Applying to be a SLE

What is a Specialist Leader of Education?

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) are outstanding middle and senior leaders in positions below the headteacher, with at least two years’ leadership experience. They have a particular area of expertise and a successful track record of school improvement. SLEs support leaders in other schools. They have excellent interpersonal skills, are able to work sensitively and collaboratively with others and have a commitment to outreach work. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of specialism looks like and can help other leaders to achieve it in their own context.

Requirements for designation as a Specialist Leader of Education & Lead Specialist

To meet the requirements as a designated Specialist Leader of Education for Southampton Inclusion Partnership, you will need at least 2 years’ experience and knowledge in a particular field of expertise and hold a leadership role or responsibility within your school.
In addition, you will need to be able to demonstrate the following:

  • The significant impact of your contribution as a leader to supporting leaders in other schools or to your own school’s performance
  • Clear evidence of outstanding practice within your area of expertise
  • Experience of working sensitively and collaboratively with peer colleagues using coaching and facilitation skills to grow leadership in others, leading to sustainable improvement.
  • Experience of challenging, motivating, inspiring and collaborating with colleagues to establish new innovative working practices.

To apply

To apply for the position of Specialist Leader of Education for Southampton Inclusion Partnership, you will need to:

  • Complete the attached application form, demonstrating evidence for each aspect of the role
  • Provide two referees, including your current Head Teacher
  • Send your application to the CPD Core Group, Southampton Inclusion Partnership

Click here to download the application form.

Assessment Process

In order to be designated as a Specialist Leader of Education, you will need:

  • To provide comprehensive and relevant answers to all questions on your application form
  • To undertake a formal face to face assessment activity and interview
  • Satisfactory references


The role of SLE with Southampton Inclusion Partnership will be renewed every 4 years. After this period, the SLE will need to submit a portfolio of evidence.

Actions Timescales By Whom
Advertising window 21st January – 15th February 2019 SIP Business Support
Complete and return application form with the names of 2 referees By 25th February 2019 Applicant
Selection process and notification of interview if successful 25th February – 8th March 2019 CPD Board
Interviews and assessment process Week beginning 11th March 2019 Agreed by CPD Board
Submission of application to SIP April 2019 Board Main Board SIP
Submission of recommendations to National College for validation By the end of Summer Term 2019 Teaching School Lead
Formal notification of outcomes By September 2019 Teaching School Lead

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