“Strong senior leadership is critical to the success of any school or academy”

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.

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

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 currently 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. As such, we are inviting middle and senior leaders (with the areas of expertise listed in the table below) to become Specialist Leaders of Education and to have a positive impact on school improvement beyond your own school.




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.

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.

Click on our SLE Core Training flyer below for an overview of the training and the available options.