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News: General announcements

Cheam and Southend High Schools set new Challenge Award record

02 September 2019   (0 Comments)
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In July 2019, Cheam High School (Surrey) and Southend High School for Boys (Essex) became the first and second schools respectively to gain NACE Challenge Award accreditation for the fourth time.

The Award is granted for a period of three years (previously four), recognising high-quality provision for more able learners within a school-wide context of challenge for all. It is based on the NACE Challenge Framework, which sets out detailed and rigorous criteria spanning all areas of provision – from leadership and governance to partnership and communication – with a core focus on curriculum, teaching and learning. 

In order to attain and maintain the Award, schools must demonstrate that they are meeting the Challenge Framework criteria, providing evidence of positive impact on learners and an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, innovation and dissemination of good practice in the field.

Harriet MacAulay, Assistant Headteacher at Cheam High School, commented: “We are absolutely delighted with our achievement in being the first school to gain fourth accreditation with the NACE Challenge Award! The process itself is very rigorous and ensures that the profile of more able provision is high at every level; I would thoroughly recommend it to any school that wants to sustain a strong commitment to its more able pupils and to allowing them to achieve their full potential.”

Laura March, Senior School Improvement Leader and MAT Coordinator at Southend High School for Boys, said: “The Challenge Award has enabled us to continually reflect on and refine our practice to ensure high-quality provision for more able learners and our whole school community […] NACE has been a rich source in providing support materials for us to identify strengths in our provision and opportunities for continued improvements and whole-school development.”

She added that the school is looking forward to taking on a new role as the leader of a regional NACE R&D Hub – offering opportunities for NACE members to meet for specialised CPD, peer exchange, engagement with research, and support to develop professional enquiry projects throughout the course of the year.

Sue Riley, NACE CEO, commented: “It is by working with schools that show consistency and innovation over such a sustained period that we are able to support the development of schools across our community. By celebrating and sharing the work of leading schools such as Cheam and Southend, we can amplify the impact of best practice – with benefits for learners, practitioners, school leaders and wider society.”

Find out more about the NACE Challenge Award.