The next round of NLE applications will be open to CEO MAT leads


National leaders of education (NLEs) are strong school leaders, who have experience of effectively supporting schools in challenging circumstances. NLEs work alongside teaching schools and other system leaders to provide high quality support to those who need it most.

If you meet the current eligibility criteria you might want to apply to become a national leader of education. The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has now introduced a more sophisticated and balanced approach to designating system leaders – one which relies less heavily on Ofsted judgements and more on timely and accurate data, and the skills and track record of those applying.

Together these improvements will help to ensure that more of the most effective school leaders and schools are able to provide high quality support, especially in areas of the country where this support is most needed.

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

You can find out more about becoming an NLE here