Become a System Leader

Providing opportunities for leaders to become system leaders at all levels

Kent Leaders of Education (KLE)

The KAH would like to congratulate Paul Ryan (of St Margaret’s Collier Street, Maidstone), Duncan Edwards (of Downsview Community Primary School, Sevenoaks), Tracy Kent (of Downs View Infant School, Ashford), Martin Hacker (Brookland CEP School), Catherine Woodbine (Langafel CEP School), John Dexter (Aycliffe Community Primary School), Alex Cornelius (Langton Green Primary School), Alice Early (Kings Hill Primary School) for becoming the latest Kent Leaders of Education.

If you are considering becoming a KLE you need to have at least three years of experience as a serving Headteacher and have accountability for one or more school(s) that are good or outstanding. KLEs have demonstrated that they have sufficient experience of providing support to leaders at a school, or schools, other than their own.

KLEs are usually deployed in schools where there is a risk of dropping an Ofsted category, progress and attainment are below floor standards, teaching is not good enough to promote better outcomes for pupils, or leadership is not driving improvement fast enough.

The majority of the work of a KLE is one-to-one support of another Headteacher. This can include coaching and mentoring the Headteacher to develop skills, judgement and professional effectiveness. KLEs also support school improvement; for example, by arranging coaching or training for staff in the supported school.

In addition, KLEs are often deployed as mentors for newly appointed, first-time Headteachers.

KLEs can be commissioned directly by schools or through SIAs working with their Area KAH Board to meet local improvement needs. The recommended payment KLE support is £400 a day, paid by the supported school.

Application times

There are three recruitment rounds during the year:

  • Autumn - 
03.09.2018 – 21.09.2018

  • Spring
 - 07.01.2019 – 25.01.2019
  • Summer
 - 23.04.2019 – 10.05.2019

The next round of KLE training dates have now been confirmed as 9 March, 14 March and 22 June 2018. Newly appointed KLEs and any other KLEs who have not yet had this training are invited to apply to join the course. Training flyer with application details can be seen here.

To apply, headteachers should first read the KLE Protocols and Guidance document (DOCX, 164.7 KB) and then complete the KLE application form (DOCX, 24.2 KB) and email this to

Applications are reviewed by a selection panel of senior LA officers and the Executive Chair of Kent Association of Headteachers (KAH). Successful applicants are offered professional coaching and mentoring training, funded by KAH.

You can see the current list of trained system leaders in Kent here (XLSX, 24.3 KB). This includes NLEs, LLEs and KLEs, and also provides their email addresses.

National Leader of Education (NLE)

NLEs are designated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). They are strong school leaders, who have experience of effectively supporting schools in challenging circumstances. NLEs work alongside teaching schools and other system leaders to provide high quality support to those who need it most.

If you meet the current eligibility criteria you might want to apply to become a national leader of education.

NLEs usually work with schools identified as being in need of significant improvement and can be deployed by the Department for Education, Ofsted, a teaching school, a regional schools commissioner, local authority or diocese.

Your work would be tailored to the needs of the supported school. You can get involved in different ways, including:

  • working alongside their staff
  • working alone
  • your staff providing support under your initial direction

The next window for applications will open in the Autumn term. Register your interest to receive notifications when the round opens.

For more information visit

National Leaders of Governance (NLG)

NLGs are designated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). If you're an experienced chair of governors who is interested in supporting chairs of governors in other schools and meets the NLG eligibility criteria you can apply to be a National Leader of Governance (NLG).

NLGs concentrate on developing school governance capacity and expertise. In some cases, they work in partnership with a national leader of education or a teaching school alliance.

If selected, you’ll provide support to a chair of governors in a school meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  • identified as being in need of significant improvement by the Department for Education, Ofsted, a teaching school, local authority or diocese
  • where attainment is below the current minimum standards set by the government
  • in transition to academy status or multi-academy trust
  • where the chair of governors is new
  • where working practices for a chair, headteacher or leadership group need developing

Some NLGs will provide short-term support to governing bodies, for example by joining an interim executive board or chairing a governing body in severe difficulties.

NLGs may also do external reviews of governance.

NLGs need to work proactively with at least one teaching school alliance, local authority or diocese who will help identify schools that need NLG support.

A grant (up to £2,000 in the financial year 2017 to 2018) will be paid to your school to cover the costs of reasonable expenses incurred when you're undertaking or preparing for deployments (expenses may include travel, subsistence, stationery or telephone costs).

The application round is now closed. To receive notification of when the next application round opens, please register your interest.

For more information visit

Specialist Leader of Education (SLE)

SLEs are designated by Teaching Schools to provide support to school leaders in their area of specialism. SLEs may have subject expertise or experience in other whole school issues, such as SEND, Behaviour Management, CPD, for example.

Working through KMTSN all the Teaching Schools in Kent and Medway manage the designation process collaboratively; this ensures that all SLEs meet consistent standards of expertise and experience and can be deployed across Kent. KMTSN also provides training which all SLEs need to complete as a condition of their designation.

SLEs are deployed primarily by Teaching Schools, but can also be commissioned by the LA or by NLEs and KLEs to work as part of school support teams. The cost of an SLE is typically £350 per day.

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).   Each year there are two windows - in Autumn and Spring. 
Intake 1: Applications in September, Interviews in early October, Training in November
Intake 2: Applications in May 2018, Interviews in June, Training in July

To express your interest in becoming an SLE, inform your Alliance and submit an application.

For more information visit and contact your local Teaching School.