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Specialist Leaders of Education

Course Ref: SLE
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The application round is open! Please download an application form at the bottom of this page and return it once complete to

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are ‘outstanding’ middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools. To become an SLE, you will need to provide evidence that you understand what outstanding leadership practice in your area of expertise looks like and you know how to support other leaders to do the same in their own context.

Teaching Schools are responsible for designating SLEs, brokering SLE deployments and providing ongoing support.

The Department for Education introduced the SLE concept in their The Importance of Teaching: The Schools White Paper 2010. The SLE role is designed to help improve the quality of school leadership through school-to-school support and peer-to-peer learning, ultimately raising standards and improving the outcomes for children.

As an SLE, you will be deployed into schools to develop the leadership capacity of individuals and teams using coaching and/or facilitation that draws on the knowledge and expertise in your specialist area. Your work will contribute to improving outcomes for students in other school settings.

We are recruiting SLEs to provide support to staff and teams in local schools and academies. We are passionate about supporting school improvement and broadening our network of shared expertise. 

Key Area Area of Expertise
Leadership and management
  • Academies and Academy transition
  • Leadership of continuing professional development (CPD)
  • School business management and financial management
  • Leadership of curriculum
Pupil achievement
  • Early years
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Maths
  • Modern foreign languages (MFL)
  • Music
  • Phonics
  • Physical education (PE)
  • Religious education (RE)
  • Science
  • Special educational needs (SEN)
  • Support for the most able pupils
Quality of teaching
  • Initial teacher training (ITT) and newly qualified teacher (NQT) development
Behaviour and safety
  • Behaviour and discipline
  • Attendance

Who is this programme for?

This programme is for teachers who have held a middle or senior leadership role in a school for at least two years and have a specialism that is included in the list above. See also SLE eligibility criteria and application guidance.

What is involved?

Typically, SLEs will work with middle and senior leaders to:

  • carry out diagnostic visits
  • develop action plans, identifying key priorities and SMART targets
  • provide one-to-one or group support
  • offer coaching and mentoring support
  • provide access to resources and training.

The ultimate aim of SLEs will always be to contribute significantly to improving the outcomes for children through developing the capacity of peer leaders in other schools.


Once you have passed your application and have been successfully designated as an SLE, you will need to undertake the SLE Core Training. This is a required element of the designation, and all SLEs must do the core training before being deployed in their SLE role.

You are also are given the opportunity to attend optional enrichment sessions. There is a choice of four 2-hour enrichment sessions, and you can select a maximum of two.

Specialist Leaders of Education Training

We deliver core training to Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) once you have been designated as an SLE by a National Teaching School. We are one of only two London Teaching Schools that are accredited to deliver this training, using the NCTL’s national SLE training programme.

The core training day is a mandatory element of the designation, and all SLEs must undertake core training before being deployed in their SLE role.

You may choose to undertake two additional (optional) enrichment training sessions.

Who is this training for?

This programme is for SLEs designated by the Harris Federation Teaching School Alliance, Chafford Hundred Teaching School or another Teaching School.

What is involved?

SLE training comprises two parts:

  • Core training day

This provides you with essential information about the role and will equip you with the tools and techniques for effective school-to-school support. It also gives you the opportunity to network with other SLEs.

  • Two optional enrichment sessions:

You are given the opportunity to select two sessions from a choice of four two-hour sessions:

  • Developing others – using the principles of coaching models to provide strategies for getting the best out of a team.
  • Leading and managing organisations – share good practice and develop a plan to improve system leadership in your own school.
  • Developing your leadership potential – how to choose the right leadership style to support others and deal with resistance effectively.
  • Leading teaching and learning – providing the leadership of excellent teaching and learning throughout your organisation.

Training must take place within three months of designation. You must have completed your core training before you can be deployed as a Specialist Leader of Education.


Title Date  
SLE application form.doc 05th Jun 2019 Download

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