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SLEs are outstanding middle and senior leaders in positions below the headteacher for example, deputy/assistant headteachers, subject leaders or school business managers, with at least 2 years’ experience in a particular field of expertise. SLEs have the capacity, skills and commitment to support other individuals or teams, in similar positions in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of specialism looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders achieve it in their own context.

Specialist leaders of education (SLEs) will act as system leaders, supporting individual leaders and teams in other schools by using a high level coaching or facilitation approach that draws on their knowledge and expertise in their specialist area.

This may involve a wide variety of support approaches, including diagnostic models, and one-to-one or facilitated group support. Regardless of the type of support model delivered, the ultimate aim of SLEs will always be to contribute significantly to improving the outcomes for children through developing the capacity of peer leaders in other schools.

SLEs will support the high quality professional development of leaders and may also potentially play a key role in the future development of school-to-school support, by identifying outstanding future leaders.

The new designation is a way of formally recognising those outstanding leaders who have an excellent track record of supporting others and have specialist expertise that other schools in their area can benefit from. From our experience of deploying system leaders, this type of recognition can help to boost an individuals morale and provide a renewed sense of purpose. We expect that SLE work will support continuing professional development for these individuals, through, for example:

All of the above can help the individual to improve further in their current role, as well as to support them if they wish to think about promotional opportunities. Finally we know that system leaders benefit from knowing they are helping others to improve and having a positive impact on outcomes for children, by using and sharing their own knowledge and skills. It is this sense of moral purpose that can often prove to be the biggest incentive of all.

The Farlingaye & Kesgrave Teaching School Alliance have 30 SLEs who are attached to our alliance. Since we started as Teaching School Alliance in September 2011, we have been able to support other schools with over 50 seperate SLE deployments being undertaken. See “List of our SLEs” to access our SLEs areas of expertise.


Senior Leaders in Education Downloads

SLE Information

If you are interested in liaising with one of our SLEs to work in your school, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please contact Jenny Ellis – Teaching School Coordinator jellis@farlingayekesgravetsa.co.uk for more information on requesting the services of SLEs, such as brokering costs.

What is an SLE?

Our SLE`s