Specialist Leader of Education


Specialist Leaders of Education are middle and senior leaders established within a school who can offer support within a given area. They have a first class understanding of school development and have a proven track record of achieving high outcomes in schools.


How do I become a SLE?

If you are a middle leader, key stage leader or senior leader and have been in your role for at least two years then you can apply to become a SLE.  Currently we are looking to recruit staff who have a specialism in one or more of the following areas:

Leadership and Management

Academies and Academy Transition; Assessment; Leadership of Continual Professional  Development;  School Business Management and Financial  Management; Leadership of Curriculum

Pupil Achievement

Art; Closing the Gap; Design and Technology; Early Years; English; Geography; History; Information and Communication Technology; Mathematics; Modern Foreign Languages;  Music; Phonics; Physical Education; Personal, Social and Health Education; Religious Education; Science; Special Educational Needs; Support for the Most Able Pupils

Quality of Teaching

Initial Teacher Training and Newly Qualified Teacher Development

Behaviour and Safety

Behaviour and Discipline; Attendance

There are two application rounds per year, one in May/June and the other October/November.  If you feel you could provide a service in one or more of the above areas please complete an application form.

Application guidance


Our Specialist Leaders of Education


Louise Cox - Mathematics and Assessment

I have taught in non-selective schools in Kent for over 25 years. During this time, I have taught mathematics (and statistics) across key stages 3, 4 and 5, achieving consistently outstanding results.  Early in my career, I completed a Masters Degree in Curriculum Development, with a specific focus on raising attainment in mathematics. During my career, I was appointed to the role of Leading Teacher of Mathematics within Kent and also gained accreditation as an Advanced Skills Teacher. These roles enabled me to work with, and support pupils and staff from primary and secondary schools across Kent.  In addition, I have successfully managed two mathematics departments and have also been responsible for whole school outcomes.  

I am currently Deputy Headteacher at Westlands School, overseeing and developing teaching and learning across the school.  As part of this role, I co-ordinate the staff development programme and deliver “The Outstanding Teacher Programme” and NPQML programme.  I am also the Trust Director for Mathematics for all schools within Swale Academies Trust and chair the Swale Academies Trust Teaching and Learning Network meetings for our Kent based schools. 


Alison Williams - RE and PSHE

I have been teaching in Kent for 10 years, across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. During this time my practice has been recognised as outstanding. Over the past 10 years I have had experience as Head of Department for Religious Studies, Personal Social Health Education and A’ level Government and Politics. Over the last two years I have also taught History at KS3 and KS4. In addition I spent a year in a pastoral role as a Learning Leader. 

I am currently an Induction Mentor for NQT’s, I have held this position for two years, working in a whole school capacity as part of the Teaching and Learning Team, with a focus on staff development. I am involved with the development of CPD and support packages for a range of staff along with providing coaching and mentoring to individuals.  Using my experience as a previous head of department, I am able to offer support with schemes of work as well as leading training on behaviour management and identifying CPD opportunities for staff. I have carried out extensive research based practical and theory on ‘creative teaching in the classroom’ to engage pupils. This research extended my own personal development, I have completed active research on behaviour for learning which focused on boy’s achievement in the classroom, gaining a Masters Degree which was completed in January 2017. I am also completing the NPQML programme.


Kate Williams - Mathematics

I am a newly appointed Deputy Headteacher at Meopham School. From 2013-2018 I have been the Head of Mathematics at The North School, Ashford. In that time the school has come from special measures to becoming one of the most improved schools in Kent. The maths department has shown huge progress in results and progress, and has maintained its’ success into the 9-1 grading system. I have led a strong mathematics team at The North School and my practice as a subject leader is used as an example across the school and trust. From 2016-2018 I have spent some of my time each week supporting and advising the maths & science departments at Community College Whitstable and the mathematics department at The Causeway School and The Eastbourne Academy. In this capacity my role was varied; initiating strategies to improve teaching & learning, delivering interventions & CPD, developing middle leaders and undertaking reviews & monitoring processes. The impact in these schools has been seen both in results and in the quality of the teaching & learning. My specialisms lie in the improvement of progress, especially in ks4 as well as supporting the development of subject leaders, through strategic planning and accountability measures.


Samir Shah - Mathematics

I came into the profession to make a positive impact on children’s learning, increase their desire to learn and enable them to become independent lifelong learners. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed working with colleagues to improve on best practices and reflect on my own. I feel I have a variety of skills, which can be shared and further developed by working alongside others. I have been teaching mathematics in the Swale Academies Trust for over 10 years.

During this time, I have taught across all secondary age groups but significant amount of my time has been spent raising pupils’ attainment at ks4 and ks5. My practice has consistently been recognised as outstanding, which led to my appointment as a Lead Practitioner in the first few years within the Trust. I have also featured on the ‘Meridian TV’ to highlight the best practices in outstanding academies. I have experience of leading change, training, modelling good practices as well as coaching individuals and mentoring teams, which have ranged from trainee teachers to subject leaders. This has been pivotal in developing the potential of all colleagues. 

In my first year as a Vice Principal of the Sixth Form community at my current school, the Sittingbourne Community College, I raised the academic performance of the level 3 course at AS and A2 level. I also supported the whole school data team with strategic decision-making and in making sure that the use data across the school is effective. I then moved to the mathematics department, where, working with the subject leader, I ensured that the leadership and the vision of the department is such that draws nothing but the best of the students in this very important subject. Our collaborative efforts saw the department achieve the best possible GCSE results under the alphabetical grading system and the school is on course to achieve similar milestone under the new and more demanding numerical grading system.


Debbie Moore - English

I am currently second in Faculty and Head of Key Stage 4 and 5 at The North School.  I have worked in this school during ‘Special Measures’ and its journey to ‘Good’ and I understand how to improve and robustly evidence this progress in an English Faculty. I coordinate and resource the two GCSEs of English Literature and English Language and the A-Levels of English Literature and Media Studies. As an SLE I have skills that can help to move an English Department forward, I specialise in coaching which I have led as a whole school initiative. My pedagogical understanding is research driven and many of the ideas implemented in our English Faculty come from the most up to date educational ideas. I have worked in other schools as an SLE to help with the development of a new department and at my own school to help restructure our existing department.

In summary, as an SLE for English I bring the skill of coaching, organisation, resourcing and strategy.


Glenn Prebble - Behaviour, Personal Development and Attendance

I am currently a Deputy Headteacher at The North School with responsibility for Teaching, Learning and Engagement.

My areas of expertise as an SLE are Personal Development, Behaviour and Attendance although my skills are extremely diverse and transferable to other portfolios of school leadership. I work diligently to ensure that the schools I support are left with sustainable systems which can be managed effectively and efficiently by the senior leaders I coach and support.  I have worked in 5 senior leadership teams across Swale Academies Trust schools in various leadership capacities and have supported significant improvements in three of our more recent additions to the Trust. I have supported in other Trust schools across both Kent and East Sussex as part of my SLE role and also have experience in leading whole school reviews.  I am passionate about school improvement and have experienced working in an outstanding educational setting at The Westlands School. My experiences throughout my teaching career have inspired me to support schools to achieve sustainable improvement within their own unique context by combining emotionally intelligence with robust accountability to ensure stability.


Mark Dawson - Computing, E-Safety and Digital Literacy

I have been the Lead Computing Teacher for Langney Primary School since 2014, and have nearly ten years’ experience as an ICT coordinator prior to this.  During my time as a Lead Computing Teacher, I have focused on transforming the primary computing curriculum and the way in which digital technology can enhance teaching and learning.  I have championed using G Suite in Education, the use of one-to one tablets to enhance engagement and have providing training for staff at several schools in using digital tools.  The digital vision developed at Langney Primary has led to the school achieving both the ICT Mark Accreditation and the 360 E-Safety Mark Accreditation.   

With the skills and knowledge gained through my experiences, I have consulted on a number of digital projects, to include digital resourcing, improving electronic safety, facilitating G Suite setups, promoting the capture of pupil’s work in digital form and coaching staff on using digital tools. 

I am currently working with two secondary schools on improving pupil engagement in Year 7/8 Computing as well as designing a more efficient transition process between the primary and secondary Computing Curriculum.  I am additionally facilitating the introduction of a bespoke Computing Curriculum in three neighbouring schools for Years 1 to 6.


Kaye Sapp - Mathematics and Science 

I have been teaching in secondary schools for 19 years.  I have taught science across all key stages and mathematics to key stage 4.  I have successfully led both science and mathematics departments through many curriculum changes, whilst maintaining improvements in pupil outcomes.  I currently lead a highly successful mathematics team as an Assistant Headteacher, gaining outstanding GCSE results. 

I have recently completed a Master’s Degree in School Improvement which incorporated action research in a variety of areas within teaching and learning and involved leading staff training across the Trust.  I have also supported new subject leaders in a variety of subject areas to build their confidence and expand their leadership capacity.  I have also coached teachers with a range of experience from newly qualified teachers to teachers aspiring to become outstanding in the classroom.


Fred Banks - Curriculum

I am currently an Assistant Headteacher at James Dixon Primary School.  I have been teaching for eight years and have worked across all key stages.  I have lead large phase teams, been an NQT mentor and at present am leading on the Creative Curriculum, with a LOtC drive. I have taken my school on a journey from an ‘idea’ of having a creative, contextual curriculum with an LOtC focus to a Gold accredited LOtC school. 

In that time I have developed an experience driven curriculum, inspired by my passion for Forest School Learning, which aims to excite, engage and inspire children through memorable, purposeful and contextualised learning experiences. Throughout this time I have delivered INSET days, CPD, NQT training and tailored individual support to inspire, support and enthuse teachers in delivering their Creative Curriculum.    

I work in partnership with FSLI Forest School Training to train and support teachers to deliver Forest School in their settings and work with outdoor learning charities, such as Wide Horizons, on their development of curriculum programs to support class teaching. 

Over the last year I have worked with Middle and Senior Leaders to bring LOtC into their teaching and learning with aims to not only support children with day to day learning, but also support children with attendance and behaviour concerns. In addition to this supporting schools that want to revamp their curriculums through collaborative support of their leaders through coaching, looking at their vision and helping find the route to get there.

I believe every child should have the best opportunities to learn and through a curriculum of engagement and context that can be achieved in a way that suits all schools.


Bethany Arculus-Pennells - Continued Professional Development

I am currently an Assistant Headteacher at The Sittingbourne Community College with responsibilities for continued professional development, coaching and induction. As part of this role, I co-ordinate the staff development programmes as well as delivering a dynamic and innovative range of training sessions. I implement and lead a successful range of coaching and mentoring programmes which focus on developing all staff to the best of their abilities.

My coordination of the induction across the school, of all new staff and trainee teachers, allows me to work closely with NQT, School Direct and Teach First professional mentors, ensuring that their CPD provisions and mentoring is of the highest standard. Previously, I had a background in business and this gave me an insight into leadership and management styles, which I believe helps me in this process.

Presently, I work within the Teaching and Learning team to develop new initiatives and strategies to improve and sustain improvement in outcomes. I am responsible for overseeing and working with the Art and Technology departments within my school, as well as leading the Food Technology department, all of which I am pleased to say have made significant improvements in teaching and learning as well as outcomes.

My practice has also consistently been recognised as outstanding, by both Ofsted and internal and external observations. This has led me to work in a range of different departments such as Science, Art, Food Technology, Design Technology and SEN. My focus when working in different departments has been on developing staff, building confidence, and raising expectations. I have also worked as the professional mentor for PGCE students and have mentored and collaborated with various trainee teachers who have gone on to be very successful in their careers. I am fortunate to work with a wide range of colleagues within the Swale Academies Trust, delivering CPD and working within different departments.


Vicky Wrighton - English

I have been teaching for 18 years and have a wealth of experience in both the pastoral and curriculum fields of education. For the last 3 years, I have been the Director of English in which I have led the department to become the highest performing English department in the Trust. My key passion is to drive and motivate pupils and staff to ensure the highest standards and outcomes are achieved. I have helping develop middle leaders, coach and mentor staff as well as lead subject specific initiatives (such as the Lead Lesson) to improve outcomes in GCSE English Literature.  In addition, I have participated in Trust reviews for schools in East Sussex in which I fed back to the Senior Leadership Teams about the quality of teaching and learning, assessment in books (with a key focus on disadvantaged pupils) and pupil voice at Key Stage 3.

I have organised and led the Trust English network group, as well as work collaboratively with other English departments within the Gravesham area. More recently I presented at the PiXL Main Meeting on the strategies we have used in order to raise standards in GCSE English at Meopham School.