If you are a headteacher and want to work with other schools to improve pupil outcomes, you might want to apply to be a local leader of education. In addition to leading your own school, you would have a coaching and mentoring role with a headteacher whose school is in challenging circumstances. The goal of the local leaders of education is to increase the leadership capacity of other schools to help raise standards. This is one part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system.
There are currently over 1,800 local leaders of education.
Who can apply
To become a local leader of education, you and your school need to meet the following criteria.
Criteria for headteachers
To be eligible to be a local leader of education, you must:
have at least 3 years of experience as a serving headteacher
have an Ofsted rating of good
expect to remain at your current school for at least 2 years after being selected
have accountability for one or more school(s) that meet the criteria below
have the support of your school’s governing body and local authority or a senior educational professional
demonstrate that you have sufficient experience providing support as a coach or mentor to another headteacher or senior member of staff at a school other than your own
commit to the time expectations
Criteria for the headteacher’s school
For you to be considered as a local leader of education, your current school must:
have an Ofsted rating of good
show consistently high levels of pupil performance or continued improvement over the last 3 years
be above current minimum standards set by the government
have experienced senior leaders with capacity to work with other schools
If you are applying as a sixth form college, you must be able to show evidence of supporting maintained schools in addition to any support provided to sixth form colleges.
Notes for independent school applicants
If your school is not inspected by Ofsted, it must be judged as good by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in the areas of:
leadership and management
quality of pupils’ achievements
pupils’ personal development
Alternatively, if the school is inspected by Ofsted, then the school must be judged good for overall effectiveness, capacity to improve and leadership and management or equivalent. Minimum standards are not applicable to independent schools. Independent schools will have to show consistently high levels of performance or continued improvement over the last 3 years.
Read the full eligibility criteria: Local leaders of education eligibility criteria (PDF, 115KB, 4 pages)
The application round is currently closed. Information on future application rounds will be posted here.
What a local leader of education does
The majority of the work of a local leader of education is one-to-one support of another headteacher.
Typical activities include:
negotiating objectives for improvement
coaching and mentoring the headteacher to develop skills, judgement and professional effectiveness
supporting or arranging coaching or training for staff in the supported school
Each placement is negotiated separately with the relevant local authority, teaching school, or other organisation.
Schools that are a priority for support are those where:
attainment is below the minimum standards
the school is considered to be vulnerable
a new, first-time headteacher has been appointed
Support must be focused on:
the needs of the beneficiary organisation
Individual placements can vary by intensity and length, but there must be an agreed end point.
A placement could last from 6 months to 3 years. During that time, you could spend between half a day and 1 day a week working with the supported school. You can transfer some of the contracted days to other members of staff in your own school. For example, your deputy headteacher could be asked to work with the partner school’s deputy. You will be added to our school-to-school support directory, so that other leaders can contact you. If you are approached to support a new headteacher, you could be asked to provide up to 20 to 30 hours of one-to-one coaching and mentoring support during the new head’s first 2 years of headship.
You will be expected to support a headteacher and his or her school at least once over the course of a year.
Costs for the support of a local leader of education are funded by whoever is asking for your time (eg schools, local authorities, dioceses). Any funding will be paid to your school. It is up to your school’s governing body to decide whether you are rewarded financially for your work.
We provide the local leader of education induction, training and regional networking events at no cost.
For further information about local leaders of education, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our help desk.
Teaching school and system leader helpdesk
Telephone 0800 085 0984
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, excluding UK bank holidays.