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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Rosebank, West Street, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 7RT
Tel. 01372 727850

How to become a NLE

If you are selected as an NLE, your school will become a national support school (NSS). This is to recognise the fact that your staff are likely to work alongside you in any support you may provide.

To become an NLE, you and your school need to meet very specific criteria. You need to have:

  • a track record of strong school leadership with at least 3 years headship experience
  • a track record of providing effective school-to-school support which has led to improved outcomes for pupils over a sustained period
  • the full support from the school’s governing body and a reference from a commissioner of school-to-school support

For your school to qualify as an NSS, it must:

  • be judged to be at least good by Ofsted
  • demonstrate sustained high pupil performance and progress over the last 3 years
  • have the capacity to support schools in challenging circumstances to improve

What do NLEs do?
NLEs usually work with schools identified as being in need of significant improvement by the Department for Education, Ofsted, a teaching school, a regional schools commissioner, local authority or diocese. Your work would be tailored to the needs of the supported school. You can get involved in different ways, including:

  • working alongside their staff
  • working alone
  • your staff providing support under your initial direction

NLEs and/or their NSS staff are expected to have a placement at least once over the course of a year, supporting a headteacher and their school. The length and type of work can vary significantly. It could involve up to 3 to 4 days of support per week for 2 years or more.

The National College of Teaching and Learning provides an annual bursary that can be used to cover the costs of the NSS, such as:

  • travel or supply cover for meetings and training events
  • travel to an initial meeting to discuss a potential placement
  • the cost of recruiting additional staff to increase capacity in the school

You would be responsible, on behalf of your school, for negotiating appropriate funding for placements. It is up to your governing body to decide whether you or other staff are rewarded financially for your individual work in a placement.

All new NLEs will attend a free induction workshop. You will also be invited to join local leadership groups where you can share experiences and advice. If you have an interest in challenging yourself further, you can offer extra support to schools, including:

An application window will open in Autumn 2017 with national priorities and target areas. For more information, please contact