Pilot programmes

We work hard to ensure that Challenge Partners develops programmes that schools need and want. We look for programmes which develop systemic school leadership and expand our capacity to improve the quality of teaching and learning in our schools. Any new programmes are aligned to our vision, mission, approach and priorities and rigorously tested.

MAT Peer Review

We have developed a peer review process for Multi-Academy Trusts to enable the development, identification and sharing of good practice among MATs and MAT senior leaders. The MAT Review is distinctive because it focuses on multi-school improvement and responds to the needs of the MAT in its current stage of development.

It builds on the success of our Quality Assurance (QA) Review but MATs are reviewed on their own terms, not against a set of pre-defined criteria. However, it is no less rigorous than a QA Review, with a sharp focus on school improvement and the impact the MAT has on outcomes.

Like the QA Review, the MAT Peer Review is underpinned by the values of collaboration, support and challenge. The overarching aim of these externally-facilitated, peer reviews is to bring about improvement in outcomes for pupils within the MAT being reviewed and across the system.

A MAT participating in a review will have the opportunity to reflect on its development and impact. The review team will offer challenge, learn how other MATs operate, and have a unique opportunity to engage in professional dialogue on school improvement in the MAT context.

"Undoubtedly, of substantial benefit was the opportunity to work with credible, knowledgeable and skilled colleagues on system leadership from different MAT structures, each openly and willingly sharing their experiences. Quality experiences for system leaders are emergent and I would highly recommend this unique and enhanced CP model for professional development." - Dr Tesca Bennett, Executive Principal, Haberdashers' Aske's Federation

  • We are expanding our MAT Peer Review programme and offer a discount to schools who join as a group. You can find out more about the many benefits of joining our Network of Excellence, and contact details, here.

Growing the Top – Stand-Out Schools

Launched in 2018, Growing the Top is a challenging programme for secondary schools in our Network of Excellence which have outstanding performance but are driven to keep improving and learning from each other.

Underpinned by our core philosophy, that it is important to stimulate the top to rise higher so that the whole system moves upwards (the upwards convergence model), this programme provides opportunities for schools to establish partnerships and share their journeys towards excellence. This is achieved through research, discussions and school visit days to identify and share systemic best practice.

There are also opportunities to hear from other sectors, including charities and business, to challenge prevailing thinking in the education sector.

Well-structured day, with a focus upon systemic efficiency and effectiveness, particularly around leadership.” Participant reflections from launch event