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Specialist Leader of Education

We have a number of Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) who can support your school on both a strategic and practical level for a day visit or for a longer period. SLE deployments can offer school improvement opportunities and peer to peer support.

Interested in becoming an SLE?

We are looking for SLE’s with a specialism in EYFS/KS1. Expertise in a particular curriculum area would be an advantage.

  • You will need successful leadership experience in your own school and others
  • A passion for developing strong Early Years/KS1 practice for every child
  • Strong communication skills to grow leadership capacity in others

What is an SLE?

SLEs support individual leaders and teams in schools by coaching or facilitation, drawing on their knowledge and expertise in their specialist area. The aim of SLEs is to contribute significantly to improving the outcomes for children. SLEs will support high quality professional development of leaders.

What our SLEs can offer

  • Individual coaching on site.
  • Organise and coordinate groups of colleagues e.g. Lesson Study.
  • Specific training programmes.
  • Invitations to your school to share practice.
  • Moderate and support department reviews.
  • Support with marking, moderation and assessment.
  • Developing schemes of learning and curriculum

We have an experienced SLE team who can help you develop your own school’s practice.

Lucy Parker

Lucy ParkerLucy has worked in early years for many years and currently teaches at Ludwick Nursery School. She has taught nursery and reception classes in both Primary and Nursery schools. She has supported teams in developing indoor and outdoor environments, offering support with routines, planning and assessment and engaging parents.

We have recently recruited new SLEs for Acorns TSA who are also available to support you and your team.

Sally Laflin

Sally LaflinSally has been teaching since 1998, and has worked across the primary phase. She has been working in the foundation stage since 2004 and as a senco since 2006. She has been part of the team at Ludwick nursery school since 2011. She works as part of an outreach team called shooting stars which supports early years settings develop their Speech and language provision. Her specialism is special educational needs with a focus on speech and language.

Ria Haley

Ria is the Co-ordinator for Acorns Teaching School Alliance. She has worked at Ludwick Nursery School for 14 years with many different roles across the centre. More recently Ria has become a qualified Teacher, she is also a tutor and Assessor in Early Years. Ria has completed an NPQICL.

Ria enjoys working with many different partners and organisations to ensure the services and provision that children and their families access is of high quality and enable children’s learning and development. Ria is passionate about supporting and mentoring members of the early years workforce. Assisting professionals to engage in their own learning and development, building upon their existing skills and knowledge which contributes to improving outcomes for children.

Tracey Jackson

Tracey currently teaches at Birchwood Nursery School, she has supported teams in primary schools to develop their early years provision. She has lead workshops including den building and wood work.


Ben Reader

Ben Reader

Ben is an assistant head at Woolenwick infant school in Stevenage. His specialisms include Music , Art (philosophy and storytelling) and computing. Ben also has experience with Reggio Emilia environments and mentoring.

Charlotte Morgan

CharlotteCharlotte has taught and led across the early years and key stage 1 for 8 years and is currently a lead nursery teacher at Kingswood Early Years Centre. Charlotte is a qualified level 3 Forest School leader and have led Forest School across the 2-11 age range. She is passionate about learning through real life experiences, outdoor learning, mentoring colleagues and engaging parents. As well as supporting with those areas she can also advise on developing teams, creating inspiring indoor and outdoor environments, planning systems and assessment.

Claire Cobain

Claire CobainClaire has been teaching for 16 years starting her career in a large 3 form entry primary school in North London where she taught mainly in Reception and nursery, but has experience in Key Stage 1 and Year 3. Claire became a Foundation Stage leader early in her career and this soon became her passion. She now holds a senior role at Arlesdene Nursery School and Pre-school in Cheshunt where she has extended her leadership skills through leading a team of 10 early years’ practitioners. Her specialist areas are Early Years, particularly in developing planning, assessment and analysis of data and ensuring enabling environments for all children. Claire also specialises in supporting young children with additional needs.

Sarah Hedges

Sarah Hedges

Sarah qualified as a teacher in 1994 and has worked in Primary Schools across all key stages. She has had experience as subject and phase leader, with a particular wealth of expertise in the Early Years where she has been EYFS leader. Sarah is currently the Deputy Head of an outstanding Nursery in an Early Years Centre.

Sarah leads on teaching and learning throughout the school and has developed and embedded assessment across the centre, working closely with the Children Centres and 2 and 3 years old provision. She has a passion for children learning through high quality child initiated play and has supported staff to develop the continuous provision in the indoor and outdoor environment. Sarah works closely with local schools to develop continuity through assessment and sharing of best practise. As part of the Acorns Teaching School she has delivered training and workshops.

Tom Robinson

Tom has spent his career thus far as a KS1 teacher at Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage. His specialisms are Forest School (qualified Level 3 leader) and Physical Education. For the past 2 years Tom has lead Forest School across KS1 and has been PE Subject Leader for the past 3 years. He has mentored 2 Sports Apprentices and has enjoyed running various Forest School Staff Training sessions. Tom also had experience with Reggio Emilia environments, storytelling and music.

Debbie Penwill

Diane Campkin

Diane is the Early Years Lead at Wormley Primary School, teaching in Reception. She was part of the team that achieved the Herts Quality Mark and as part of the award was responsible for developing outdoor interactions. Diane has also has a specialist interest in maths and has had an article published about developing maths in the Early Years in an EY Journal. As a tutor on the HertsCam Teacher Led Development Work project, Diane is experienced in working with staff to develop their leadership potential and effect positive change. She is currently working on an MEd focusing on language development in the Early Years.

Laura Pezeshkpour

Laura is the Deputy Head at Woolenwick Infants and Nursery School. She has many years of expertise, teaching Reception children and leading a very successful team within Early Years.

She is passionate about supporting all children to learn and develop to their full potential; Learning, Growing and Achieving together.

Her specialisms include Early Years education and Assessment.

Sue Duglan

Sue teaches at Ludwick Nursery School and has an extensive EYFS background.

Sue has a passion for outdoor learning and physical development. She can offer practical support on transforming outdoor spaces and assist staff to promote quality learning provision and experiences in the outdoor environment. Sue has delivered training and workshops as part of the Acorns Teaching School.

If you are interested in gaining accreditation as a Leading Early Years Educator, please contact us.