SLEs

What are SLEs?

SLEs (Specialist Leaders of Education) are outstanding middle or senior leaders working with other schools as well as their own. They have a successful track record supported by substantial evidence of impact and have excellent coaching and facilitation skills.

The role of the SLE is to:

  • Improve outcomes for children
  • Support leaders
  • Draw on specialist knowledge and areas of expertise
  • Be flexible to meet the needs of supported schools
  • Help schools to improve their own leadership capacity

Who can be an SLE?

SLEs can come from any school, not just an outstanding school. They must have demonstrated outstanding practice and excellent knowledge in their specialist area.

How do I commission an SLE to support my school?

SLEs are deployed through a teaching Schools Alliance. Schools, Local Authorities, Diocesan Bodies, Academy Trusts and the Department of Education can commission SLEs to undertake directed work to support others. SLEs may be asked to complete a minimum of 15 days support for other schools each year. Models of deployment vary depending on need, for example, a 2-day diagnostic exercise; half day support for 2 terms, etc.

How will the deployment of an SLE be monitored?

Teaching Schools are responsible for the quality assurance of SLEs and will need to demonstrate the impact of developments on outcomes for children. For each deployment, a scope of work, objectives and impact measures will be agreed between the SLE, the supported school and the Teaching  School Alliance.

How will and SLE benefit my school?

The SLE’s own school:

School-to-school support enables the sharing and development of outstanding innovative practice, which can benefit both schools in a partnership. The National Leaders of Education (NLE) and the Local Leaders of Education (LLE) programmes have shown that undertaking outreach work can further improve an individuals ability to undertake their current role in their school.

The SLE programme:

  • In an excellent form of continuing professional development (CPD) for middle and senior leaders, enabling them to enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities in a variety of ways.
  • Further develops SLEs’ coaching, mentoring and facilitation skills, which can also be used to support colleagues in their own school through internal training and development.
  • Gives individuals the opportunity to learn about different school contexts and systems, which will, in turn, help them to develop their practice in their own school.
  • Supports staff retention by motivating and re-energising leaders who are taking on this new role.
  • Possibly results in funding for the SLE’s own school, although this will be agreed by the schools involved and by the appropriate Teaching School Alliance. Even if remuneration does not take the form of direct funding, it could involve an exchange of services that may help support or enhance an area of the SLE’s school.

How can I request SLE support for my school?

SLE support is brokered by teaching school. If you would like to commission SLE support you will need to contact a teaching school directly.