Specialist Leaders of Education

The application round is open!


Application Timeline

Application Round Opens

Application Round Closes

Monday 17th December 2018

Friday 28th February 2019


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.

Submit your application form (SLE)

  • To complete your application, please download the form below; then send it to your headteacher who will submit it on your behalf:

    Application Form

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  • To upload your application, please click "Browse" to locate your form. Once located, please click "Submit"


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