The Network of Excellence

Challenge Partners is a national partnership of schools committed to reducing educational inequality and improving the life chances of all children. Through collaboration, challenge and professional development, we are working to ensure every school can benefit from the combined wisdom of the education system. Pupils in our partner schools achieve more and progress faster than the national average. 

Join our Network of Excellence

All partner schools and trusts join our Network of Excellence. It opens up a world of expertise to help schools and trusts improve by learning from peers’ practice, research and insights, including from international experts.

This knowledge-sharing space brings opportunities to hear about leading practice and find peer support for sustainable school improvement. It includes access to a programme of inspiring speakers from the education sector and beyond, addressing topical and enduring themes, like curriculum, disadvantage, diversity and SEND.

The Network of Excellence includes:

Sharing Leading Practice

Events where schools present their own areas of excellence, sharing their journey and key decision points so practitioners can understand how they might replicate or adapt it in their own context. Areas of Excellence are accredited by peers through QARs and sessions are run as either 90-minute webinars, or immersive in-person school visits. Both offer opportunities to engage and ask questions, and there is also the opportunity to follow-up and collaborate in depth.

National Network Meetings

Held virtually to hear from great speakers with relevant expertise, ask questions and discuss challenges, learn from peers sharing excellent practice, or join masterclasses on live/strategically significant topics. Senior partners inform the agenda by sharing suggestions or current challenges they would value help to address.

Exclusive website

Our members area is a rich knowledge exchange hub where partner trust and school leaders at all levels can enjoy curated resources, partner school blogs, webinars and more. These are carefully categorised by theme. The website also hosts key programme documents.

School Support Directory

Our online directory of expertise and contacts. This valuable tool allows you to find and connect with leaders in schools with areas of excellence you’d like to explore.

Regular newsletter

Sent to all partner schools to share knowledge, resources and news of upcoming events.

“Over half term, I managed to spend time navigating the Challenge Partners website and wow! I knew there were good resources but now I have spent time delving more deeply, I can see how many of our schools would benefit.” Michele Marr Chief Executive, Castle Phoenix Trust

For more information

Watch this short film to find out what trust and school leaders value about Challenge Partners 


“Our philosophy of collaboration, accountability, openness and trust guides everything we do.”
Dame Sue John, Executive Director, Challenge Partners