Trust Leaders' Network

Trust leaders network

Partner with us to improve your trust

Join forces with trust leaders across the country who share your passion for extending excellence in education and are committed to driving the whole system upwards.

Our national Trust Leaders’ Network is an expertly facilitated space where you can share best practice with your peers from across the country and connect with leading thinkers and experts in the business world. Featuring a mix of face-to-face meetings and digital collaboration, our annual programme is designed to ensure participation benefits can be shared widely within your trust. We work with you to understand your trust’s priorities, then support you with varied, immersive learning days that allow you to focus on purposeful development and collaboration.

“What immediately struck me about Challenge Partners’ Trust Leaders’ Network was the presence of that professional trust and the genuine willingness to share the collective wisdom of the group. We’ve also had the chance to coach one another and interact in very small groups. This has led to some really courageous conversations.” Phil Hedger CEO, LEO Academy Trust

How it works

Thoughtful onboarding helps us understand your priorities so we can design visits and inputs to best meet your needs. Drawing on our successful Jubilee Networks approach, you will benefit from varied, immersive learning days, expertly facilitated so you are free to focus on purposeful development and collaboration. Termly check-in calls will ensure you get the personalised support you need throughout the year.

A one-year subscription gives you:

  • Facilitated all-day visits to trusts, maximising learning and development around common challenges.
  • Webinars with trusts and businesses to share best practice and connect leaders in different roles
  • Training to become a Trust Peer Reviewer
  • Attendance at national Trust Leaders’ conference to share innovative practice, and gain inspiration from within and beyond education
  • Curated digital resources and online discussion forum
  • An optional leadership residential, where you can evaluate and plan your next steps with the help of peer coaching and expert facilitation (additional cost)
  • Access to our Network of Excellence, a world of expertise

“The network provided me with invaluable opportunities to share expertise and issues with some of the very best practitioners in a very open, honest and positive way.” Steve Hillier, CEO, Sherborne Area Schools Trust

Trust Leader Residential and Executive Coaching

Strengthen your leadership and personal impact on a two-day residential with your peers, led by an expert facilitator.

Identify key leadership strengths and shifts through a tailor-made package of executive coaching sessions.


Our leadership residential and executive coaching programme is delivered in partnership with BTS Spark, a not-for-profit subsidiary of global leadership consultancy BTS. 

The two day residential: 

  • Creates a safe space for you to explore and gain a deeper understanding of your own leadership and how this can develop for a greater impact
  • Offers challenge, support and inspiration to extend your thinking, using a variety of tools and drawing on the facilitator's expertise and that of fellow group members
  • Acts as a catalyst for change, equipping you with the confidence to take forward new approaches in your leadership and in the strategic development of your trust
  • The executive coaching programme matches you with one of BTS Spark’s highly skilled leadership coaches. All are highly trained and experienced in working with trust leaders.

Included in your package:

  • Your personal leadership review followed up by a 90-minute discovery insight interview
  • Five 60 minute virtual coaching sessions. Your coach will help you identify and focus on two or three key leadership shifts that could make a big difference to your current challenges and leadership priorities 

“I have come away feeling more confident, energised and equipped with tools to tackle a range of complex and challenging situations and relationships. This learning will not only make me a more insightful, reflective leader, but our community will benefit as we move from collaboration to deep partnership. This is an opportunity not to be missed!”

Sharon Burt, CEO, Solent Academies Trust

Network of Excellence

If you are looking for rigorous, expert-led quality assurance for your schools, you can benefit from discounts when you join our national Network of Excellence, programmes and networks as a trust. Honed over a decade, the Quality Assurance Review has been independently evaluated to provide “multiple gains” for reviewed schools and exceptional professional development for senior leaders. Your trust will also gain access to the full suite of collaboration, expertise and innovation across our unrivaled national network of schools.

Email [email protected] or call 020 7803 4970 to find out more.


2023/24 Trust Leaders' Network Calendar

We have confirmed our exciting and collaboration-packed schedule of events for the Trust Leaders' Network for the 2023/24 partnership year:

  • Trust Leaders' Network Induction - 27 September
  • Trust Peer Reviewer Training - 12 October
  • Trust Visits:
    • 10 November - Olympus Academy Trust. Established in 2012, this trust consists of nine (soon to be 10) primary and secondary schools in South Gloucestershire (north Bristol). Led by CEO Dave Baker
    • 30 January - Preston Hedges Academy Trust. A multi-academy trust that values their ethos of fun, creativity and achievement throughout their five primary schools in Northampton. Led by CEO Paul Watson
    • 18 March - Lighthouse Schools Partnership. A schools trust and a not-for-profit charity providing nursery to sixth form education throughout 30 schools across the South West of England. Led by CEO Gary Lewis 
    • 23 May - Danes Educational Trust. A multi-academy trust founded in 2016, currently with nine schools across North West London. Led by CEO Dr Josephine Valentine OBE. 
    • 21 June - TBC
  • Business Webinars:
    • 5 December
    • 8 February
    • 1 May
  • Trust Leaders' Residential - 5-6 March
  • Trust Leaders' Conference - 4 July


Watch our webinar: Making Challenge Partners work for your trust

Our CEO Dr Kate Chhatwal and Sarah Ridley, Deputy CEO of The Mead Educational Trust, present the benefits for trusts joining the Challenge Partners Network of Excellence.