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Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)

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

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. By using a high level coaching or facilitation approach that draws on their knowledge and expertise in their specialist area, they will support individual leaders or teams within the alliance and other schools.

Schools who have committed to offering SLEs for deployment will need to agree to the SLE deployment contract and commit to allowing SLEs to be deployed for a minimum of 10 days. Potential SLE candidates will be selected from the alliance schools.

Details about the role of an SLE can be found on the National College Website.

Current Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)
There are currently seventeen SLEs designated and brokered by the Luton First Teaching School Alliance (LFTSA). The Alliance are proposing to designate up to fifteen other leaders to become SLEs in Round 4. To learn more about any of our SLEs view Meet our SLEs.

Teacher  School  Specialist Area 
Penny Whelan
Hillborough Junior  PSHE, SMSC and Values
Rachel Marsh
Richmond Hill Primary Special  SEND and Assessment
Sarah Pollard
Southfield Primary Academy Assessment 
Rebecca Lightfoot
Wenlock Church of England Junior English 
Sarah Ayres
Farley Junior Maths
Tricia Loverman
Richmond Hill Primary Special  Special Needs 
Sarah Gleeson
Wenlock Church of England Junior  Primary English 
Philippa Cooper-Lewis
Chantry Primary Academy  Behaviour 
Sarah Jones
Chapel Street Nursery Early Years
Richard Lightfoot
Wenlock Church of England Junior PE
Simon Jump
Avenue Centre for Education Curriculum Design and Alternative Provision
Jennifer Lloyd
Chantry Primary Academy Behaviour
Nicola Covington Tennyson Road Primary Maths, Assessment, Closing the Gap and ITT/NQT
Karen Armstrong
St Martin de Porres Primary Curriculum Design and English
Carla Holmes Tennyson Road Primary English
Beverley Trotman Dallow Road Primary  Maths
Hannah Page Chantry Primary Academy Assessment
Lisa Phee Chantry Primary Academy Leadership of Curriculum and Maths
Julie Ellins Ashcroft High School Business
Coralie Bordiac Chantry Primary Academy SEND
Shereen Thomas Tennyson Road Primary Lesson Study

Want to apply?
You need to be an outstanding middle or senior school leader with a particular area of expertise and the capacity, skills and commitment to support others in similar positions in other schools. Training takes place in outstanding schools within our Alliance.

How to apply  Fill in application form and send to
More information  Application Guidance (PDF, 286kb)

For your application to be successful, 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

Please download the application form above. Once filled in please email it to Tony Cotton at .
Contact Us if you need more information.

Fact Sheet

SLEs Fact sheet

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(File format and size: PDF, 324kb)


DfE SLE page

SLE Application Form
word42File format and size: Word, 356kb
Please fill in the document and return it to Tony Cotton at

SLE Application Guidance
Adobe PDF IconFile format and size: PDF, 286kb