National Leaders of Education

National Leaders of Education (NLEs) are outstanding headteachers or principals who, together with the staff in their schools (designated National Support Schools (NSS)), use their skills and experience to support schools especially those in challenging circumstances.


In addition to leading their own schools, NLEs work to increase the leadership capacity of other schools to help raise standards and work alongside other teaching school system leaders to provide high quality support to those schools seeking to rapidly improve.


Bespoke programmes of support can be developed to meet your specific needs. These can range from short single focus pieces of work to medium and longer term programmes covering a number of areas in your improvement plans.


The initial step is a phone call to our office and a discussion to identify the most appropriate colleague to visit you and discuss your requirements and how these might best be met. The amount of support; the timescale; who will deliver; the intended outcomes and cost of the programme will be clearly identified and should you wish to proceed these will be built into the DTSA contract of support.


Colleagues wishing to engage any of the NLEs should contact for more information and guidance.

Name Leadership Experience Other Experience
Matthew Crawford
  • Executive Head of Embark Federation
  • Worked as Associate School Improvement Advisor
  • Worked as a Deputy Head in Nottinghamshire
  • NLE since Feb 2017
  • Helped 8 schools gain good or outstanding Ofsted judgement
Debbie Gerring
  • Experienced Headteacher at St Martins Special School
  • Extensive experience of managing schools with SEN provisions
  • Led a school from special measures to outstanding within a 3 year period
  • Worked in partnership with HMI to support schools through and out of special measures
Philip Searson
  • Headteacher at Longford Church of England Primary School
  • NLE since 2017
  • Executive team member of Embark Federation
  • Supported LA Aspirant Headteachers Programme
Sarah Tew
  • Executive headteacher of two schools in DDAT (Derbyshire Diocesan Academy Trust)
  • Headteacher of two schools in Derbyshire
  • Literacy Consultant
  • NLE since 2017
  • Currently working with Trust to establish a consistent writing assessment system