SLEs are a designation acknowledging the important role of middle and senior leaders in supporting their peers.  They are excellent professionals in leadership positions below the headteacher, with the capacity, capability and commitment to work beyond their own school.

This type of work might involve:

  • Self –Starter work within clusters, within a MAT, cross school CPD activities, subject network meetings, NQT activities, Primary liaison, and cluster support.
  • Cambridge Teaching School Network directed and commissioned School to School work.

SLEs are outstanding in a particular area, for example: Core Subject delivery, a subject specialism; data for achievement, Primary leadership, inclusion; ITT mentoring; performance management; behaviour; school business management.

Our SLEs
There are currently 73 SLEs designated and brokered by the Cambridge Teaching Schools Network coming from a wide variety of different schools and contexts across the Cambridge region.

Local leaders of education (LLE)
LLEs are successful headteachers who, in addition to leading their own schools, work alongside other heads to raise attainment and build capacity to ensure that improvements can be sustained. LLEs can be deployed in a variety of ways and each deployment can be tailored to suit the needs of the school receiving support. LLEs are expected to undertake deployments involving:

  • supporting a school to raise attainment where it is below the floor standards
  • supporting the head of a school that is considered vulnerable
  • coaching and mentoring a new head in their first headship

Generally LLEs will work half a day or a day a week with a partner school and a further 20-30 hours over 2 years in support of a new head, though the LLE will be expected to be flexible depending on the needs of the system and the capacity of the LLE.

There are currently over 2,000 LLEs. More information can be found on the National College Website.

National leaders of education (NLE)
NLEs are outstanding headteachers or principals who use their skills and experience to support schools in challenging circumstances. In addition to leading their own schools, NLEs work to increase the leadership capacity of other schools to help raise standards.

NLEs can be deployed in a number of ways and each deployment can be tailored to suit the needs of the school receiving support. NLEs are expected to support schools in the most challenging circumstances such as those in an Ofsted category, facing closure or amalgamation or falling below the floor standards. Deployments could involve one of the following levels of involvement:

  • NLE as full-time acting or executive headteacher in a school that has a vacancy for the headship.
  • NLE sponsoring a failing school to become an academy.
  • NLE supporting an acting or executive headteacher (who may be a deputy or a leader from another school) for three days a week, providing advice.
  • NLE providing consultancy support for up to two days a week

There are currently almost 600 NLEs/NSSs nationally. Details of those designated as NLEs/NSSs can be found on the National College website at The National College System Leadership Prospectus can be viewed here.