Alliance Specialist Leaders of Education
About Specialist Leaders of Educationtop ⤴
The Schools White Paper introduced the concept of the SLE role, to help to improve the quality of school leadership through school-to-school support and peer-to-peer learning, ultimately raising standards and improving outcomes for children.
We are fortunate to have some very highly skilled practitioners working with us as Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE’s)
Our SLE’s understand clearly what outstanding learning and leadership practice look like in their area of expertise and are skilled in helping others
Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are typically outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools and are very experienced Subject Leaders or Assistant/Deputy Headteachers who have had with at least two years experience in a particular field of expertise and have an excellent track record of supporting peers within or outside their school to develop excellent practice.
Tailored support from SLE’s is brokered through the Teaching School Alliance, and they work professionally with leaders in partner schools offering a package of support to ensure that outcomes for pupils are improved and then sustained.
Peer to peer support, focussing on a specific area for development is a very powerful tool for school improvement particularly when it is rooted in outstanding leadership practice that draws on real, and relevant experience.
Current SLEs available are profiled below. If you would like to have an SLE to work in your school, the daily rate is £350, half a day £175.
If you would like Specialist Leader of Education Support for your school please contact Jo.Turner@thewroxham.net – our SLE Coordinator who will be pleased to organize support.
For further information about specialist leaders of education or if you are interested in becoming one visit:
https://www.gov.uk/specialist-leaders-of-education-a-guide-for-potential-applicants or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the DfE help desk.
SLE Application Roundtop ⤴
The following information is supplied by the National College for Teaching and Leadership
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
- 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).
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;
- a good understanding of what constitutes ‘outstanding’ in your field of expertise and the ability and confidence to communicate this;
- a good 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:
- the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership
- the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership
Further information and the current criteria and approved areas of expertise can be found here SLE Guidance
The role lasts for 4 years, at which time there’ll be a review. The types of placements will vary. For example, one might be a 2-day diagnostic exercise, while another might require a 3 month, full time support role. Time may be taken as a block of consecutive days or spread over a longer period.
There’s no minimum or maximum time commitment. You and your school will need to think carefully about capacity and negotiate your availability together.
How are SLEs monitored and quality assured?
SLEs are monitored and held accountable for the quality of support they provide by their Teaching School Alliance.
What training will be offered to SLEs?
SLEs will need to attend a core training day, and will also have the chance to attend two optional enrichment sessions. You will receive information about training from your teaching school.
How to apply
To apply to become an SLE, you should:
- complete and submit an application form issued by The Wroxham TLA by 25 April 2018, please email email@example.com
- enclose a supporting reference from your current headteacher
Professional Learning Opportunitiestop ⤴
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