Growing the Top

Growing the Top: Stand-Out Schools

You don't remain outstanding by standing still

Programme Overview

The Growing the Top programme provides opportunities for top performing schools in the Challenge Partners Network of Excellence to work together, push the boundaries and drive their schools - and the education system - to become world-class.

Underpinned by our core philosophy; that it is important to stimulate those at the top to rise higher so that the whole system moves up (the Upwards Convergence model). This programme supports schools to establish partnerships and share knowledge on what has worked for them on their journeys towards excellence.

Programme Structure

Growing the Top delivers a structured programme to help top performing schools learn from each other through school visit days, events, research and discussions.

School leaders are matched into trios and undertake facilitated school visits to each other’s schools, during which systemic excellence and systemic challenges are explored. The host school provides an insider’s view of its journey to excellence, as well as an opportunity to observe this in action and talk to leaders, teachers and students. The host school also describes their challenges whilst visiting peers offer their own insights and suggestions to help address them.
In addition to this we run events centrally for programme participants where we invite speakers from academia, the corporate world and the education sector to deliver input on topics that challenges leaders to reflect on their approach to leadership and consider how they can continue to adapt their practice and move their schools forward. 
Read more about the programme and our evaluation of the 2018-2019 pilot here.

Eligibility and costs

Growing the Top is for schools who are graded outstanding by Ofsted or have gained leading estimates in a recent QA Review. Schools can opt for this programme as part of their participation in the Network of Excellence


If you would like to talk to the central team further please contact [email protected]