Our aims and impact 2019

Pupils in our partner schools achieve more and progress faster than the national average

Aim 1: Improve pupils' examination results at a rate above the national average and accelerate the progress of the disadvantaged

Our role is to enable challenge and collaboration between schools and trusts. The results we report belong to the schools in our partnership, rather than to us as an organisation. We are nonetheless proud to champion all they achieve for their learners. Given our focus on equity, we are particularly pleased that disadvantaged pupils in Challenge Partners’ schools in 2018-19 generally progressed faster and achieved better than their peers nationally. 


Aim 2: Enable all schools to improve at a rate above the national average

We are proud of the diverse mix of schools within Challenge Partners, which includes some of the highest-performing in the country and others at an earlier stage on their journey to excellence. What unites them is their commitment to working together to improve, regardless of their starting point.

Enable school improvement 2019

Aim 3: Develop leadership and improvement capacity and knowledge at school and system level

We seek to increase the capacity of the system by building improvement capacity and supporting leadership development for senior and middle leaders. This enables more leaders to participate in school improvement, share wisdom and great practice. 

Develop leadership


Aim 4: Develop a world-class, self-improving and sustainable system which contributes to national research and policy-making

We have continued to enhance our approach to systemic leadership development as well as contributing to publications which set out the methodology underpinning our approach and being the focus of an independent analysis of the review process:

  • Contributions to research: Last year we collaborated with the National Association of Headteachers on the publication of The Principles of Effective School-to-School Peer Review. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) sourced additional evidence of key principles.

  • Innovative pilots testing new ideas: In the last year we launched two new programmes to ensure we remain at the forefront of educational innovation and expand our support for schools, with Growing the Top and the Trust Peer Review. By also commissioning rigorous evaluations, we better understand what made an impact and used that information to sharpen these programmes, while also improving the knowledge available in the sector.

  • Leadership roles: Our Central Team, Senior Partners and school leaders are involved in many groups, networks and boards, and hold positions of influence across the sector, including academy trusteeships, membership of the Royal Society curriculum group, Chair of Trustees of the Teacher Development Trust, Education Advisory Group membership at the Sutton Trust, Chair of Trustees at the Brilliant Club, co-founder of the Leading Women’s Alliance and piloting a women-only NPQH, member of the Ofqual Board, and member of the British Council Education Advisory Group, to name just a few.

  • Lending our expertise to the public sector: This year our leadership met with the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, and the Shadow Schools Minister, Mike Kane, to advise on issues including the value of peer review and school-to-school collaboration. These kinds of conversations allow us to make sure our national leaders have the knowledge they need to create effective policy. We also spoke at many national events, including the EdFest and Inspiring Leadership conferences.

For more information on our progress towards our aims, please read our stories of change and our Annual Report 2019 - which includes this infographic: