School to School Support - S2SS
Leadership and System leaders
System leaders work beyond their own school or setting, and can be senior or middle leaders in schools or other expert practitioners. Their work might include:
- Sharing successful practice with colleagues in other schools
- Providing coaching in a specialist area
- A formal deployment to support a school in challenging circumstances
There are a number of system leader roles that are designated by NCTL or teaching schools:
National Leaders of Education (NLE) - outstanding Headteachers who, together with their national support school, work with schools in challenging circumstances
National Leaders of Governance (NLG) - highly effective Chairs of Governors who use their skills and experience to support chairs in other schools and improve the quality of governance
Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) - experienced middle or senior leaders with a specialism, who work to develop other leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools
Waltham Forest GREEN Teaching School Alliance has just held a round of interviews to appoint its first cohort of Specialist Leaders of Education, the results will be posted onto the website in due course.
Increasingly, school-to-school-support is coordinated by a teaching school, as they can draw upon a range of system leaders and partners to provide a comprehensive support package individually tailored to the school in need of support. There is usually a cost for system leader support, which is negotiated between the receiver of support and the system leader or their school. There are also specific funds that teaching schools can apply for to help groups of schools or a specific locality, such as the Strategic School Improvement Fund.
Gillian Barker, Chair of Governors WSfG, National Leader of Governance
An NLG since 2016, Gillian has over 20 years’ experience as a school governor. She is currently chair of governors at Walthamstow School for Girls secondary school and vice-chair of George Tomlinson Primary, Leytonstone - both LA-maintained schools.’ Since becoming an NLG, Gillian has supported both primary and secondary schools in Waltham Forest and has chaired staffing and finance committees and served on selection panels for two successive Headteachers, as well as deputy/assistant Headteacher appointments. As a governor, she has made good use of the management experience gained when she worked previously as a head of marketing at various law firms in the City of London. She has a degree in English and a Master’s degree in business.