We have a full range of specialisms covered by a team of NLE, LLE and SLEs who all have a proven record within their own school and for school-to-school support.

National Leaders of Education (NLEs) are officially accredited and appointed as system leaders to both support and improve the quality of education and leadership in schools across the country. They 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.

Local Leaders of Education (LLEs) are outstanding Headteachers who works with other schools to improve pupil outcomes where attainment is considered the minimum standards. LLEs work outside their own schools, providing support to other Headteachers, working in collaboration together to drive forward improvements. LLEs also provide support to new Head Teachers in their first two years of headship.

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. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of expertise looks like, and are skilled in helping other leaders to achieve it in their own context.

The Schools’ White Paper introduced the concept of the SLE role, which will help to improve the quality of school leadership through school-to-school support and peer-to-peer learning, ultimately raising standards and improving outcomes for children. This designation recognises the important role that many senior and middle leaders play in supporting their peers to develop.

Key points:

  • Whilst SLEs will be outstanding at what they do, they can come from any school, regardless of the school's Ofsted grade. However, the Head and Chair of Governors must agree that the school has the capacity to release them.
  • SLEs need to meet strict designation criteria.
  • SLEs have expertise in a specific area, for example a subject area, inclusion, literacy, attendance and behaviour or school business management. A list of areas of expertise can be found on our website along with the SLE pen profiles.
  • There is no pre-defined time commitment for SLE work because models and types of deployment will vary, but on average it will be around 15 days a year. If you are interested in deploying an SLE, please contact Jane Kennedy, Director of Teaching School, to discuss your needs further.
  • There are no plans to have a pay scale for SLEs, or a set payment rate for SLE time. Deployment may result in some funding for the SLE’s school, although this will need to be agreed by all parties involved and by the appropriate Teaching School Alliance. Even if remuneration does not take the form of direct funding, it could involve an exchange of services that may help support or enhance an area of the SLE's school.

    SLE Recruitment

    SLE application form
    SLE application guidance