The Northern Alliance is a Teaching School Alliance which has members across 6 Local Authorities – Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Bolton, Kirklees and Calderdale.  Its hub is The Blue Coat School, Oldham.  Our aim is to grow outstanding school teachers and leaders who will build excellent provision for young people in their own schools, and who can support other schools in their improvement through developing their capacity.


Leadership and Management

 National Leaders of Education (NLEs) are outstanding headteachers who have been designated by NCTL.  Together with the staff in their schools (National Support Schools), they use their skills and experience to support other schools to increase their leadership capacity and raise standards.  Blue Coat is a National Support School.

 Local Leaders of Education (LLEs) are successful, experienced headteachers who work alongside other heads to drive improvement and build capacity so that improvements can be sustained.

 Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are outstanding leaders in their field who coach, mentor and train others to become outstanding in their own context.  They come from schools within the Northern Alliance and beyond, and have all been through a rigorous quality-assured accreditation process, which focuses both on what they have personally achieved and, crucially, their evidenced ability to develop leadership capacity in others.


How to access SLE, LLE or NLE support for your school

 If you are clear about the type and level of support you need, the contact at the Teaching School is  Our Memorandum of Understanding  (link below) sets out how we operate.



 Sometimes the presenting need is a symptom of a cause which lies elsewhere.  If you would like to discuss the issues first, we offer a diagnostic service by a senior leader from within the Alliance.  This adds some time (and cost) to the process, (see Charging Policy) but it helps ensure that you get the impact and improvement you need.


How does the process work?

 The Memorandum of Understanding (link) sets out the roles and responsibilities of all parties, the protocols by which we work, and the schedule of costs (charging policy link).

  •  The client school is the school that is commissioning the support.
  • The home school is the school where the SLE/LLE and NLE is employed.
  • The Teaching School (Blue Coat School) is funded by the National College of Teaching and Learning to lead and manage the Northern Teaching School Alliance.