Becoming a SLE with TELA

TELA SLE Application form 2018 (docx)


TELA SLE application instructions May 2018 (pdf)


Applications are now open until Monday 25 June 2018

We are looking for SLEs;


Early years, Closing the gap, English and NQT development.


English, Closing the gap and Mathatics.

We will be holding an Aspirant SLE information event at the TLEA teaching School on Monday 18th June 4.00-5.00. 

It is compulsory to attend this event prior to submitting a SLE application

Become an SLE and support other schools in their improvement

Supporting other schools helps to develop your leadership and mentoring skills, as well as bringing about school improvement. TELA are always happy to hear from colleagues with an interest in becoming a Specialist Leader in Education, or even just interested in a one off offer of support to a particular school or in a particular role. We deploy between two and fifteen members of a support team into each school where there is an official funded support plan, and we regularly receive requests for support for shorter projects.


If you are an experienced middle or senior leader who is interested in supporting leaders in other schools, you might want to apply to be a specialist leader of education (SLE). There are currently just over 6,000 designated SLEs; TELA has 15 with more in line for application. Teaching schools are responsible for the selection and placement of SLEs. This is one part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system. is a useful source of information for those considering the role.

Who can apply?

To become an SLE, you need to have been in a leadership role below the headteacher for at least 2 years. Your headteacher will be asked to confirm that you are 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, as long as your school has the capacity to release you to work in other schools. You must have at least one specialism from our areas of expertise, which are based on the 4 areas of focus for Ofsted. You may also have additional specialisms not on this list which we will be able to match with specific needs.

Areas of Expertise:

Leadership and Management

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

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

Quality of Teaching

Initial teacher training and newly qualified teacher development

Behaviour and Safety

Behaviour and discipline; attendance

Make your application

To be successful in your application, you should have:

  • a successful track record of working effectively within your own school and/or across a group of schools, or working with a range of leaders within a single school
  • evidence of successfully using coaching and/or facilitation skills to bring about sustainable improvements
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • an understanding of what constitutes ‘outstanding’ in your field of expertise and the ability and confidence to communicate this
  • an understanding of how your specialism and skills can contribute to wider school improvement goals
  • an analytical approach in identifying and prioritising needs
  • the ability to set and establish new and innovative working practices
  • the ability to grow leadership capacity in others

You can also provide supporting evidence gained from completing leadership development opportunities such as:

There is no cost to apply. Successful applicants will be entitled to some training at no cost to their school. However, the school will have to pay for associated travel or supply cover.

For more information or to discuss a possible application, contact Jo Robotham by: 

email - 

phone - 01455 283263 ext 3206