Applications now OPEN

Closing date : 22nd November 2019

The SLE role aims to help to improve the quality of school leadership through school-to-school support, ultimately raising standards and improving outcomes for children.

SLEs are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals and/or teams in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of expertise looks like, and are skilled in helping other leaders to achieve it in their own context.

SLEs focus on developing leadership capacity. While other roles (e.g. advanced skills teachers) focused on developing classroom expertise, this role is about developing other leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools. This may be done through one-to-one or group support and could involve a variety of activities.

Teaching Schools are responsible for the designation and deployment of SLEs. They must maintain a strategic overview of all SLE activity, and its impact, and are responsible for reporting this to the Department For Education

To apply, please complete the application form and return to by 22nd November 2019


Learners First is a DFE accredited provider of the reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) at all four levels. Therefore, as well as the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML), the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL), and the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), Learners First now offers the new National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL).

National Professional Qualification Applications

Applications for our NPQ programmes commencing in the Spring Term 2020 are now open. Closing date for all programmes is 30th November 2019.

For further details including application forms for each of the NPQ programmes please refer to the specific level of NPQ that you are interested in.

** Please note that on 01st November, the DfE announced that they are unable to guarantee scholarship funding for NPQs starting in 2020. **



Supporting the Subject Leader


Shedding light on subject leadership in the current climate

From September 2019, an Ofsted inspection will include at least one ‘Deep Dive’ into a Foundation Subject area. This means that subject leaders will not only have to be able to evidence how their curriculum area is planned, implemented and monitored, they will also have to be able to take part in the school inspection by presenting this information to the inspector.

Learners First is excited to introduce its new Curriculum Development Programme, ‘The Principles of Teaching: Supporting the Subject Leader’. Designed by National and Specialist Leaders of Education around Ofsted’s recent inspection framework update, this series of our own ‘deep dives’ is suitable for those who have responsibility for leading a subject area in primary education.

A three session programme held on:

04th October 2019, 22nd October 2019 & 05th November 2019

9.30am – 3.30pm (Registration from 9.00am)
Venue: Cranworth Road Campus (Clifton Community School site, Cranworth Road,
Rotherham. S65 1LN )

COST: Fully funded for delegates from schools and academies subscribing to Learners First. (£150 per person for delegates from non-subscribing schools and academies.)

BOOK A PLACE: To reserve a place please email your name, school and contact details to:


Learners First Subscription 2019-20

Details of the Learners First Subscription offer for 2019-20 is included in the attached document.

As you will see, in addition to provision that has been included in the offer for a number of years (NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH, NPQEL, School Direct ITT, support staff programmes, governor and clerk development, Level 4/5 leadership opportunities for Heads/CEOs, etc) the 2019-20 offer has been enhanced with many new areas. Collectively, these are designed to provide a comprehensive range of opportunities for school leaders, teachers and aspirant teachers, support staff and governors which reflect current and emerging priorities. Some of the new and more recently added opportunities include:

  • The Principles of Teaching CPD Programme (linked to the new Ofsted framework) – All schools
  • The Oracy Pioneers Programme (facilitated by Voice 21 as part of the dissemination of learning and best practice from the 2018-19 DfE SSIF work) – All schools
  • Subscription to The Key – All schools
  • Enhanced provision linked to literacy and phonics (building on the work of the recently designated DfE English Hub and Letters & Sounds accredited training centre within the Learners First partnership) – Primary Phase
  • MAT Board Development Programme and Due Diligence Support (through the use of ‘Professional Partners’ and the recently developed ‘Balanced Scorecard’)
  • Funded Internships for Maths and Physics – Secondary schools
  • New themes for the Level 4 and 5 leadership seminars and workshops as well as follow up sessions connected to seminars delivered in 2018-19 (including    work with a number of high profile keynote speakers) – All schools
  • A revised NQT Development Programme, Early Professional Development Opportunities and NQT Appropriate Body – All schools
  • A cross phase commissioned Curriculum Design Research project – All schools

Please refer to the subscription brochure attached for full details of the subscription offer. If you wish to discuss anything specific please contact a member of the Learners First team.

tel: 01709-267021

DfE logo

National English Hubs

Following the announcement from the Secretary of State for Education, Learners First is delighted and extremely proud that one of the lead Teaching Schools within the alliance has been accredited as one of only 32 new national English Hubs! English Hubs will have a particular focus on improving early language and literacy teaching, including in reception. The Hubs have been chosen by the Department for Education (DfE) through a competitive process against strict criteria and were required to demonstrate a proven track record of excellent phonics teaching and pupil outcomes over a sustained period of time.

The English Hubs have been tasked with sharing best practice and teaching techniques with the aim of building networks of excellent phonics teaching in every region. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with other schools and leaders to a play a key role in shaping this work and contributing to the development of the local and national English Hub network.

For further information please contact the English Hub Lead, Liz Kenny (

Interested in a career in teaching?

School Direct – Initial Teacher Training

In the classroom

Learners First is an accredited provider of the School Direct teacher training programme and offers high quality school-based training in early years, primary and secondary schools. Our training programmes give you the opportunity to ‘learn on the job’ alongside outstanding school leaders as well as achieving a PGCE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Trainees are supported every step of the way and through the professional networks and the wider Leadership Curriculum, employment, career progression and professional development opportunities are plentiful with Learners First.

Teaching is a hugely fulfilling career and Learners First Schools Partnership has an amazing track record of recruiting, developing and employing high quality trainee teachers across South Yorkshire.  As a trainee you could be eligible for a bursary of up to £30,000 and there may be opportunities for you to earn while you train through the salaried routes.

You could be on your way to an exciting career in teaching sooner than you think with fantastic training and enhanced employment opportunities with Learners First Schools Partnership. We are currently recruiting the future generation of outstanding trainee teachers to our early years, primary and secondary programmes and would welcome a conversation if you would like to find out more or how to apply.

If you have the drive, passion and commitment, we have the professionals and programme to support you on your journey to becoming an outstanding teacher!

Contact Ben Ellis for further information:

Primary Teacher

Find postgraduate teacher training courses in England

A service to help graduates find the most relevant postgraduate teacher training courses.

Use this service if you’re a graduate and you plan to train to teach in a state primary or secondary school in England. You can search courses by location, provider and subject.

When you’ve chosen a course or courses, you’ll be redirected to UCAS to complete your application.

Learners First – an inclusive teaching school partnership

Learners First is an inclusive teaching school partnership of over 200 schools from all phases. Established in August 2012 Learners First is a not-for profit company whose main focus is to build excellence and address underperformance in equal measure through system-led school improvement and leadership development. The principle objective is to better deliver the mission in a greater number of schools and settings. Learners First aims to achieve this through investment in three core interdependent areas of work:

  • Leadership development and transformation
  • System-led school to school support
  • Governance and governor development

The education landscape is changing significantly with schools and school leaders at the heart of these changes. Whilst recent reforms present many fantastic opportunities for collaboration, innovation and school-led improvement, it can also be quite a daunting prospect for schools and their leaders, particularly at a time of austerity and with fewer resources at their disposal. However, Learners First is well placed to support and make a significant contribution to the maturity and effectiveness of a school-led system. Far from creating a dependency culture, Learners First is able to support schools, academies and MATs to lead their own improvement by providing and brokering additional capacity and school expertise.

To discuss your requirements please contact us:-

Tel. 01709-267021

Governor Development Programme


Effective governance has always been crucial to the success of schools and academies but never more so than now when governance features so decisively in the current Ofsted Framework. Our Governor Development continues to be a core area of work for Learners First.

School-to-School Support


Learners First’s approach to school-to-school support is dynamic and innovative. Any support that is provided, brokered or commissioned by Learners First is designed to be bespoke and tailored to meet the needs of the identified school(s) to maximise its impact.

For details of our programmes and events please follow the link below.

Support Staff Development Programme


This programme aims to support colleagues currently employed in Support Staff roles in school to make the transition into teaching. The programme has been designed and will be delivered by a range of Specialist Leaders of Education and serving school leaders from a variety of schools, contexts and phases.

For further details follow the link below.



Schools and Academies

have accessed Learners First programmes


specialist leaders of education (sle)

have been designated and are available for deployment through Learners First


middle and senior leaders and aspirant headteachers

have accessed the nationally accredited, NPQ licensed leadership programmes through Learners First since 2012


serving school leaders

contributed to the design and delivery of leadership programmes

See what our course delegates say

Thank you to Learners First, NPQH was a superb programme and I really enjoyed every minute of it. Huge praise to all leaders involved in delivery of the programme.

Mark Allen, Vice Principal, The Dearne ALC, Barnsley

Heatherwood’s Primary Phase Leader has just completed the NPQSL qualification with yourselves and the impact has been fantastic; with regards to both her personal growth and professional development.

Kind regards
Lisa Suter

Heatherwood School, Doncaster

Thank you for the invitation this morning.  I thought the quality of the seminar was excellent.

Dave Vernon
Vice Principal/AST
Tuxford Academy, Newark

Ofsted seminar – 21st Sept

I am just writing to thank you and all the people who delivered/facilitated the NPQH course through Learners First. I am pleased to say that I received confirmation of my successful completion of the qualification over the summer. I have gained lots from the course and feel that without the excellent face to face days, visits to schools and the support that you have offered it would not have been as enjoyable and beneficial to my career as it has been. Can you please pass on my thanks to all concerned and I hope that Learners First continue to provide these outstanding leadership opportunities for years to come.

Karl O’Reilly, St Luke’s School, Scunthorpe

“I like the Learners First approach. It is engaging, stimulating and down to earth with excellent use of relevant expertise.” “Poses lots of questions and gives time and a professional ‘community’ to reflect with and bounce ideas off.”


“An excellent course which has allowed me to develop as a Senior Leader. Often courses are “busy” but you get nothing out of them for you personally, but this is quite the opposite. Also, feedback has felt valued.”