System Leadership - NLEs

NLG Designation Reviews

The DFE review team continually monitor the designations of all teaching schools and system leaders against the published eligibility criteria. Since spring 2017, this has included the performance data of all teaching schools and NLEs. From Spring 2018, NLGs will have the data of their home school reviewed to ensure that it continues to demonstrate sustained high pupil performance and progress.

The summer panel will have a KS2 focus. Should we identify a concern, you will receive a communication that will tell you what the concern is and explain the review process in detail. These should be with schools around now. Don't worry if you receive a letter, each case is reviewed on an individual basis and will be handled as such.

System Leadership - National Leaders of Education

National Leaders of Education (NLE)

National Leaders of Education, known as NLEs, are the head teachers of highly successful schools or recognised system leaders. Many head teachers of teaching schools automatically become NLEs when their schools are accredited.

However, while not all NLEs are the head teachers of teaching schools, all are given additional funding to support outreach work with schools facing challenges and may be called upon to give advice to other agencies.

The main difference between an NLE and an SLE is that the NLE typically facilitates, or brokers, school improvement connecting SLEs with schools in difficulties. Sometimes, the NLE will take responsibility for establishing the needs of the school and then deploy SLEs to support it.

However, this is a fluid and evolving system and, increasingly, the head teachers of teaching schools and the leaders of teaching school alliances, whether or not they are NLEs, broker improvement interventions.

Become a National Leader

Application windows for NLEs usually open at the same time as teaching school applications. However it is possible to become an NLE and for your school to become a National Support School without becoming a teaching school.

The NLE Data Hub

If you are an NLE but you are not attached to a teaching school you need to submit an annual return to the Teaching Schools Data Hub. This is in order to gain as full a picture of school to school support as possible since there are NLEs who are not attached to teaching schools. The purpose of the exercise involving both hubs (TSA and NLE) is to collect and collate data to inform the development of key performance indicators relating to school to school support.

The NLE data hub has closed for the current round. However, NLEs whose schools are also teaching schools should have already submitted data for this period via the teaching schools data hub.  Further information and guidance about how to access and complete the hub can be found here.  If you have any questions or encounter difficulty accessing the Hub, please contact

The Hubs have been developed with the support of an expert group consisting of teaching school leaders, Teaching School Council members and a Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC), to develop a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide clarity on the minimum expectations for each Teaching School Alliance in terms of ITT, CPLD and StSS delivery.

The NLE / NSS Support Grant

Terms and conditions for the financial year 2018-19 were issued at the end of September and you should have received a copy. They contain the up-to-date amounts of compensation for NLE costs and costs to the school. There are some changes to the stipulations and the schools which can be supported so make sure you see these documents.

System Leadership - National Leaders of Governance

National Leaders of Governance

National Leaders of Governance (NLGs) are chairs of school governing bodies who have been identified as possessing the skills and resources to support other governing bodies facing challenges. There are around sixty of them in the eastern region already working with a range of schools. Their work is supported by a single Regional Advocate, Rosemary Lovatt.

The TSC is now responsible for the operational management of NLGs, including the role of Regional Advocate. This move is helpful because the work that National Leaders of Governance do relates closely to school intervention and support. OFSTED inspectors have observed how schools facing challenges typically have governing bodies which are not providing clear focus and leadership.

To take the work forward, the TSC has recruited eight teaching school alliances to become NLG hubs and all NLGs have been asked to affiliate themselves to a local hub. If it all works out, the alliances will be well placed in the future to encourage and support the critical role of governing bodies in schools.  Currently, as part of a wider review the next NLG recruitment round has been postponed but the work of NLGs is expected to continue.

The eight hubs have been developed in two waves. The first wave involves the following alliances: The Alban Teaching School Alliance; The Central Bedfordshire Teaching School Partnership; Swavesey and Histon & Impington; Billericay Teaching School Alliance; The Inspiration Trust Teaching School Alliance. In the second wave, these additional alliances will be involved: Suffolk Borders TSA; NTLEC TSA; and, North East Essex TSA.

You can find out more about the work of NLGs in the region here.

Key Links

The TSC National Website:

Schools Week: Up-to-date news and information on education.

Teaching Schools and System Leader National Directory.

The Teaching School Handbook: The latest version of this guidance for new and established teaching schools is now available. You can find a copy here.

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