Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)  are outstanding middle and senior leaders, with at least two years’ leadership experience. They have a particular area of expertise (such as a subject area, early years, or behaviour) and a successful track record of school improvement. 

SLEs support teachers in other schools. They have excellent interpersonal skills, are able to work sensitively and collaboratively with others and have a commitment to outreach work. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of specialism looks like and can help other leaders to achieve it in their own context.

School-to-School Support is about developing other middle and senior leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools. This may be done through one- to-one peer coaching or facilitated group support and could involve a variety of activities, such as data analysis, coaching or joint action planning.

SLEs can come from any school or academy, including nursery, primary, secondary, special, pupil referral unit, independent or free school, or sixth form college. Whilst the individual must be outstanding, his or her school does not have to be.

There is a national register of SLEs.

Specialist Leaders of Education - a guide for potential applicants

Local Leaders of Education (LLEs)

Local Leaders of Education (LLEs) are headteachers with at least three years experience of headship and expecting to remain at the current school for two years after designation.  They are able to demonstrate experience of providing coaching and mentoring support to another headteacher or a senior member of staff at a school other than their own.  Their school must show consistently high levels of pupil performance or continued improvement over the last three years.

LLEs are designated and deployed locally by TSAs.  There is not a national register of SLEs. 

National Leaders of Education (NLEs)

National leaders of education (NLEs) are strong school leaders, who have experience of effectively supporting schools in challenging circumstances. NLEs work alongside teaching schools and other system leaders to provide high quality support to those who need it most.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has now introduced a more sophisticated and balanced approach to designating system leaders – one which relies less heavily on Ofsted judgements and more on timely and accurate data, and the skills and track record of those applying.

If you’re selected as an NLE, your school will become a national support school (NSS). This is to recognise the fact that your staff are likely to work alongside you in any support you may provide.

National Leaders of Education - a guide for potential applicants