Challenge Partners is a group of autonomous schools and academies, based on the principles of teaching school alliances, who work together to lead school improvement both locally and nationally. The Partnership has its roots in the London Challenge programme which developed an approach to school improvement based on school-to-school support and practitioner led innovation. When the programme ended many of the school leaders who played a role in that work committed to developing a self-funding and sustainable way, through Challenge Partners, to continue and develop this approach nationally.
The Partnership now contains over 300 schools across the country and includes schools from all phases, governance types, and stages in their school improvement journey.
The Shape of Challenge Partners draws upon structures developed by groups such as the John Lewis Partnership. Schools are linked to teaching schools and together they agree their local agenda of activities, targets and ways of working. All schools are company members which ensures that Challenge Partners remains a genuine school-led collaborative.
Challenge Partners was named to illustrate two key factors required for effective collaboration and school improvement.
“Challenge” indicates the rigour that is built into the organisation through strong quality assurance measures, self-regulation and accountability to the whole system. Challenge is required to the status quo, and current definitions of excellence, if all schools are to improve pupil outcomes.
“Partners” indicates a compelling and inclusive moral purpose and strong, shared values, principles and beliefs. It shows that it is a partnership owned and led by its members who decide together how they want to shape its activity and direction ensuring a sustainable and effective approach to collaborative improvement.
Every year the school has a Quality Assurance Review, undertaken by our Challege Partners, to ensure that our standards and outcomes remain excellent.