Challenge Partners

Marlborough School joined Challenge Partners (CP)

Challenge Partners (CP) is an organisation that believes the best way to enhance the life chances of all children is to enable collaboration between schools and trusts to combine our wisdom. Led by practitioners, CP creates programmes to facilitate school improvement and leadership development, and share leading practice.Collaboration is an essential element for trusts and schools striving to achieve the best for their students. Schools in our partnership can join forces in local hubs, where like-minded leaders address agreed local school improvement and continuous professional development (CPD) priorities.

Marlborough School is part of the Challenge Partners London Research Hub. Hubs are supported by the central team at Challenge Partners, and led by appointed Senior Partners and Hub Managers who organise termly meetings so school leaders can discuss progress and share knowledge.Local Hubs offer:

  • A local network of schools, bringing together like-minded leaders to address agreed priorities and to share knowledge 
  • Collaboration with schools across the hub to agree and create a Hub Action Plan for the partnership year. This covers in-school development, guest speakers, and opportunities for CPD for your team. Hub Action Plans are funded with support from Challenge Partners
  • Hub leadership from a Senior Partner and Hub Manager, drawn from strong schools, to support the hub’s members, priorities and activities.
  • Support from your local hub to progress any development areas identified through your school improvement programme, including the Quality Assurance Review, Growing the Top and Extending Leading Practice.
  • A Hub Manager Network and accreditation scheme for Hub Managers to come together, share best practice and help hubs to improve hub support for member schools.
  • Participation in hub-led programmes, such as the Leadership Residency Programme for senior and middle-leaders, giving leaders the chance to spend two or three days at a host school for focused development.

The Quality Assurance Review is a three-day rigorous peer evaluation of teaching and learning, curriculum and outcomes, and leadership at all levels.

Led by an expert lead reviewer, reviews are conducted by a team of headteachers and senior leaders from schools within the Challenge Partners network. A collaborative process, all review activities are joint and all outputs are agreed with the school - ‘one team, two parts’. Each school hosts an annual review, and reciprocates by sending their headteacher and senior leaders to review other schools in the network, providing continuous professional development for all leaders involved. 

The review offers:

  • An annual audit of school improvement as part of your evaluation cycle
    Honest and insightful scrutiny of your own self-evaluation and challenge for the forthcoming year
  • Unique leadership development opportunities for leaders and senior staff through involvement in hosting a review, and/or reviewing other schools, with coaching from the lead reviewer
  • A review report to highlight strengths, areas for development and next steps to address these.

Please see below links:

QAR Report - May 2024: marlborough_community_special_school_qar_report_may_2024.pdf

QAR Report - May 2023: marlborough_community_special_school_qar_report_may_2023.pdf

Growing The Top

In 2023-2024, we are also participating in Growing The Top. This programme brings together small groups of top performing schools for individual and shared school improvement journeys.