What are ABLEs?

Astra / Buckinghamshire Leaders of Education (ABLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support and / or train individuals and teams in schools. 

The Astra Teaching School Hub currently has specialist leaders in a number of designations; more information, can be found in the menu links on the left of this page.  Specialist Leaders are part of the Hub’s commitment to lead on delivering the ‘golden thread’ of teacher development, in keeping with the government’s Recruitment and Retention strategy.

Who can apply? 

Outstanding middle or senior school leaders with a particular area of expertise and the capacity, skills and commitment to support others in similar positions in other schools and / or to facilitate continuing professional development, for example the facilitation of NPQs or the Early Career Framework. 

You will have:

  • at least two years' experience and a first class knowledge in at least one specialism including: Art; Drama; Assessment; English; Geography; History; ICT; Music; PE; Science; SEN; Primary; Phonics as well as working with trainee teachers, Early Career Framework and wider CPD. Please note that all specialisms will be considered for designation, and that ABLEs can be designated in more than one specialism.
  • at least two years' experience in a leadership role within a school or academy
  • a successful track record of working effectively within your own school and/or across a group of schools, or working with a range of leaders within a single school
  • evidence of successfully using coaching and/or facilitation skills to bring about sustainable improvements
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • an understanding of what constitutes 'outstanding' in your field of expertise, and the ability and confidence to communicate this
  • an understanding of how your specialism and skills can contribute to wider school improvement goals
  • an analytical approach in identifying and prioritising needs
  • the ability to set and establish new and innovative working practices
  • the ability to grow leadership capacity in others

What's involved? 

As an ABLE, you will either lead ongoing professional development or develop the leadership capacity of individuals and teams in other schools, using coaching or facilitation support that draws on their knowledge and expertise in their specialist area. This will contribute to improving outcomes for children, with priority likely to be given to supporting the needs of underperforming and challenged schools.

You will act as a ‘system leader’, using a high level coaching or facilitation approach that draws on the  knowledge and expertise of the individuals and teams in their specialist areas.

ABLE’s are allocated to the Astra Teaching School Hub (lead school: Dr Challoner’s Grammar School) and Buckinghamshire Council.

You will be required to attend a day's core training following designation; more details can be found on our training page.

There is no predefined time commitment for ABLE work. Designation is for four years, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria, after which you will be subject to a review by the Teaching School Hub.

There is no cost to apply.  For more details, and to apply, please see Apply to become an ABLE