SLEs are outstanding middle and senior leaders in positions below the headteacher, for example, assistant headteachers, subject leaders or school business managers, with at least two years' experience in a particular field of expertise. SLEs have the capacity, skills and commitment to support other individuals or teams, in similar positions in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of specialism looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders achieve it in their own context.
SLEs will act as ‘system leaders’, supporting individual leaders and teams in other schools by using a high level coaching or facilitation approach that draws on their knowledge and expertise in their specialist area. This may involve a wide variety of support approaches, including diagnostic models, one-to-one or facilitated group support. Regardless of the type of support model delivered, the ultimate aim of SLEs will always be to contribute significantly to improving the outcomes for children through developing the capacity of peer leaders in other schools. SLEs will support high quality professional development of leaders and may also potentially play a key role in the future development of school-to-school support, by identifying outstanding future leaders.