Challenge the Gap

Excellence for Everyone : A Whole School Approach

A national programme run by schools for schools challenging the link between poverty and poor outcomes through the delivery of a whole school evidence- based training programme


Previously known and delivered as Challenge the Gap, this newly re-designed programme builds on the lasting success of Challenge the Gap and its themes which are central to the core mission and values of Challenge Partners.  Challenge the Gap has run successfully for the past seven years and has become well established across our network of schools. However, in recent years we have recognised that the time commitment and cost of the programme in its old format has proven prohibitive for some. Therefore, Excellence for Everyone (EfE) has been re-developed to be delivered through accredited training partners from the Challenge Partners network. These training partners will work with Challenge Partners to bring clusters of schools together to deliver a series of training workshops to participating schools.

We are currently looking to recruit hubs and schools looking to be our training partners to work on this programme with us for 2019-20 and keen to hear from you if this is of interest. For more information and to arrange a call to talk through how this programme could work for your school and hub contact



“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

We have 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.

Contact us to find out more