Student Leadership Accreditation

The Student Leadership Accreditation (SLA) is an innovative way of formally recognising students’ leadership skills, encompassing all activities students are engaged in whether it’s in the classroom, across the school, or in the wider community. It is entirely free for all SSAT secondary member schools.


What is the Student Leadership Accreditation?

The SLA offers a formal way to champion and celebrate the leadership skills our students develop in and out of school, requiring students to create a portfolio in which they gather and upload evidence to showcase their skills. They grade their work using a self-assessment framework that covers ten core skill sets, grouped into three themes:

Developing myself
Working with others
Contributing to my community

Schools can either use the pre-designed criteria (of which there are primary, secondary and special school versions), or develop their own school-specific criteria, with guidance from SSAT, using the principle grid.

The SLA is an SSAT Membership benefit – you are able to accredit as many students as eligible within your membership. If you are a non-member school, click here to find out more about secondary membership.

Student Leadership Accreditation Process

There are three steps to the accreditation process:

• Self-assessment against graded criteria
• Evidence collation and portfolio creation
• Moderation and accreditation

Sign up

For more information, download the SLA Schools Introduction or email studentleadership@ssatuk.co.uk to sign up and receive a starter kit containing all the documents you need to set up the SLA in school tomorrow!

Submitting Students for the Student Leadership Accreditation

If you are ready to submit your cohort of students please contact studentleadership@ssatuk.co.uk.

Accreditation is a rolling process, so you can accredit students at any point in the year, depending on your own school structures.


Development of the Student Leadership Accreditation

Ringwood School, a National Teaching Academy in Hampshire, trialed the scheme and found it of great benefit.

‘We leapt at the idea, one of the real benefits is the way it recognises students’ extra-curricular activities. When pupils get to the 6th form they can use their folders for their UCAS personal statements and take them to interviews. It’s a way of showing their wider learning. Employers and universities like to see evidence of commitment, enthusiasm and passion, not just for the academic.’
Margaret Olive, Assistant Head and head of student voice and community

‘It’s really helpful to collate all your skills and achievements in one place, along with the evidence you have collected to support it all.’
Year 13 student Jenny Baldwin, one of Ringwood’s SLA mentors

‘I went for an interview for a summer job. The interviewer wasn’t interested in my CV and references, he wanted me to talk him through my Student Leadership Accreditation portfolio. And yes, I got the job!’
Year 12 student George Whittingham


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