Specialist leader of education appointed at Forge

Kris Griffin, who has worked at Ormiston Forge Academy since 2013 as Director of Marketing, was recently appointed as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLEs) following a rigorous application process through the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

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Specialist leaders of education are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions 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 can develop the leadership capacity of others, using coaching or facilitation support that draws on their knowledge and expertise. It is believed that Kris is one of the first SLEs who specialises in marketing and communications for schools and academies.

At Ormiston Forge Academy, a national support school, Kris is responsible for all outward facing marketing and all aspects of communicating with stakeholders. As a member of the senior leadership, he is part of the team responsible for the improvements the school has made over the last five years as an academy resulting in an Ofsted Good grade in 2016.

Kris is also contracted, through Forge, to a variety of different schools around the country as a consultant and counts among recent clients Everton Free School, Shireland Collegiate Academy and schools in Birmingham with alleged involvement in the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot.

Director of Marketing at Ormiston Forge Academy, Kris Griffin, said:

"I'm delighted to have been designated a specialist leader of education, it's great recognition for support staff who are vital to the smooth operation of educational establishments everywhere. I am looking forward to continuing my work at Forge, working towards Ofsted Outstanding as well as supporting other schools and academies who need my specialist help."

Andrew Burns, Principal of Ormiston Forge Academy, who himself was designated a national leader of education (NLE) in March 2016, said:

"Kris is our first SLE but he certainly won't be our last. I'm incredibly proud of his achievement and the work he does in the education sector. "Kris is not a qualified teacher, but he is an outstanding leader. He understands education and teaching and how to get people the best out of individuals and teams.

"This is a testament to the diverse and deep talent pool that we have here and I very much look forward to congratulating more Forge SLEs on their appointment in the near future."

The SLE programme is licensed by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). Kris will be brokered to schools needing support through the St John Bosco Teaching School Alliance in West Bromwich.

The Schools White Paper (2010) introduced the concept of the SLE role to improve the quality of school leadership through school-to-school support and peer-to-peer learning, ultimately raising standards and improving outcomes for children.

Photograph: Kris Griffin (l) pictured, received his Specialist Leader of Education certificate from Ed Masterson (r), Head teacher at St John Bosco School