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Carlisle & Hampton Hill Federation

School to School Support

Why school to school support?

‘…one of the most powerful ways of achieving improvement is through collaboration, with the best schools, settings and leaders supporting those that are more challenged. But it’s not just the school or centre receiving support that improves – providing support gives even the most accomplished teachers and leaders an opportunity to gain new ideas and improve their own practice.’ (DfE, 2012)

This is nothing new to Richmond school leaders and their proud tradition of demonstrating a collegiate approach to school improvement across the borough.

RPTSA currently has five SLEs, five LLEs and a NLE who are available to offer a variety of support to schools.

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of expertise looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders to achieve it in their own context. SLEs will work beyond their own schools, supporting individual or groups of leaders using a high-level coaching or facilitation approach that draws on their knowledge and expertise in their specialist area. This may involve a variety of support approaches, for example:

  • one-to-one support
  • facilitated group support
  • use and analysis of data
  • diagnosis of strengths and areas for development

The cost of providing SLE support is met either by the supported school or through intervention funding; depending upon the circumstances of the school.

The Richmond Primary Teaching School Alliance is responsible, alongside other Teaching schools for brokering support from a pool of SLEs within our area. Working with the schools and other partners in our alliance, we identify where SLE support is needed, which could be in any school in the alliance but is likely to be in those schools that are facing particular challenges . We will match SLEs in our pool with a leader or leaders in another school, liaising with the SLE and his/her own school to negotiate capacity and availability to be deployed. We may also liaise with other teaching school alliances to join our SLE pools together to enable schools needing support to access an even wider range of expertise. For further details, follow this link to the National College website:

National Leader of Education (NLEs)

NLEs are outstanding headteachers or principals whose schools are designated as National Support Schools. They use their skills and experience to support schools in challenging circumstances. In addition to leading their own schools, NLEs work to increase the leadership capacity of other schools to help raise standards. NLEs are assigned to a National College regional support associate. Their deployment is brokered in a variety of ways including via National College or the local authority. The cost of providing NLE support is met either by the supported school or through intervention funding; depending upon the circumstances of the school.

Local Leaders of Education (LLEs)

LLEs are successful headteachers who work alongside other heads, providing support and coaching, to drive forward improvements and build capacity to ensure that improvement can be sustained. The aim of the LLE programme is to improve pupil outcomes through partnership working between schools. The precise role of the LLE is flexible and based on context. The schools most likely to benefit from LLE support are those where:

  • the headteacher would benefit from peer challenge and support to ensure impact in key improvement priorities
  • a new headteacher would benefit from assistance in the transition period to maintain momentum in their school’s improvement
  • the headteacher is looking to develop fresh perspectives on issues presenting considerable challenges

The cost of providing LLE support is met either by the supported school or through intervention funding; depending upon the circumstances of the school.

School to School Support Grants

Over the last two years the NCTL have made grants specifically available to Teaching School Alliances and NLEs to fund support for schools which have been graded as ‘requires improvement’ by OFSTED.  For more information on these grants and how RPTSA may be able to help your school please contact Bill Jerman (NLE) –