Becoming a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE)

Specialist leaders of education (SLE) are outstanding middle or senior leaders who have the skills to support colleagues in similar positions within their school and others.

What an SLE does

SLEs play a vital role within STEP by helping to develop leadership capacity in schools through sharing good practice on a one-to-one basis and group support. Becoming an SLE opens up many doors to develop further within the teaching profession and has benefits to both you as an individual and to your school.

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

Who can apply?

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 the areas of expertise, which are based on the areas of focus in the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework (August, 2015).

How to apply?

If you are interested in becoming a SLE we recommend that you speak to your headteacher about the opportunity and read the application guidance before applying https://www.gov.uk/guidance/specialist-leaders-of-education-a-guide-for-potential-applicants