School Support

Specialist Leaders of Education

If you’re an experienced middle or senior leader who’s interested in supporting middle and senior leaders in other schools, you may wish to apply to become a specialist leader of education (SLE).

SLEs have at least two years’ experience in a particular area of expertise and a track record of school improvement. They support leaders in other schools through a variety of activities.

To apply to become an SLE, you should:

  • complete an application form provided by Cornwall Teaching School during a recruitment round
  • get a supporting reference from your current headteacher

Please see the SLE application guidance (PDF, 283KB, 8 pages) and the application form for reference only.

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 (September 2016):

Ofsted focus Areas of expertise
Effectiveness of leadership and management Academies; leadership of continuing professional development; school business management and financial management; leadership of curriculum
Outcomes for children and other learners Art; closing the gap; drama; design and technology; early years; English; geography; history; information and communication technology; maths; modern foreign languages; music; phonics; physical education; personal, social and health education; religious education; science; special educational needs; support for the most able pupils
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Initial teacher training; assessment
Personal development, behaviour and welfare Behaviour and discipline; attendance

 What an SLE does

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.

Time commitment

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.

For more information about applying to become an SLE please contact Emma Williams – emmawil@truro-penwith.ac.uk