Becoming an SLE






If you are an experienced middle or senior leader who is interested in supporting leaders in other schools, you might want to apply to be a specialist leader of education (SLE).   There are currently just under 5,000 SLEs. Teaching schools are responsible for the selection and placement of SLEs. This is one part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system.

To become an SLE, you need to have been in a leadership role below the headteacher for at least 2 years. Your headteacher will be asked to confirm that you are in an appropriate role. Higher level teaching assistants are not eligible to apply.

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, as long as your school has the capacity to release you to work in other schools. You must have at least one specialism from our areas of expertise, which are based on the 4 areas of focus for Ofsted.
Ofsted focusAreas of expertise
Leadership and managementAcademies and academy transition; assessment; leadership of continuing professional development; school business management and financial management; leadership of curriculum
Pupil achievementArt; closing the gap; drama; design and technology; early years; English; geography; history; information and communication technology; maths; modern foreign languages; music; phonics; physical education; personal, social and health education; religious education; science; special educational needs; support for the most able pupils
Quality of teachingInitial teacher training and newly qualified teacher development
Behaviour and safetyBehaviour and discipline; attendance
To be successful in your application, 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
  • an understanding of what constitutes ‘outstanding’ in your field of expertise and the ability and confidence to communicate this
  • an 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:
There is no cost to apply. Successful applicants will be entitled to some training at no cost to their school. However, the school will have to pay for associated travel or supply cover.

Further details can be found here