System Leadership – News, NLEs, NLGs

System Leader News

People Power: MAT Workforce Research: Follow these links to copies of the full report and a summary of the new research – ‘People Power: Six ways to develop and retain educators in multi-academy trusts’. 

The research explores workforce trends in multi-academy trusts and draws on interviews with trust CEOs to identify strategies that can improve educator development, progression and retention. The findings of the research indicate some workforce patterns and challenges specifically affecting trusts, as well as six suggested actions which all schools can take to address these challenges. The key findings of the quantitative analysis were:

  • System-leader trusts have a relatively high proportion of classroom teachers who are new entrants to the profession.
  • Trusts have higher rates of promotion from teacher to middle leadership, particularly at primary.
  • System-leader trusts promote teachers to senior leadership earlier than in LA schools – the average age is 35 in system-leader trusts, compared to 38 in LA schools.
  • Despite good progression rates, the proportion of teachers and middle leaders leaving the profession each year is higher in large academy trusts than elsewhere.

The report suggests that trusts, and all schools, will benefit if they:

  • Support upward progression
  • Develop specialist expertise
  • Prioritise working culture
  • Create and attractive development offer
  • Reduce barriers to development, and
  • Manage talent

Simple ideas but not always delivered!

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

Specialist Leaders of Eduction Page and details. Go here!

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.

Local Leaders of Education

Local Leaders of Education, known as LLEs, were the first system leaders to be accredited by NCTL. They were intended to be school-based experts with some outreach capacity but they were trained in coaching to support their own colleagues. With the advent of SLEs, the accreditation process stopped and it was not clear what would happen to existing LLEs or whether there would be any interest in crediting new ones.

Now things have changed. Since December 2016 the Local Leader of Education designation has been entirely devolved to Teaching School Alliances. This means that TSAs can accredit their own local leaders.

The TSC Eastern Strategy Group has responded by devising a new set of documentation to cover the application process and designation for new LLEs. It is possible that a training package will follow but, in the meanwhile, making use of these documents will ensure that your LLEs have strong regional credibility.

Follow these links to view:

Other Resources

At the initial meeting of local teaching schools a set of exemplar documents was circulated and discussed. These are now available here. They will need some modification to be used with the new LLE arrangements so feel free to customise them.

Documents from the Cambridge LLE pilot programme

Additional document from Central Bedfordshire

Additional documents from Southend

Additional documents from Norfolk

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.