Now recruiting for SLEs

The recruitment window is now open (26 June –19 July 2017).

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 an NCTL designated specialist leader of education (SLE).

Teaching schools and system leaders support the Department for Education’s goal to provide every child and young person with access to high-quality provision, achieving to the best of their ability regardless of location, prior attainment and background.

Who can apply?

To become an SLE, you need to have been in a leadership role other than head teacher for at least 2 years. Your head teacher 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 our areas of expertise, which are based on the areas of focus in the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework (September 2016).

Areas of expertise

Time commitment

The role lasts for 4 years, at which time there’ll be a review. 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.

Key Points

  • Whilst SLEs will be outstanding at what they do, they can come from any school, regardless of the school’s Ofsted grade. However, the Head and Chair of Governors must agree that the school has the capacity to release them.
  • SLEs need to meet strict designation criteria.
  • SLEs have expertise in a specific area, (see the areas of expertise)
  • There is no pre-defined time commitment for SLE work because models and types of deployment will vary.

To Apply

For any questions contact


The application form consists of two sections. You are required to complete section 1, and agreement must be sought from your Head teacher for us to contact them in support of your application.  We will contact them to obtain references by Friday 21 July.

Once you have completed your section you will need to send the application form to by Wednesday 19th July in order for it to be submitted.

Interviews will be held in the first half of the Autumn Term 2017/18.  The outcome will be notified once the decision has been ratified by the NCTL.