doing. After the draft minutes have been approved the Clerk should use them as the basis for correspondence.
Public Display of Papers and Minutes
Before the meeting, the Clerk should post up the agenda and papers (except those relating to confidential items) in the school.
After the meeting the Clerk should post up, in the school, the draft minutes once they have been approved by the Chairperson. These draft minutes should be replaced at the appropriate time by the version eventually approved by the Board.
Circulation of Minutes
The Clerk should circulate minutes as directed by the Board. In addition to copies going to all members and the Headteacher the circulation should also include a copy to the local Education Department and the local regional or islands councillor.
The Clerk should receive any resignations in writing from Board members and notify the Education Authority immediately, also in writing, of such resignations so that any necessary by-election may be arranged.
Payment for the Clerk
If the Clerk is not a member of the Board, he or she will be paid for fulfilling this role. How this is done in practical terms varies between authorities and anyone interested should contact the School Board Unit in your education authority for further information.
How to Handle Documentation and Paperwork
School Boards can receive a broad and extensive range of documentation from the Scottish Executive and from their Education Authority in addition to reports from their Headteacher. The amount received can appear at times daunting, if not overwhelming, and it is therefore important that the paperwork is properly managed.
Not all the documents received will be of equal importance to individual Boards and a method of sifting of documents is therefore required. As soon as possible after receipt of a document the Chairperson and Clerk should decide how to handle it.
They might decide to:
- place the item on the agenda for discussion and issue copies of the document (or a summary) to all Board members;
- circulate the document in advance of the meeting;
- arrange for the document to be tabled at the meeting, if it is considered that the document is for information only and need not be discussed; or
- take appropriate action without recourse to a Board meeting and report orally to the Board what has been, or is to be, done.
It is important that, as far as possible, paperwork is handled as it arrives and not allowed to build up for future meetings of a Board. Time for discussion during the Board meeting is likely to be significantly reduced if a large part of the meeting is devoted to the Chairperson and Clerk going through a long list of correspondence received since the previous meeting.
It is important that Board members have sight of all relevant documents in advance of meetings in order that they can come along to meetings well prepared and items can be properly discussed.
Board members sometimes express concerns that their Board lacks purpose. However, the development of a Board is to a large extent in the hands of the members. In order to ensure that a Board's purpose is clear, the Board should devote some time every so often to discuss future plans, to review progress and perhaps to aim to identify a number of realistic and achievable aims.
The Board should prioritise its aims and the steps to achieve these and, most importantly, determine how each can best be handled by the Board. The Board should monitor its progress in achieving these aims and should review and update them from time to time. Boards can also seek advice and training from their education authority on how to plan their activities.
A starting point in considering the future plans of the Board might be through addressing the following questions.
- At what stage of development is the Board?
- Should any changes or improvements be made to the Board's role and work?
- If so, how are these to be managed?
- How will the Board know whether or not it has been successful?
6. The School Board's role in senior staff appointments
School Boards have a statutory role in the appointment of senior promoted staff as set out in Schedule 2 of the School Boards (Scotland) Act 1988. Under arrangements for devolved school management they may also become more involved in the procedures relating to the appointment of other school staff.
The Act requires the involvement of School Boards in the appointment of senior promoted staff in the following ways:
a) Board members participate in appointment committees set up by education authorities for the posts of Headteacher and Depute Headteacher, and
b) where a Headteacher appointment is being considered, a short list of candidates is prepared by the education authority, taking account of the views of the School Board, and submitted to the appointment committee for its consideration (without its staff or pupil members present).
A number of education authorities now have a requirement that the School Board representatives have attended the authority's training on recruitment and selection before taking part in any appointments process. Anyone interested should speak to their own authority about their local policy on this.
7. National Priorities / Statement of Improvement Objectives / School Development Plans
Under the Standards in Scotland's Schools Act 2000, Ministers and education authorities have a duty to endeavour to secure improvement in the quality of education in schools. The Act sets out an improvement framework which requires education authorities and schools to plan, monitor and report on improvement in school education.
Education authorities are required to produce annual plans setting out objectives for local improvement in education. Although these objectives must be set in accordance with national priorities (see below), authorities have the discretion to introduce further objectives of their own, and to set their own additional measures of performance.
In preparing their improvement statements, education authorities must consult with parent representative bodies such as School Boards, PTAs/PAs and local authority parent groups. They must also include in their plans, details of how they propose to involve parents in promoting the education of their children.
Under the terms of this Act, education authorities will be required to publish annual reports on the performance of the schools managed by them in achieving their objectives.
The Scottish Executive has identified five national priorities for school education in Scotland
- To raise standards of educational attainment for all in schools, especially in the core skills of literacy and numeracy, and to achieve better levels in national measures of achievement including examination results.
- To support and develop the skills of teachers, the self discipline of pupils and enhance school environments so that they are conducive to teaching and learning.
- To promote equality and help every pupil benefit from education, with particular regard paid to pupils with disabilities and special educational needs, and to Gaelic and other lesser used languages.
- To work with parents to teach pupils respect for self and one another and their interdependence with other members of their neighbourhood and society and to teach them the duties and responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society.
- To equip pupils with the foundation skills, attitudes and expectations necessary to prosper in a changing society and to encourage creativity and ambition.
These priorities have been identified as areas requiring particular focus and attention, but the value and importance of other areas is also recognised.
School Development Plans
Schools must produce School Development Plans linked to the education authority's statement of objectives, and prepare an annual report on performance against the Plan.
The Plan should include proposals for consulting pupils in the school and involving them in decisions which concern the everyday running of their school. It must be prepared after consultation with School Boards and other parent representative bodies, and all parents should receive a summary of the Plan on request.
Scottish Executive Education Dept.
Tel: 0131 244 0025
Fax: 0131 244 1474
Website : www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/?pageID=5
Scottish School Boards Association (SSBA)
Tel: 01387 260428
Fax: 01387 260488
Scottish Executive Statistics Website: www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/publist.aspx?theme=37&pillar=people
Parentzone Website: www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk
Eurydice Website: www.eurydice.org
Moray House School of Education
University of Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 651 6100
Fax: 0131 651 6100
Scottish Schools Ethos Network
Moray House School of Education
The University of Edinburgh
Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
24 Douglas Street
Tel: 0141-242 2214
Fax: 0141-242 2244
Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES)
Faculty of Education
Tel: 0131 651 6371
Fax: 0131 651 6511
Equal Opportunities Commission
St Stephens House
279 Bath Street, Glasgow
Fax: 0141 248 5834
Tel: 0845 601 5901
Commission for Racial Equality
St Dunstan's House
201-211 Borough High Street
Tel: 020 7939 0000
Fax: 020 7939 0001
E-mail : email@example.com
Learning Teaching Scotland (LTS)
Learning and Teaching Scotland
74 Victoria Crescent Road
Tel: 0141 337 5000
Fax: 0141 337 5050
Disability Rights Commission (DRC)
Stratford upon Avon
Tel: 08457 622 633
Fax: 08457 778 878
SCOTTISH SCHOOL BOARD ASSOCIATION (SSBA)
The Scottish School Board Association (SSBA) was founded in 1991 to represent the interests of all School Boards set-up under the School Boards (Scotland) Act 1988. It came into being from the efforts of a small rural School Board in Dumfriesshire. Membership was extended to include Parent Teacher Associations, Parent Associations, School Associations and others with an interest in education. The Registered Office of SSBA is within Dumfries and Galloway Council premises and the office accommodation is given free of charge. There is one full-time officer with part-time staff employed as required to enable the organisation meet its aims.
An Executive Board consisting of one representative from each Education Authority directs SSBA. Executive Board Members are elected from the membership of School Boards of each local authority with one person elected to represent Special Educational Needs within Scotland. This produces a total Executive Board Membership of 33 who meet about six times per year. The President is elected by the full membership on an annual basis at the Annual General Meeting. The SSBA Executive Board elects four other office bearers: Vice President; Company Secretary; Secretary and Treasurer who serve for two years. Executive Board members promote SSBA's aims and objectives throughout their Education Authority area. They maintain links with local member School Boards and promote partnership with Education Authorities.
Currently SSBA represents 1,953 School Boards. Membership fees are currently 38 or 45 per year (depending on the size of the school) for an individual membership. However, 25 of the 32 local authorities take out group membership and therefore are charged only 35 per School Board. SSBA have recently updated their training course materials for delivery to School Board members and Head Teachers throughout Scotland in early 2004 following the recent School Board elections. Courses available are: School Boards-Partnerships and Responsibilities that is particularly suitable for new members, and The Effective School Board at Work. We also have a course for Head Teachers on working with their School Board.
Help and advice is available during office hours by contacting us on 01387 260428 (phone and fax) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Our Problem Solving Service deals with questions on clarification of School Board legislation - e.g. composition of Boards, terms of office, payment of clerks, eligibility, disestablishment, conflict of interest, how to communicate effectively with parents, etc. Our website www.schoolboard-scotland.com has details of publications for sale and training courses booked appear on it.
SSBA is self-financing. Current SSBA funding comes from membership fees and from the sale of training courses, publications, conferences, sponsorship and occasional project funding.
During the past few years (and currently) SSBA has been represented on a large number of national bodies.