SLE Guidance and Information for Schools

  1. Introduction:

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are key to the work of ConnectEd Partnership and instrumental in proving school to school support. SLEs are designated by National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). The Partnership is responsible for the designation, brokerage, deployment and quality assurance of SLEs.

  1. What are SLEs?

SLEs are outstanding middle and senior leaders with a specific specialism who have been designated and trained by a teaching school to support the whole school improvement. They understand what outstanding leadership practice, teaching and impact in their area of expertise looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders to achieve in their own context.

SLEs work to develop the leadership capacity of others, using coaching or facilitation support that draws on their knowledge and areas of expertise. All SLEs have gone through a strict assessment process to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria and that they have:

  • Exceptional knowledge in their area of expertise
  • The capacity, skills and commitment to support other individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools
  • The ability to use high levels of emotional intelligence to work sensitively and collaboratively with peer colleagues
  • An understanding of what outstanding leadership practice in their area of specialism looks like and have an appreciation of how their specialism and skills can contribute to the wider school improvement agenda
  • A successful track record supported by substantial evidence of impact and sustainable improvement

  1. The benefits for your school

SLEs will:

  • Work alongside colleagues in your school
  • Tailor their support to the particular needs of your school
  • Use a coaching model which is non-judgemental, with the aim to support on-going development of your school
  • Follow a clearly defined agreement based on the needs of your school put in place prior to deployment.

  1. Models of deployment

A deployment involves an SLE being released from their own school or organisation to spend a negotiated period of time working with and developing staff at another school to agreed aims and objectives. There is no predefined time commitment for a deployment and the capacity of SLEs to undertake outreach work will vary depending on their circumstances. Models and types of deployments will vary, depending on the needs of the school receiving support. For example, one deployment might be a two-day diagnostic exercise another might involve half a day’s support each week for two terms, whilst another might require a three-month full time support role.

  1. SLE Deployment Process

Any school seeking the support of an SLE should contact ConnectEd Partnership and complete the ‘School to School Support Initial Request Form’

Following the initial enquiry, the SLE Coordinator will review the needs of the school to be supported and will aim to match an SLE with the appropriate area of expertise and sufficient capacity to offer support. The SLE will then make contact with the requesting school to discuss the specific focus of the support.

A School Support Agreement’, tailored to your particular requirements will be drawn up in negotiation with the SLE and the requesting school.

A flowchart describing ConnectEd Partnership’s process of brokering support is attached as.

  1. Quality Assurance

SLEs deployed are monitored and held accountable for the quality of the support they provide on behalf of ConnectEd Partnership. SLEs model a system leadership approach and therefore will be expected to evidence that their work has had a positive impact.

ConnectEd Partnership will liaise closely with the school requesting the deployment of an SLE to ensure all agreed outcomes at the start of the deployment have been satisfactorily achieved. ConnectEd Partnership will review the feedback, impact and quality of support provided after each deployment.

At the end of deployment, the SLE and school will complete the ‘School Support Review/Evaluation Form’


  1. Costs and Accounting Arrangements

The daily rate for the deployment of an SLE for all phases is:

Cost to Purchasing School Reimbursement to SLE’s School Brokerage fee to ConnectEd Partnership
£350.00 £300.00 £50.00

ConnectEd Partnership will raise an invoice to the school that has received support for the total cost and in turn the SLE’s school will invoice ConnectEd Partnership for reimbursement of their cost. supplying schools (home school of the SLE) will invoice ConnectEd Partnership so that their costs.

All costs and invoicing arrangements will be clearly stated in the SLE Deployment Record and each deployment will have its own agreement.

As shown on the table of rates, a brokerage fee (a fixed cost for each full day or pro rata) will be factored into the transaction. This fee will be used to cover the cost of administration incurred by ConnectEd Partnership and the on-going support of the SLE, the final evaluation and the quality assurance for each deployment, as required by NCTL.

  1. Contract and Further Information

For all enquires about school to school support and brokering the support of an SLE, contact Harinder Jandu

ConnectEd Partnership Teaching School Coordinator

Tel: 01902 290152

Further information about SLEs and the support they offer, can be found on NCTL’s site:


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