Leadership development

Leadership development

Challenge Partners schools benefit from unrivalled expertise: our Network of Excellence includes leaders who are renowned for their contribution to education, with experience spanning Ofsted, trust, teaching and school leadership.

Participation in our Network of Excellence offers exceptional professional development for school leaders and training in key leadership skills and competencies. Collaboration between hundreds of schools across England enables leaders to develop themselves and their schools through:

As a middle leader

  • You can take part in a Quality Assurance (QA) Review at your own school, which provides a chance to shadow key conversations around school improvement and gain experience in how to discuss potentially challenging questions. Some hubs offer the opportunity to shadow QARs taking place in other schools in the hub.

  • We offer Sharing Leading Practice events, enabling middle leaders to immerse themselves in the context and practice of another Challenge Partners school with expertise in a specific area, phase or subject. 

  • Members also have access to an exclusive Network of Excellence area on our website with resources from across our schools and cutting-edge materials to support professional development.

  • You can take advantage of discounted tickets to our National Conference, hear from expert speakers and learn about successful practice from a wide range of schools.

As a senior leader

  • You can train and take part as a reviewer in QA reviews. You will work with Ofsted-trained lead reviewers, visit schools in different contexts and reflect on your own practice.

  • Experienced reviewers receive additional training to develop mentoring and coaching skills and become an accredited Advanced Reviewer.

  • You also take part in your own school’s review, engage in enriching professional dialogue with external peers to accelerate self-reflection and improvement.

  • We offer Sharing Leading Practice Days, and a Leadership Residency Programme where you can spend time in another school, shadowing the headteacher and learning from their practice.

  • You can take advantage of discounted tickets to our National Conference, hear from expert speakers and learn about successful practice from a wide range of schools.

  • In local hubs you can work with new partners to secure improvements and personal development on shared priorities. Leaders of outstanding schools can also take on a hub leadership role, as a Senior Partner or Hub Manager.

Trust Leaders

  • As peer reviewer on our Trust Peer Review programme, you can benefit from a unique opportunity to see other trusts and their leaders in action, sharing best practice and other ideas.

  • We also run a trust CEO network which brings together like-minded trust leaders passionate about extending excellence in their trusts and committed to sharing great practice so that the whole system improves.

We also offer

  • A Growing the Top programme for senior leaders of ‘stand out’ schools to learn from other sectors and gain insights into systemic excellence and challenge, to continue improving.

  • A programme for aspirant headteachers in London, Getting Ahead London, with coaching and support to learn more about headship, develop the confidence and the skills to feel ready for the role.

Case study: Read Adam Lowing’s experience of leadership development through our Quality Assurance Review

Find out more
Email [email protected] or find more case studies here