Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills and experience to support individuals or teams in other schools. SLEs have at least two years' experience in a particular field of expertise and a track record of school improvement.

In addition to their role in providing school-to-school support SLEs are involved in many aspects of the teaching school work including:

  • Designing and delivering effective CPD
  • Leading subject development across the Alliance
  • Initial Teacher Training
  • Leading research projects

We are looking to appoint SLE's in the following subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Phonics
  • Literacy
  • SEMH
If you are interested in becoming a SLE please contact Sarah Watson: atsa@castle.somerset.sch.uk

Rebecca Murphy


I am being trained as a Mastery Specialist in Mathematics with the NCETM. I am in cohort 2 and in the second out of three years of the training programme. This will lead to a PD Lead accreditation.

My role as SLE will involve disseminating information about teaching mathematics for mastery across other secondary schools and examining the 5 big ideas. These involve representation, variance, coherence, problem solving and fluency.

I have been lucky enough to have been involved in the Shanghai Exchange. This enabled me to spend 2 weeks in China observing practice in both secondary and primary schools. Castle was one of the eight school chosen to host the Chinese teachers on their return visit which will be happening in January 2019.


Lorraine Clark


Having worked in middle and senior leadership roles for over 25 years I now work solely as a Specialist Leader in Education, having gained the accreditation over 4 years ago. Having spent a long time as a Designated Teacher for Child Protection my main area of expertise is Safeguarding. I have maintained my accreditation and continue to update my knowledge. Within The Castle Partnership I have support DSLs through supervision, offered whole school and governor training and also worked with Governors to carry out inspections in order to support school improvement.

I am happy to support in other aspects of leadership development, especially within the Pastoral sphere.


Polly Matthews


I am currently Acting Headteacher at Court Fields School, within the Castle Partnership Trust, having worked at Middle and Senior Leadership level in a number of schools, in inner city, rural and semi-rural locations. My main areas of expertise as an SLE are Pastoral Systems and Safeguarding, and I have also, though the NPQH programme, had significant experience the development of Pupil Premium systems.  I have worked extensively with external agencies both in Somerset and further afield with regard to the development of early help and safeguarding, and helped to lead the development of the Team around the School model in Somerset. I have significant experience as a Designated Safeguarding Lead, providing training for staff and external agencies on safeguarding and early help. I am keen to support schools and would welcome the opportunity to do so across any of the aforementioned areas.