• Our People

    What are SLEs and Lead Practitioners?

    Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) and Lead Practitioners are outstanding middle and senior leaders with at least two years’ leadership experience in positions below the headteacher. They have a successful track record of school improvement and have a particular area of expertise in at least one of these areas:

    • Leadership and management
    • Pupil achievement (including subject specialisms)
    • Quality of teaching
    • Behaviour and safety

    Unlike Lead Practitioners, SLEs have applied for formal accreditation from the Teaching School Alliance, involving demonstrating evidence of impact within and/or beyond their own school and a commitment from their headteacher to release them for a mutually agreed amount of time each year to offer support to schools other than their own. SLE accreditation is reviewed every four years to ensure these leaders are still committed to supporting other schools.

    SLEs and Lead Practitioners support leaders in other schools so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools. They also support teachers to improve teaching and learning. This may be done in a variety of ways including one- to-one peer coaching, facilitated group support, leading professional development sessions, or working alongside teachers in the classroom. Their work could involve a wide range of activities including data analysis, coaching or joint action planning.

    SLEs and Lead Practitioners can come from any school or academy, including nursery, primary, secondary, special, pupil referral unit, independent or free school, or sixth form college. The SLE or Lead Practitioner will be an outstanding practitioner although it is not necessary for his or her school to be outstanding.

    How can I become an SLE or Lead Practitioner at London South TSA?

    We expect all aspiring SLEs and Lead Practitioners to attend our three day Lead Practitioner programme. On this programme, they will build the confidence and skills needed to apply for SLE accreditation. The alliance will then support aspiring SLEs to achieve full DFE accreditation.

    Meet our team