If you are interetested in becoming an SLE through The Wroxham Teaching School, this is the place to submit your interest!

What is a Specialist Leader of Education ‘SLE’?

SLEs support leaders in other schools. They have excellent interpersonal skills, are able to work sensitively and collaboratively with others and have a commitment to outreach work. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of specialism looks like and can help
other leaders to achieve it in their own context.


Who can become an SLE?

SLEs will need to meet strict designation criteria.
You will need to hold a middle or senior leadership role in a school and have a specialism that is included in our directory of expertise for example subject areas, inclusion, early years, behaviour, or school business management.

We do not precisely define middle or senior leadership because we recognise that roles and responsibilities differ and that routes to leadership are not always straightforward. Your headteacher will, therefore, be asked to confirm that you hold an appropriate role.


What skills will an SLE have?


  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills the ability to utilise high levels of emotional intelligence to work sensitively and collaboratively with peer colleagues;

  • an understanding of what constitutes 'outstanding' in their field of expertise and the ability and confidence to articulate this;

  • an appreciation of how their specialism and skills can contribute to the wider school improvement agenda;

  • an analytical approach in identifying the needs and ability to prioritise accordingly, including the ability to set and establish new and innovative working practices.


What are the benefits of becoming an SLE?

The SLE designation is a way of formally recognising those who have an excellent track record of supporting others and have specialist expertise that other schools in their area can benefit from.
The SLE role is 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.
This can mean that their ability to undertake their current role is further improved. It can also support schools' internal succession planning strategies by enabling individuals to demonstrate
they are ready to step up to the next leadership level.

What does an SLE do?

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.
SLEs focus on developing leadership capacity. While other roles focus specifically on developing classroom expertise, this role is about developing the capacity and capability of other leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools.


This may be done through one-to-one or group support and could involve a variety of activities, such as:


● data analysis
● coaching
● facilitating and training
● joint action planning


If selected, you’ll be expected to provide evidence that your work has had a positive impact on outcomes for children and young people by developing leadership capacity in other schools.


How do you become an SLE?

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.

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.

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).