Lead Facilitator, SEND Developmental Peer Review

Location: Regional

Contract: Fixed term

Benefits: Stipend covering time and travel

Challenge Partners

We’re a practitioner-led education charity accelerating school improvement, leadership development and pupil progress. We share excellent practice across schools and trusts through rigorous peer reviews, tailored school improvement programmes, and national and local collaboration.

The programme
This pioneering new programme is for mainstream schools seeking to enhance their provision and outcomes for pupils with SEND. It features: 

  • Expert matching: to create trusting and supportive groups of schools to provide mutual support and challenge, exchange knowledge, and build strong, lasting partnerships.
  • Developmental focus: designed to push forward practice and provision, including a written action plan and post-programme follow up.
  • Benchmarking: training and access to the EvaluateMySchool platform, to identify a baseline to work from and clear development areas.
  • Peer review days: providing honest, insightful and evidence-based feedback on the host school’s self-evaluation. An opportunity to collaborate and co-create solutions.

Schools will be matched in groups of 3-4 with a dedicated Lead Facilitator. Each school in the group will host an in-school review day involving a senior leader and SENCo from each school in the group. Schools will be supported to develop their action plan through the evaluation process and review day. Collaboration, mutual accountability and signposting to carefully-curated resources will support implementation of the plan.

The role
As a Lead Facilitator on the programme, you play a pivotal role in creating the social capital and learning environment for high quality knowledge exchange. This enables the sharing of best practice in SEND and effectively challenges schools to better their provision for pupils with SEND .

What makes this opportunity exceptional?

  1. Pioneering Programme: Be at the forefront of a cutting-edge initiative designed to enhance outcomes for students with SEND in mainstream schools. Shape the future of education by influencing systemic improvements.
  2. Bespoke Training and Professional Development: You will be trained in Challenge Partners’ powerful facilitation for knowledge exchange methodology, highly rated by trainees who tell us it supports their practice in their other roles and settings. Professional insights gathered on visit days will inspire fresh ideas for your own professional setting and practice.
  3. Exclusive Networking: Join a powerful network of expert SEND practitioners from diverse backgrounds and settings across the country. Connect with passionate SEND professionals throughout the programme and across Challenge Partners, fostering lasting collaborations.
  4. Real Impact: Make a tangible difference in the lives of students with SEND. Collaborate with Challenge Partners on an exciting and innovative programme, contributing to positive changes in provision and outcomes.
  5. Financial Support: Receive a stipend for your time commitment and travel expenses.

“Challenge Partners training was of the highest quality and so tightly linked to the whole project's developmental aims. I felt like I learned a huge amount, in a very short time”

“Absolutely inspired with ideas to take back to my own setting and beyond.” 

Key Responsibilities 

  • Attending dedicated Lead Facilitator training day (Autumn TBC) and the launch event (Autumn TBC), to gain knowledge and skills, build social capital and prepare for facilitating one of the school trios/quads and supporting them through the programme
  • Preparing for in-school review days by contacting programme participants and supporting the host school to develop an agenda for the day 
  • Leading teams of current practitioners during in school developmental review days
  • Facilitating a positive dialogue between the host school and peer reviewers and encouraging an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect throughout the process 
  • Promoting the professional development of visiting senior leaders and SENCos
  • Supporting schools to develop their action plan and checking in on progress 
  • Providing feedback to Challenge Partners after reviews 
  • Attending biannual Lead Facilitator training/reflection sessions 

Person Specification 

  • An experienced senior leader with a track record of delivering excellent outcomes for pupils with SEND (current or prior experience of SEND in mainstream setting essential) 
  • Experience of school improvement work and collaborative work across multiple schools, with an understanding of systemic school improvement 
  • Awareness of current national SEND policy and practice 
  • Ability to take an evidence-informed approach to SEND school improvement and draw on current research when evaluating practice and outcomes 
  • Ability to clearly articulate what leading practice looks like in a school setting
  • Ability to quickly gain confidence and trust as a leader of senior colleagues 
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills 
  • Experience of coaching and developing peers 
  • Ability to facilitate meetings to bring together a range of opinions and evidence in order to agree conclusions 
  • Understanding of professional integrity and willingness to act as an ambassador for Challenge Partners 
  • A willingness to learn, give and receive feedback, and adapt to Challenge Partners’ style 
  • Valid and clean enhanced DBS certificate 

Application and induction process 

  1. Send a cover letter and CV to programmes@challengepartners.org outlining why you would like to work with Challenge Partners on this programme and how your experience aligns with the role and person specification, and provide a professional referee 
  2. Invitation to a call which is an opportunity for both Challenge Partners and the applicant to assess whether the role is the right fit 
  3. If successful, completion of initial one day training (date TBC)
  4. Being placed with a trio/quad after the Challenge Partners matching process. We are creating a pool of facilitators for SEND and our other programmes and placement is subject to demand on our programmes.