Specialist Leaders of Education


Teaching Schools and system leaders support the Department for Education’s goal to provide educational excellence everywhere so that every child and young person can access high-quality provision, achieving to the best of their ability regardless of location, prior attainment and background.

SLEs act as ‘system leaders’ and play an increasingly important part in leading and developing the school system. They are outstanding middle or senior leaders with at least two years’ experience in their field of expertise.They have the capacity and commitment to support middle and senior leaders in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of specialism looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders achieve it in their own context.

They successfully use coaching and/or facilitation skills to bring about sustainable improvements and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. SLEs have both an analytical approach in identifying and prioritising needs and also the ability to set and establish new and innovative working practices. In addition one of their prime skills is the ability to grow leadership capacity in others.

Regardless of the type of support delivered, the ultimate aim of SLEs will always be to contribute significantly to improving the outcomes for children through developing the capacity of peer leaders in other schools. SLEs also play a key role in the future development of schools by identifying outstanding future leaders. 

Nationally there are currently over 7,300 designated SLEs.

West Herts Teaching School currently have 21 SLEs with a wealth of experience


SLE Support Form Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are experienced and outstanding middle and senior leaders, recruited by Teaching Schools on the basis of their knowledge of what outstanding leadership practice looks like in their area of expertise, and are skilled in helping other leaders achieve it in their own context.

We have recruited 21 SLEs in 8 areas of expertise. To find out more about an individual, click on their name to view their pen portrait.


If you would like to work with one of our SLEs, please complete this online form and our SLE Co-ordinator will be in contact.




Role in own school

 Claire Hawtin Primary Bovingdon Primary Academy  ITT Lead