Get school-to-school support from system leaders

Get help and support from system leaders to improve your school.

Applies to England


System leadership school-to-school support can be provided by national leaders of education (NLEs).

National leaders of education

NLEs are headteachers and trust leaders with strong experience of school improvement.

NLEs support underperforming schools, helping them to identify and address areas in need of improvement. These include:

  • leadership
  • governance
  • financial health

NLEs focus on providing additional school improvement capacity to support schools, through the Department for Education’s trust and school improvement offer. Reforms to the NLE programme came into effect in September 2022.

DfE will match schools or trusts with NLEs who have experience of improving underperforming schools, if the school or trust:

  • is eligible for support through our improvement offers
  • cannot be matched with an appropriate high-quality trust

National leaders of governance

The National Leaders of Governance programme is now closed.

Guidance on how schools and trusts can arrange external reviews of their governance is available.

Published 25 January 2021
Last updated 6 November 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'National leaders of governance' section to show the programme is now closed.

  2. Updated the sections on national leaders of governance (NLGs) and national leaders of education (NLEs). The NLG programme is closed for new commissions and reforms to the NLE programme came into effect in September 2022. Removed other sections, which are either out of date or covered elsewhere.

  3. National leaders of governance (NLGs) section updated to reflect the revised delivery model via the National Governance Association, and clarify eligibility for trusts considering growth and new trusts.

  4. 'Support available to maintained schools' section updated with information about how local authorities and dioceses can nominate eligible maintained schools.

  5. National leaders of governance section - updated information for trusts, schools, local authorities and diocese on how to access support from an NLG.

  6. Added information about the recommendations of the advisory group for a reformed NLG programme to the 'National leaders of governance' section.

  7. First published.