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A SHARED VISION

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE)

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE)

As a central partner of EborHope Teaching Schools Alliance we have been supporting schools through the School to School support programme since 2012.

If you are a colleague or school interested in working with one of our SLEs please contact Sarah Clarke E: s.clarke@hlt.academy

SLEs are experienced middle or senior leaders interested in supporting middle and senior leaders in other schools can apply to become a specialist leader of education (SLE).

What does an SLE do?

SLEs focus on developing leadership capacity. While other roles focus specifically on developing classroom expertise, this role is about developing the capacity and capability of other 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 or group support and could involve a variety of activities, such as:

  • data analysis
  • coaching
  • facilitating and training
  • joint action planning
Who can apply

To become an SLE:

  • You need to have been in a leadership role other than headteacher for at least two years.
  • Your headteacher will be asked to confirm that you’re in an appropriate role.
  • You can be from any type or phase of school.
  • You do not need to be in an outstanding school or a school that is part of a teaching school alliance, but your school will need to have the capacity to release you to work in other schools.
  • You must have at least 1 specialism based on the area of focus from Ofsted Framework.
Time commitment

The types of placements will vary. For example, one might be a 2-day diagnostic exercise, while another might require a 3 month, full time support role. Time may be taken as a block of consecutive days or spread over a longer period.

There’s no minimum or maximum time commitment. You and your school will need to think carefully about capacity and negotiate your availability together.

How to apply

Please contact Sarah Clarke E: s.clarke@hlt.academy to hear more about our designation process.

Our next SLE assessment date is currently planned for 21 April 2021.

For more information please visit

Teaching Schools Council website

Department for Education Guidance for SLEs

Colleague Quote

Being an SLE is a fantastic experience. It gives you the opportunity to support other schools on their improvement journey and transform the education of young people beyond your own classroom. It provides really excellent professional and career development as it allows you to hone your leadership skills and increase your experience through working with others in different contexts and, often, challenging circumstances.

Chloe Dolphin
SLE and Director of English, Hope Learning Trust