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The designation of specialist leader of education (SLE) was introduced in the Department for Education (DfE)’s 2010 Schools White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, which outlines the government’s plans to raise standards and improve the quality of teaching and school leadership through school-to-school support and peer-to-peer learning.

Creating this new designation recognises the important role that many senior and middle leaders play in school improvement.

Aspects of the concept have already been tested in an SLE pilot and other work involving middle and senior leaders in London, Greater Manchester and the Black Country. In each of these areas, middle and senior leaders were deployed to support other schools as part of the former Leadership Strategy programme. On our SLE webpages we have published a document that covers lessons learned from the pilot.

The idea also draws on other successful examples of deploying middle and senior leaders, for example in many national support schools (NSS) where leaders at all levels have supported staff and teams in other schools. The DfE has remitted the National College to work with teaching schools to roll out SLEs as a nationwide programme, starting with a development year (2011-12) in which aspects of the initiative will be further tested and reviewed.

Please download:

Specialist leaders of education Prospectus

Stepping up to SLE Flyer

Stepping up to SLE Course Information

1 SLE Fact Sheet

2 SLE Expectations and overview

3 SLE Application and reference form

4 SLE Guidance for Applicants

5 SLE Guidance for referees