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 local schools as well as those supported by the SJPTSA. 

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. SLEs will develop the leadership capacity of others, using coaching or facilitation support that draws on their knowledge and expertise.

The Schools White Paper introduced the concept of the SLE role 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.

There are currently just under 5,000 SLEs designated in line with the expansion of the teaching school model. In time, 10,000 SLEs will be designated to ensure full national coverage.

Key Points

  1. Whilst SLEs will be outstanding at what they do, they can come from any school, regardless of the school’s Ofsted grade.
  2. SLEs need to meet strict designation criteria.
  3. SLEs have expertise in a specific area, for example a subject area, early years, behaviour or school business management. Please click here to find the Academies Enterprise Trust list of areas of expertise.
  4. SLEs are designated by the Academies Enterprise Trust National Teaching School Alliance, which will also broker your deployment into other schools.
  5. The SLE role has a number of benefits, including:
    • offering credible peer support, rooted in current practice and drawing on real experience;
    • the sharing and development of outstanding, innovative practice;
    • a collaborative, coaching approach which helps develop other leaders to ensure long-term, sustainable improvement;
    • a fresh perspective on specific challenges or issues, as well as specialist knowledge and expertise;
    • the opportunity for leaders to learn about different school contexts and systems;
    • contributing to continued professional development (CPD), enhancing leaders’ knowledge, skills and abilities in a variety of ways.

We currently have SLEs in the following areas and are seeking to designate and deploy more in future:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • School Business Management
  • Academy Transition
  • Technology
  • MFL
  • Humanities
  • Data
  • Behaviour and Attendance
  • QA of Teaching and Learning
  • Pedagogy
  • Intervention Strategies
  • Pupil Progress
  • ITT

We believe that the best foundation for school to school support is forming effective partnerships between all those involved and so we place great emphasis on excellent communication.  Any support would begin with a detailed discussion about the specific focus of the planned work, thereby enabling a bespoke programme to be designed.  We do not believe that ‘one size fits all’ so an individual package of support is developed in case, varying from shorter, one-off pieces of work to longer term projects.

Please contact the Director of Teaching School to find out more about how we can support your needs.