Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE)

What is an SLE?

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of expertise looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders to achieve it in their own context. SLEs can be deployed for school to school support over any number of days.

Details of our SLEs are available here. More information about SLEs can be found on this fact sheet.

How do I become an SLE?

Please contact us if you would like to be involved in the next cohort of SLEs to help PLN offer School to School Support.

Professional Learning Network Designation Process

Teaching schools are responsible for assessing applicants. You will need to give evidence that you meet all areas of the SLE eligibility criteria and are outstanding in at least one of the approved SLE areas of expertise.

Applications are now open and will close on Friday 4th November. Please email Ann Wilks (directorPLN@gmail.com) for an application form and application guidance.

Applications – Applications will be reviewed against the agreed SLE designation criteria to ensure consistency across the country.


Assessment Activities – The Professional Learning Network will invite successful applicants to undertake face-to-face assessment activities. Assessment activities may include an individual presentation, a panel interview, a written task and an observed group discussion. We will provide details and requirements before your assessment.

The panel will assess applicants against the agreed SLE designation criteria. Teaching schools submit their designation recommendations to the NCTL for validation. NCTL will confirm outcomes to the teaching school, which will then communicate designation outcomes to applicants in writing.

Please email Ann Wilks on directorPLN@gmail.com for further details or an application form.

Opportunities with PLN are available in the following Specialist areas:


Leadership and Management

Academies and academy transition; assessment; leadership of continuing professional development; school business management and financial management; leadership of curriculum.

Quality of Teaching and Pupil Achievement

Art; closing the gap; drama; design and technology; early years; English; geography; history; information and communication technology; maths; modern foreign languages; music; phonics; physical education; personal, social and health education; religious education; science; special educational needs; support for the most able pupils; Initial Teacher Training and Newly Qualified Teacher development.

Behaviour and Safety

Behaviour and discipline, attendance.

Visit the Government website for information on the application process and eligibility criteria…

If you are interested in applying to become an SLE or for further information please contact:

Ann Wilks: Director Professional Learning Network
E: directorPLN@gmail.com
T: 07917 734531