SLEs

The Role of the Subject Leader of Education

Teaching schools are responsible for the designation, brokering, deploying and quality assuring SLEs. SLEs will be outstanding senior or middle leaders for a minimum of two years and will have a particular area or areas of expertise. SLEs will have a successful track record of school improvement and will be expected to provide school-to-school support within their own and other schools.

SLEs will:

  • have excellent interpersonal skills
  • be able to work sensitively and collaboratively with others
  • have a commitment to outreach work
  • understand what outstanding learning and teaching is
  • understand what outstanding leadership practice in their own area of specialism(s) looks like
  • have the ability to help other leaders to achieve it in their own context

SLEs may be commissioned to work in the following areas:

  • continuing professional development: e.g. INSET, twilights, training days
  • initial teacher training/NQT year
  • school-based research and development work
  • school improvement work

Support may be provided in the form of:

  • Undertaking learning walks/observations
  • Leading subject/departmental audits
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • One-to-one peer coaching
  • Facilitated group support/training
  • Data analysis
  • Joint action planning

Impact of SLEs:

In their own school:

  • an excellent form of continuing professional development for senior and middle leaders
  • enhancing knowledge, skills and abilities to further improve their current role and influence others
  • supporting schools’ internal succession planning strategies by enabling individuals to demonstrate that they are ready to step up to the next leadership level
  • further developing skills such as coaching and mentoring to support colleagues in their own school
  • re-energising and motivating both the SLE and, through dissemination of learning, other staff
  • opportunity to share outstanding practice with colleagues
  • learning about how different systems and contexts from the schools they support helps to develop practice back at their own setting.

To schools receiving support:

  • peer-to-peer support and building leadership capacity delivered in a collaborative way
  • partnership approach to developing local solutions, taking into account individual schools’ own circumstances
  • embedding coaching and mentoring approaches that support sustainable change and improvement
  • engaging with an outstanding expert with leadership skills in a particular field of practice who also understands current challenges, policy, best practice and local needs
  • ensuring that staff feel empowered and have the skills, knowledge and understanding required to improve practice and in turn outcomes
  • improved practice/systems are sustainable.