Challenge the Gap

“Being part of Challenge the Gap means that our Pupil Premium students are now at the forefront of teachers minds, and more than ever they know why there is a gap, why it shouldn't exist and simple effective strategies to ensure teaching and learning opportunities are the best they can be to try and make sure that gap doesn't exist at all."
Maya Cheetham, Leader, Bishop Challoner School

What is Challenge the Gap?

A whole school improvement programme, working at all levels  

Challenge the Gap is a whole-school improvement programme that builds capacity at all levels with the aim of breaking the link between poverty and poor outcomes for good. Leaders, teachers and para-professionals join together on Challenge the Gap as a Team that becomes a catalyst for change within their school.

A strategic, evidence-based model that works

Each Team learns how to develop, trial and scale up effective, tailored strategies to benefit disadvantaged pupils in their context, using the latest research, best practice and emerging innovation.

A national programme run by schools, for schools

Teams become part of a powerful local network called a Cluster, led by one of our expert quality assured Facilitation Schools.   Clusters provide them with the opportunity to work with colleagues from schools in their local area over the course of the year. This enables them to work with their peers in other schools to develop new practice, as well as providing them with an opportunity to share with each other what works. Challenge Partners also facilitates sharing of emerging effective practice between Clusters through collecting and sharing case studies. 

Our stories of change

This year we conducted a series of interviews with leaders from participating schools which describe the positive change they have brought about in their schools and the impressive progress their pupils have seen as a result of the programme:


Read more about Challenge the Gap impact.

Who is it for?

Challenge the Gap is a programme for schools who are looking to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils in their school by improving the effectiveness of their pupil premium spending. Secondary schools select 1 leader, 3 teachers and 2 para-professionals to take part in the programme. Primary schools select 1 leader, 1 teacher and 1 para-professional to take part.

We currently have clusters in Portsmouth (3 clusters), London (Southwark, Greenwich, Barnet), Hertfordshire (Watford), Essex (Clacton), Hastings (East Sussex), Devon (Plymouth). See our map here.


What is the cost?

The cost for schools to take part is:

  • Primary: £4,975 per year +VAT (you could see this as fewer than 4 Pupil Premium eligible pupils)
  • Secondary: £8,500 per year +VAT (you could see this as 9 Pupil Premium eligible students)

We offer a 10% discount for schools that are also members of our Network of Excellence.

When and how can you join?

Challenge the Gap is an annual programme that runs from September to July each year. 

Contact us to find out more