Trust Peer Review


“A fascinating insight into how other MATs are organised, changing and improving. Being a reviewer gave me perspectives across all aspects: staff, leadership, governance, etc and this was really helpful in understanding how the MAT operated as well as providing real insights into my own situation. Reflection after the review has led to some substantial change here.”

Carolyn Morgan, CEO, Ascent Academies Trust

Trust Peer Review

The Challenge Partners multi-academy Trust Peer Review (TPR) enables development and improvement in host Trusts through challenge and collaboration. It provides reviewers with unique insights to support their own Trust’s development, and helps share knowledge about what works across the education system so all can benefit. The Trust Peer Review: 

  • Evaluates the Trust on its own terms 
  • Is sharply focused on school improvement and the impact the Trust has on outcomes 
  • Captures and shares effective practice 
  • Identifies areas for improvement 
  • Provides input on key challenges facing the Trust 
  • Is expert-facilitated 
  • Is done with, not to, the host Trust
  • Provides powerful CPD and insight for reviewers, which benefits their own Trusts 
  • Builds evidence of what works in Trust school improvement 

How it works 

Led by an independent expert over three-days, the external review team works with host Trust leaders to build a picture of how school improvement operates across the trust and the impact it is having. This informs professional dialogue about strengths, areas for development and next steps, which are captured in a written report. There is also the opportunity for the host Trust to harness the expertise of their peers to explore a particular challenge they are facing and identify ways forward.

The Trust Peer Review relies on asking powerful, open questions in a spirit of appreciative inquiry and collaboration. We know all Trusts are different and that there is not a single formula for Trust success, so our reviews do not start with a framework or checklist, or otherwise presume to know “the answer”. The review does not check compliance or provide an audit of finance, governance or HR – though we do consider how these important factors contribute to school improvement. 

Our impact 

Our Trust Peer Review has been independently evaluated by the NFER and their positive report is published here. Without exception, participants in the Trust Peer Review process found it to be of great value. 

“The Challenge Partners trust review process was a unique professional development opportunity for me.” Pippa Bremner, School Development Director, Danes Educational Trust 

For more information about the Trust Peer Review, please email [email protected] or call 020 7803 4970. There is also more information in this leaflet here. To formally express interest in hosting a review, participating as a reviewer or both, please complete this form.

You can also find out more about the many benefits of joining our Network of Excellence here.

Video: How one trust benefitted from the Trust Peer Review