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Are you a senior leader?

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).

What are SLE’s?

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 schools. 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.

What are the benefits?

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 continuing professional development (CPD), enhancing leaders’ knowledge, skills and abilities in a variety of ways

Who can apply?

To become an SLE, you need to have been in a leadership role below the head teacher for at least 2 years. Senior leaders with cross-school responsibilities, including experienced middle leaders, deputy heads, special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and advanced skills teachers, and other senior staff looking for further professional development but not aspiring to headship at this stage in their career.

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