Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)
We have five Specialist Leaders of Education across the LEAP federation of schools. SLEs are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practise looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders to achieve it in their own context.
The role of the SLE was created to help raise standards and improve the quality of school leadership through school-to-school support and peer-to-peer learning. The designation of SLEs recognises the importance of the role that senior and middle leaders have to play in improving outcomes for our children.
SLEs act as ‘system leaders’ and are trained to be successful through a high-level coaching or facilitation approach that draws on their own personal knowledge and expertise in that area. This may involve a variety of support approaches including diagnostic models and one-to-one or group support. Regardless of the type of support delivered, the ultimate aim of the SLE is to contribute significantly to improving outcomes for children through developing capacity of peer leaders in other schools.
The coaching approach of an SLE to their support means that any development will be collaborative which will assure long-term, sustainable improvement by helping these in-school leaders to develop their own leadership capacity.
Katherine Turley - Specialism: PRIMARY HISTORY
Katherine is the History lead for the LEAP Federation. Katherine works with LEAP leaders to successfully implement and embed the updated curriculum across the federation. The LEAP History curriculum has been handwritten by Katherine and reflects the communities we serve. Katherine studied the humanities at university and takes a keen interest in the subjects in her personal life. She recently secured a Gold Standard for the Historical Association's Quality Mark for all three LEAP schools. Katherine is also an Assistant Headteacher at Mandeville School.
Katherine has expertise in:
Writing and developing humanities curriculum
Developing and improving ways of teaching the enquiry based process
Ensuring the curriculum is reflective of society, so is diverse and representative
Working with struggling teachers to develop their subject knowledge and teaching skills
Developing and improving way of teaching chronology, from EYFS to KS2
Humanities planning with students and TAPP students
Monitoring books and delivering feedback
Helping plan and deliver staff meetings for both history and geography
Janne Cornish - Specialism: PRIMARY ENGLISH
Janne is the Leader of Learning for English across the LEAP federation. She was previously the English lead at Kingsmead Primary, where she has been teaching for over 20 years. Part of Janne's role is to support classroom teachers in all aspects of literacy teaching and is instrumental in maintaining accurate and consistent literacy assessment across the whole federation. Janne's has an interest in applying assessment to plan for effective targeted teaching in English; to plan for progress. Janne is Reading Recovery trained and specialises in planning literacy interventions.
Sarah Betney - Specialism: PRIMARY MATHS
Sarah Betney is a maths specialist with over fifteen years’ experience of working in schools in Hackney. She is a qualified ‘Numbers Count’ teacher who is currently the LEAP's Maths Lead and Assistant Headteacher at Kingsmead School. She has led the maths team at Kingsmead through two Ofsted inspections, the last resulting in a grade of ‘Outstanding’ for the school. Sarah has provided maths training to NQTs, teachers and trainee teacher across a number of the alliance schools. She has also played a key role in creating a scheme of work and assessment materials for the new curriculum for KS1 and KS2.
Lucy Michael - Specialism: EARLY YEARS
Lucy is an Early Years practitioner with over twenty years of working with young children in various educational settings. Lucy led the Early Years team at Kingsmead through a very successful Ofsted and achieved ‘Outstanding’ grades for all areas of EY practise.
Lucy has supported other Early Years leads in many areas including:
developing and improving their settings in a range of ways including new assessment and tracking systems to meet the demands of the curriculum
developing outdoor learning
improving the on-entry assessments for nursery aged children
managing and turning around reluctant staff
creating creative learning environments
creating and monitoring support plans and modelling best practise
Lisa Clarke - Specialism: ITT PRIMARY
Over the past twelve years, Lisa has successfully mentored a wide number of trainee teachers studying a range of teaching courses, such as BA, BEd, PGCE, GTP and SCITT. Lisa has worked with many HEIs: The University of Cumbria, London Metropolitan, The University of East London, The University of Gloucester and The Institute of Education. In her role as mentor she has supported colleagues through the use of clear support plans and has used the IRIS Connect web-based CPD to move new trainees on.
Lisa leads on the LEAP federation's successful Initial Teacher Training programme. She is also Deputy Headteacher at Gayhurst Community School.
If you are interested in SLE support for your school please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your enquiry or visit the Hackney Teaching Schools Alliance website
HTSA Professional Pathway
In collaboration with the Hackney Teaching & Schools' Alliance, the LEAP Federation can offer a range of professional development opportunities within a nurturing and committed community of Hackney schools, from initial teacher training to senior leadership, supporting and developing teachers at every level via a comprehensive range of courses delivered by a network of committed experts.
To find out more about the various professional development opportunities please visit
Learn — Hackney Teaching & Schools' Alliance (hackneytsa.org.uk)