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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 35 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 
English Claire Lassman Denbigh Primary Leadership of the Curriculum and English
Suzie Bradshaw Hillborough Junior PSHE, English and SEND
Rebecca Lightfoot Wenlock CE Junior English
Vikki Johnston Harpenden Academy English and the Curriculum
Carla Gotch Tennyson Road Primary English
Barbara Moses Beechwood Primary English 
Azmat Ramzan William Austin Junior Assessment and English
Maths Lisa Phee Chantry Primary Academy Leadership of Curriculum and Maths
Kate Williams Lancot Challenger Academy Maths and Enterprise
Sarah Ayres Wenlock CofE Junior Maths
Nicola Lloyd-Jones Tennyson Road Primary Maths, Assessment and Closing the Gap
Lisa Morris Denbigh Primary Leadership of the Curriculum, Maths, Science and ITT
Kat Field Hillborough Junior Assessment, Art and ITT
Lorna Lalji Hillborough Junior Leadership of Curriculum, Music and ITT
Richard Lightfoot Hillborough Junior PE
Penny Whelan Hillborough Junior PSHE, SMSC and Values Education
Kerry Ward The Linden Academy PSHE/RSE
Tyrone West  Denbigh Primary PE and ITT
Adam Nelson Denbigh Primary Computing and IT
Beth Taylor The Vale Academy Science and Phonics
Behaviour Jennifer Lloyd Chantry Primary Academy Behaviour
Philippa Cooper Chantry Primary Academy  Behaviour 
Tracey Dutton The Vale Academy Behaviour and discipline
Assessment and
Curriculum Development
Nathalie McKiernan Denbigh Primary Assessment, Leadership of the curriculum and more able pupils
Hannah Page Chantry Primary Academy Assessment
Niamh Mooney The Vale Academy Leadership of the Curriculum and English
Julia Ward The Rushmere Park Academy Leadership of the Curriculum and Maths
Jodi McCallum Whipperley Infant Academy Leadership of curriculum and Early Years
Other Rachel Marsh Richmond Hill Special SEND and Assessment
Sarah Gilbert Chapel Street Nursery Early Years
Julie Ellins Ashcroft High School Business and Finance
Michelle Aylott Harpenden Academy EYFS
Shereen Thomas Tennyson Road Primary Lesson Study
Mark Lavery Someries Infant Early Years
Jenny Fraser Lancot Challenger Academy Early Years

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

Adobe PDF Icon

(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