Highwoods Academy is proud to be an active member of the Challenge Partners Network.


Challenge Partners is a charity, owned and led by schools, who work together to lead school improvement. Challenge Partners believe that when schools are working in partnership to improve continually their practice then an excellent education for pupils will be achieved. Challenge Partners Schools are committed to four aims which impact on the young people we serve:

  • Improve pupils’ examination results at a rate above the national average and accelerate the progress of the disadvantaged.
  • Enable all schools to improve at a rate above the national average.
  • Create more national leaders and outstanding schools that fulfil the Teaching School criteria.
  • Develop a world-class, self-improving and sustainable system that contribute to national research and policy making.

Quality Assurance Review (QA Review)

Every year, senior leaders from Highwoods Academy join colleagues from other schools to conduct a Quality Assurance Review, under the guidance of a Lead Reviewer (who is often an experienced OFSTED Inspector too). The Review takes place over 3 days and includes a thorough analysis of school data and self-evaluation documents, observation of lessons (done jointly with senior leaders of Highwoods), meetings with senior leaders, meetings with students and staff. The Review team then produce a Quality Assurance Review report for the school identifying areas of strength and suggesting priorities for improvement.


We find this process to be extremely beneficial as a professional learning experience for our own senior leaders as well as providing excellent external challenge. Many improvements to Highwoods Academy have arisen as a result of our involvement in the Challenge Partners network.


The QA Review aims to provides the school with:

  • An annual audit as part of a school’s self-evaluation cycle
  • A validation of a school’s own self-evaluation
  • Challenge for the forthcoming year
  • The identification of areas of excellent practice
  • Development opportunities for senior staff

Our QA review reports are available to view below. Click on the link to see them.