Specialist Leader in Education (SLE)

School to School Support – SLE

Specialist Leaders in Education (SLE) are outstanding middle or senior leaders who are able to work with colleagues in other schools to help them to develop their leadership capacity and to improve outcomes for children.

There are approximately 8,000 designated SLEs.

Teaching schools and system leaders support the Department for Education’s goal to provide every child and young person with access to high-quality provision, achieving to the best of their ability regardless of location, prior attainment and background.

SLE support may take a number of forms, for example from a two-day diagnostic exercise to half a day’s support each week for a half-term term through to a three-month full-time support role. Please contact us for more details or to discuss your school’s needs.

Who Can Apply

To become an SLE, you need to have been in a leadership role other than headteacher for at least 2 years. Your Headteacher will be asked to confirm that you’re in an appropriate role. Higher level teaching assistants are not eligible to apply.  Thurrock Teaching School Alliance, has two recruitment windows in November and May of each academic year.

You can be from any type or phase of school.  You don’t 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.  To apply for SLE designation please contact us at info@thurrocktsa.org.uk

You must have at least 1 specialism from our areas of expertise, which are based on the areas of focus in the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework (September 2016):

Ofsted Common Inspection Framework (September 2016)

Becoming an SLE for the Thurrock Teaching School Alliance you should have:

  • a successful track record of working effectively within your own school and/or across a group of schools, or working with a range of leaders within a single school
  • evidence of successfully using coaching and/or facilitation skills to bring about sustainable improvements
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • a good understanding of what constitutes ‘outstanding’ in your field of expertise and the ability and confidence to communicate this
  • a good understanding of how your specialism and skills can contribute to wider school improvement goals
  • an analytical approach in identifying and prioritising needs
  • the ability to set and establish new and innovative working practices
  • the ability to grow leadership capacity in others

You can also provide supporting evidence gained from completing leadership development opportunities such as:

  • the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership
  • the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership