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Warwickshire County Council
Warwickshire County Council

School-to-school support

System leadership

System leaders are people who work with schools outside of their own to bring about some kind of improvement. The schools could be under-performing or have a specific issue and require additional support. The government’s plan is to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system, and growing the number of system leaders is one way they intend to reach this goal.

Each system leader, whether NLE, SLE or CSWLE should align themselves with a Teaching School Alliance so that they have access to the latest information and so that school to school support can be coordinated.

National Leaders of Education (NLEs)

NLEs will usually work with schools identified as being in need of significant improvement by the Department for Education, a teaching school, local authority or diocese.

When a headteacher is selected as an NLE, their school will receive National Support School (NSS) status. This is to recognise that staff will often work alongside the headteacher in any support that they provide to under-performing schools, and will also have the chance to develop their skills and gain valuable experience. NLEs will have access to wider networks of NLEs, teaching schools and other individuals and schools offering school-to-school support.  

How to apply to become an NLE

To apply to become an NLE, the headteacher and their school must meet certain criteria. These criteria are set out in full on the Gov.uk website.

Changes to the criteria in 2016 mean that a school no longer needs to be rated outstanding to apply.

NLEs in Warwickshire

You can find NLEs in Warwickshire on the School-to-school Support Directory on the National College for Teaching & Leadership website.

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)

Experienced middle or senior leaders who are interested in supporting leaders in other schools, can become accredited as Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE).

SLEs focus on developing the capacity and capability of other leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools. 

Teaching schools are responsible for the selection and placement of SLEs. 

How to apply to become an SLE

To apply to become an SLE, you must have been in a leadership role other than headteacher for at least 2 years.

You can be from any type or phase of school, which does not need to be outstanding or part of a teaching school alliance. Your school will need to have the capacity to release you to work in other schools.

You must have at least one specialism from one of the specific areas of expertise, based on the areas of focus in the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework (September 2016). Full details are on the GOV.UK website.

There is no cost and no limit on the number of times you can apply.  You can apply to multiple teaching schools, but can only accept designation from one.

Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire (CSW) Leaders of Education (formerly LLE)

The Teaching School Alliances across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire are working collaboratively across the sub-region to appoint CSW Leaders of Education (CSWLE) to work in a range of schools. 

The goal of the CSWLEs is to increase the leadership capacity of other schools to help raise standards.

The majority of the work of a CSWLE is working closely with another headteacher, the senior leaders and Governing Body to raise standards through school to school support. Each placement is negotiated separately with the relevant local authority, teaching school, or other organisation and is allocated according to the priority of need.

Successful applicants will be required to attend orientation sessions prior to deployment and will be aligned to a teaching school.

How to apply to become a CSWLE

To apply to become a CSW Leader of Education, you and your school need to meet specific eligibility criteria, which you can find in the CSWLE information pack.

Application rounds are held at specific times during the year and information on future application rounds will be circulated by Teaching School Alliances across the region.

For the latest information please visit the CSWLE website.

CSWLEs in Warwickshire:

Name School
Andrew Simms Bidford on Avon Primary School
James Higham Henry Hinde Infant School
Joy Mitchell North Leamington School
Leah Adams Northlands Primary School
Kate Madia Our Lady's Catholic Primary School, Princethorpe
Darren Barrow St John's Primary School
Neil Wallace Stratford-upon-Avon Primary School
Andrew Edwards The Revel CE (Aided) Primary School
Lindsay Oscroft Tysoe CE Primary School & Wellesbourne CE Primary School