Growing the Top

Growing the Top: Stand-Out Schools

You don't remain outstanding by standing still

Growing the Top provides opportunities for top performing schools in our Network of Excellence to work together, to push the boundaries and drive their schools – and the education system – to become world-class. Working in trios and drawing expertise from education, business and beyond, schools collaborate to share excellence and address challenges.

This programme’s available to schools that have been graded outstanding or have gained leading estimates in a recent QAR. We support schools as they establish partnerships and share knowledge on what has worked for them on their path towards excellence.

Stretching and challenging leading schools to keep improving, this programme speaks to our core philosophy: the importance of stimulating those at the top to rise higher to help the whole system move up.

In this structured programme:

  • Top performing schools learn from each other through school visit days, events, research and discussions
  • School leaders undertake facilitated visits to each other’s schools to explore systemic excellence and challenges. Visiting peers can talk to staff and students as they observe the host school’s successful practice in action, and are able to offer their own insights and suggestions to help the school continue to improve
  • Programme participants attend centrally organised events featuring speakers from academia, the corporate world and the education sector. The topics raised challenge school leaders to reflect on their own leadership approach, and examine how they can continue to adapt their practice and move their schools forward


  • QA Review leading schools OR outstanding Ofsted schools
  • Open to new and returning schools to the network
  • Open to all phases
Head to the Research and evaluation section of our website for our evaluation of the 2018/19 pilot.

To find out more contact [email protected]