Multiple Gains

An independent evaluation of Challenge Partners’ peer reviews of schools

Paperback / softback, 72 pages, 297 mm x 210 mm
14 Oct 2015
Institute of Education Press

Price: £

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Challenge Partners is a cooperative organization of schools owned and led by the 300+ schools that work together to drive school improvement. Schools are challenged through annual, independently led peer evaluations that affirm what is working well and identify priorities for improvement. They are supported through sharing knowledge and disseminating best practice. Emphasizing trust and collaboration, Challenge Partners aims to reinforce school self-improvement. The peer reviews are crucial in creating an upward spiral of multiple gains from which all the participants – reviewed and reviewers alike – can benefit. Now two of the UK’s top education consultants present the results of the first full-scale independent evaluation of Challenge Partners’ quality assurance reviews, making fascinating reading for all with an interest in this aspect of a self-improving school system.

  • Peter Matthews

    Dr Peter Matthews OBE was chief education adviser for Northumberland before helping to set up Ofsted in 1992, becoming its head of inspection quality, monitoring and development. Since 2004 he has worked as a consultant with national and international educational and government bodies, and published widely on leadership and accountability.

  • Marcia Headon

    Marcia Headon worked as a teacher and headteacher until 2003, when she became an HMI, helping to develop school inspection frameworks for Ofsted in 2005 and 2009 and becoming an Ofsted regional director. Now a consultant, she specializes in monitoring schools in special measures.

CONTENTS: Acknowledgements; About the authors; Foreword, by Chris Husbands; Executive summary; Main findings; Recommendations for further development and improvement; 1. The context for school quality assurance reviews; 2. Inputs: The organization and staffing of quality assurance reviews; 3. The quality assurance review in practice; 4. Review outcomes and follow-up; 5. The quality and quality assurance of QA reviews; 6. Looking forward; Annex A. Comparison of the main elements of short (section 8) Ofsted inspections, and QA reviews; References and notes

‘Matthews and Headon explore the power of an innovation that genuinely builds capacity and engages stakeholders. Challenge Partners focuses on both the “outside” and the “inside”: the model is rigorous in its analysis of performance, but understands that school performance is the result of internal processes that marshal and build professional expertise. It has grown and developed remarkably and the results are, as the authors show, “highly credible”. This report is strongly focused on outcomes, but also shows just how much detailed planning and sheer logistics go into making it work.’

Professor Chris Husbands, Director, UCL Institute of Education