Specialist Leaders of Education

Specialist leaders of education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools. This ‘outreach’ work typically involves providing other leaders with coaching or facilitation support, to help them develop. SLEs have a specific area of expertise.

To apply for an SLE to support your school please download the application form and return to Carl Vernalls at etsa@tidemillacademy.org.

Please read the profiles of our current SLE's:

David Petty | SLE for Behaviour, Designated Safeguarding Officer and Deputy Head Teacher at Tidemill Academy


I have over fifteen years’ experience in London primary schools from EYFS to Year 6.
Contact me to develop behaviour for learning by implementing behaviour policy, tracking and improving behaviour over time and encouraging community participation. I have specific experience of establishing an inclusion task group and developing curriculum enrichment.




Katy Dolling | Area of Expertise: Behaviour and Pastoral Care


About: I have been teaching for 14 years with the majority of time spent in Key stage 1.  I have also taught in early years and key Stage 2.

I have been teaching for 14 years with the majority of time spent in Key stage 1. I have also taught in Early Years and Key Stage 2.

I am currently Assistant Head at Aerodrome Academy where I successfully lead the Key Stage 1 team as well as PSHE and Behaviour. Prior to this, I led the Pastoral team at my previous school, achieving an outstanding judgement from Ofsted.

I work closely with the learning mentor / behaviour TA at school and meet regularly with the whole pastoral team. This is to monitor and address any behaviour and discipline issues, to then enable the school to implement support where necessary. I am able to support with setting up behaviour system and can help support and monitor existing behaviour systems.

Carl Vernalls | Area(s) of Expertise: Early Years Foundation Stage and Initial Teacher Training


I have been working in education for over 10 years with the majority of time spent in the EYFS (Nursery and Reception) but have also taught in Key Stages 1&2 with prior experience as a teaching assistant in Years 1 and 5.

I have successfully led the EYFS Phase team at Tidemill Academy and have introduced many new initiatives including; assessment and tracking systems, an electronic observation system and run bespoke training for my team in identified areas. I also lead on transition from Reception to Year 1 ensuring that children have the smoothest transition as possible into their new curriculum. I have helped support a number of schools across England with developing their EYFS environments, assessments and joint observations, modelling feedback.

I currently lead the Endeavour Teaching School Alliance and have helped set up the School Direct programme including the development of a training programme for students on top of their university training. I have also co-developed two successful training programmes which have had excellent feedback. These are an NQT programme which is in its third year of running and has helped train over 40 NQTs and Towards Excellence Phase 1 to help develop RI teachers to good and better. Details of these programmes can be found on the Endeavour Teaching School Alliance www.endeavourtsa.org

I have also helped mentor a number of PGCE and NQT’s through their development into becoming successful teachers. Please contact me for support in the EYFS and with Initial Teacher Training.

Tanya Irvine | Area(s) of Expertise: PE


PE is my passion as well as my area of expertise. I am a qualified PE teacher, experienced SSCO and led an award winning School Sports Partnership for a number of years.

High Quality PE and school sport (PESS) has the power to transform the lives of every child in your school and national research and my work supporting schools and staff has proven how powerful, effective and important PESS is. High quality PESS impacts across the whole school, driving, improving and increasing attainment, achievement, aspirations and behaviour and developing healthy active children.

National research completed at Hillyfield is showing huge impact across a number of areas (fitness, cognitive abilities, attitude to activity, self-esteem etc). Please contact me in regards to supporting Physical Education in your school, including setting up assessment systems, monitoring and modelling sessions as well as supporting the set-up of PESS in your school.

Amelia Swan | Area(s) of Expertise: Phonics & KS1


I have 7 years of experience successfully leading phonics at my school, and more recently spelling, as well as leading a new team of teachers in KS1 for nearly two years. Although my phonics teaching has been observed by many teachers attending the Outstanding and Improving Teacher programmes facilitated at Tidemill, I have also shared best general classroom practice in a Year 1 class in my SLE outreach work. I am also involved in training Teach First, School Direct & PGCE students in phonics & early reading. Through coaching and mentoring, I can help teachers identify targets for their development and strategies to achieve these targets.




Fiona Chapman | Area(s) of Expertise: Maths


Specialism- enabling teams to turnaround the teaching of maths to ensure the best outcomes for pupils. Challenge thinking, policy and practice to empower staff to lead change themselves thus reinvigorating maths learning. I am able to support schools in monitoring their maths teaching, setting up schemes of work and planning.






Amy Herbert | Area(s) of Expertise: SEN


Currently I am the SENCO at Tidemill Academy and I also work as an SEN SLE. I can support schools with setting up systems such as provision mapping, data analysis, tracking and pupil progress.

I can also support schools with more specific aspects of SEN for example supporting groups/children through interventions and 1:1 support. I have also supported schools with applying for EHCP’S and advising on referrals. I can advise on specific support and interventions for children who need more tailored approach for example ASD.


How can I become SLE?

To become an SLE, you need to be an outstanding middle or senior school leader with a particular area of expertise. You must have the capacity, skills and commitment to support others in similar positions in other schools. Your own Headteacher must be happy for you to undertake outreach work.

If you are interested in finding out more about the role of an SLE please visit the DfE website or, if you would like to know what areas the Endeavour Teaching School Alliance will be recruiting for next, please email Carl Vernalls at etsa@tidemillacademy.org

Outstanding teachers

If the support you are looking for is not covered by our SLE at the moment, you may wish to contact us to discuss commissioning other support. We have an array of outstanding teachers in a vareity of areas across the alliance and if you would like support please contact Carl Vernalls at endeavour teaching school on 0208 692 3470 or etsa@tidemillacademy.org.

National Leaders of Education (NLEs)

NLEs are outstanding Headteachers or principals designated by the National College. Together with staff in their schools (designated National Support Schools), they use their skills and experience to support schools requiring assistance. In addition to leading their own schools, NLEs may work to increase the leadership capacity of other schools to help raise standards.

If you are interested in support from an NLE please contact the Endeavour teaching school.