Are you interested in becoming a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE). SLEs are experienced middle or senior leaders who are interested in supporting other schools. Westbridge Teaching School Alliance and Forward Together Teaching School Alliance are holding an information session for potential SLEs. 


Specific requirements

To become an SLE you need to have been in a leadership role below the Headteacher for the last 2 years.


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 how your specialism and skills can contribute to wider school improvement goals.
  • An analytical approach to identifying and prioritising needs.
  • The ability to set and establish new and innovative working practices.
  • The ability to grow leadership capacity in others.

What will I study?

Key Information:

1. SLEs can come from any school. The Headteacher of your school must agree that your school has the capacity to release you.

2. SLEs need to meet strict eligibility criteria, which can be found in full on the website listed below.

3. SLEs have expertise in a specific area. The areas of expertise we are looking for can be found on the website listed below and are based on 3 areas of focus:-

  • Leadership and Management (assessment; leadership of professional learning; school business management and financial management; curriculum design)
  • Pupil Achievement (art; narrowing the disadvantaged gap; drama; design technology; maths; reading; writing; early years; modern foreign languages; music; phonics; physical education; personal, social and health education; history; geography; RE; science; SEND; support for the most able)
  • Behaviour and safety (behaviour and discipline; attendance)

Further details can be found at:


The SLE programme is: 

¨ An excellent form of Professional Learning for middle and senior leaders.

¨ Further develops individual’s coaching, mentoring and facilitation skills, which can also be used to support colleagues in their own school through internal training and development.

¨ Gives individuals the opportunity to learn about different school contexts and systems, which will in turn help them to develop their practice in their own school.

¨ Supports school’s internal succession-planning strategies, by enabling individuals to demonstrate they are ready to step up to the next leadership level.

¨ Supports staff retention by motivating and re-energising leaders who are taking on this new role.


SLEs and schools who have worked with an SLE tell us:


This type of peer support:


  • Is credible, because it is rooted in current leadership practice and draws on real, relevant experience.
  • Is flexible and bespoke, adapting to the particular needs of the school.
  • Brings a fresh perspective to specific challenges or issues, as well as specialist knowledge and expertise.
  • Is based within a coaching approach, meaning that development will be collaborative.
  • Helps to assure long-term, sustainable improvement, supporting others to develop their own leadership capacity.
  • Contributes to improving school performance overall, by providing a specific focus for development and implementing tangible goals that staff can really engage with.




Where does it lead?


There is no cost to apply.  Successful applicants will be entitled to some training at no cost to their school.

Westbridge is a Teaching School with Platt Bridge Community School and Westfield Community School working in partnership.


To find out more information about Specialist Leaders of Education please visit:



To view the Westbridge Teaching School Alliance SLE page please visit:


To view the Forward Together School Alliance SLE page please visit:


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