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 announced the creation of the SLE role to help raise standards and improve the quality of school leadership through school-to-school support and peer-to-peer learning. This designation recognises the important role that senior and middle leaders play in improving schools and outcomes for children.
Since 2011, nearly 2,000 SLEs have already been designated. The aim is to recruit every year, building up to 5,000 by 2014–15. In time, we anticipate 10,000 SLEs to be designated to ensure full national coverage.
You need to be an outstanding middle or senior school leader with a particular area of expertise and the capacity, skills and commitment to support others in similar positions in other schools. See the eligibility criteria and areas of expertise for further details.
SLEs will develop the leadership capacity of individuals and teams in other schools, using coaching or facilitation support that draws on their knowledge and expertise in their specialist area.The work will contribute to improving outcomes for children, with priority likely to be given to supporting the needs of underperforming and challenged schools. Find out more about what is involved.
There is no pre-defined time commitment for SLE work as models and types of deployment vary according to need and capacity. Designation is for four years, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria, after which you will be subject to a review of designation by your teaching school.
There is no cost to apply. Successful applicants will be entitled to some training at no cost to their school. However, we are unable to cover the costs of associated travel or supply cover.
The application round is currently closed. The next application round will open on 2 October 2013.
SLEs are deployed through teaching schools. View the list of specialisms currently designated.
SLEs are deployed through teaching schools. Search for your nearest teaching school alliance by postcode.
Read our case study about Pete Sides, a maths teacher who became a specialist leader of education.
Discussions, hot seats and online resources specifically for SLEs or those considering the role.