Guidance for sharing QA Review reports

Challenge Partners understands the value that our schools attach to the QA Review, and that schools may like to celebrate the outcomes of their Quality Assurance (QA) Review beyond the school’s SLT. This could include governors, parents and the wider community. The aim of this policy is to clarify the role of a QA Review and its relationship with school accountability when presenting the report to an external audience.

Challenge Partners’ quality assurance and assessment is built around a professionally-led peer review focused on teaching and learning. The review identifies areas for development, bringing key challenges to schools for the coming year. It is a joint exercise between the review team and the school. All observations and meetings include a member of the school working alongside the reviewers. This approach enables honest and open conversations about where the school is and where it is going, to the benefit of all concerned.

The QA Review aims to provide schools with:

  • An initial audit when joining Challenge Partners
  • 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.


Challenge Partners’ advice on sharing QA Review reports and outcomes

  1. The report is owned by the school and it is up to the Headteacher to decide who they will share the report with
  2. The only exception to this is the school’s hub: each membership year Headteachers sign an agreement which states that the report will be shared with their Hub Manager to support the hub’s school improvement activities
  3. Challenge Partners encourages schools to take pride in their report, but asks that all schools consider the implications of how and with whom the report is shared, for the school itself and the partnership as a whole.


Promoting the review on a school website

If a school chooses promote their review on their website we would recommend that schools use a consistent message to make clear the role and remit of a QA Review.  Please follow these guidelines when doing so:

Use the text below to accompany the QA Review report to explain to the audience the context and ethos of the review

  1. Upload the review report on a different page to your school’s Ofsted report
  2. Refrain from using the terminology ‘mocksted’, ‘Ofsted’ or ‘inspection’ when referring to the QA Review.


Promoting your review on social media

If a school chooses to promote their review on social media, they should proceed using the following guidelines:

  1. Refrain from using the terminology ‘mocksted’, ‘Ofsted’ or ‘inspection’ when referring to the QA Review
  2. Use the term ‘estimate’ rather than ‘grade’ when referring to outcomes
  3. Make explicit that the review is a peer review with a teaching and learning remit.


Promoting your review to the press

If a school chooses to promote their review to the press, they should proceed using the following guidelines:

  1. Ensure the text below is made available to the journalist or publisher
  2. Offer Challenge Partners’ contact details as a point of enquiry
  3. Be explicit that review outcomes were reached through collaborative peer review with senior leaders from other schools in the partnership
  4. Use the term ‘estimate’ rather than ‘grade’ when referring to review outcomes
  5. Refrain from using the terminology ‘mocksted’, ‘Ofsted’ or ‘inspection’ when referring to the QA Review.


QA Review: Copy for website and press releases

Challenge Partners is a practitioner-led national network of schools that improves school performance through peer-to-peer challenge and knowledge sharing. Each school in Challenge Partners receives an annual Quality Assurance (QA) Review. The QA Review is a peer review involving senior leaders from other schools in the partnership. The review has a whole-school remit and focuses on teaching and learning, which enables practitioners to have deep conversations about the quality of learning in the school being reviewed.

Outcomes from the review are not set by the review team and fed back to the school. Instead, all outcomes are agreed between the school and the review team as part of an ongoing professional dialogue that seeks to unpick and articulate effective teaching practice and school improvement strategies demonstrated by the school. Review reports are best viewed as a summary of conversations between peers during three days spent in school.

By nature of being a collaborative peer review, the QA Review is different from other external inspections such as Ofsted and Local Authority reports. Additionally, due to the review’s focus on teaching and learning, the review does not consider areas such as safeguarding or governance and so its outcomes cannot be directly comparable to an Ofsted inspection.

To view report click here: Heartlands High School