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NACE Challenge and coronavirus: Q&A
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NACE Challenge and coronavirus: Q&A

Guidance for schools working with the NACE Challenge Framework and preparing for Challenge Award (re)accreditation, in the context of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – including new support available from NACE.

For additional guidance or support, please contact

My school was due to undertake a pre-assessment this academic year. What should I do?

We are reviewing pre-assessments on a case by case basis. Where your assessor has been working with you already in school, the pre-assessment may be able to take place remotely. Please contact Karen Burnham ( to discuss your particular case.

My school was due to undertake accreditation/reaccreditation this academic year. What should I do?

We are aware that schools which were planning initial assessments or reaccreditations arranged for the summer term will be almost “ready to go” with the evidence to be submitted to the assessor. We are therefore offering the option for those schools to submit their evidence to their assessor (part 1 of the assessment/reaccreditation process) at a date agreed with their assessor in the summer term. On successful completion of this stage, the school will then be ready to move straight into assessment/reaccreditation day when schools re-open.

For schools that wish to split part 1 and part 2 of their assessment/reaccreditation day, fees will be split, with 50% payable at part 1 and 50% payable at part 2.

If you wish to take up this option, please contact Karen Burnham ( for further information. For schools which have already been allocated an assessor, please also notify your assessor of your decision to submit your part 1 evidence.

For all schools planning for an assessment/reaccreditation from September onwards, we can schedule dates. We are happy to take a draft date for assessment day as this may help you develop your timeline; this can be changed if required. If you already have a named assessor, please contact them in the first instance to discuss a date. If you were in the process of deciding a date or submitting an application for assessment/reaccreditation, please contact Karen Burnham (

Can my school still put in an application for initial assessment/reaccreditation?

Yes. Whilst assessment/reaccreditation day is likely to be in September at the earliest, schools can take up the option to submit their evidence in the summer term depending on their readiness for assessment (see above).

My school purchased consultancy as part of my Challenge Framework package. Can I access this support remotely?

Yes. NACE can provide this consultancy remotely via Microsoft Teams. Our Challenge consultant will contact you initially via telephone to explain the nature of the consultancy and to ask you to gather some key detail ahead of the appointment. Once you have agreed a date, an agenda will be sent. Following the meeting you will receive a consultancy report, capturing key actions to take forward to help you work towards the Award.

How will NACE view this summer's teacher assessments and awarded examination grades when considering my application for Challenge Award accreditation?

NACE will follow the DfE guidance on changes to 2020 accountability arrangements which states that organisations working with schools should use data from previous years and not the 2020 data for any school assessment purposes. We will also continue to consider the broader view of the school's performance over time as presented in the school's own self-evaluation.

My school is working towards Challenge Award reaccreditation. What will happen if we don’t achieve this before our current accreditation expires?

NACE will extend reaccreditation timescales appropriately to take account of the time lost during school closures, and the additional time schools may need to be fully operational. Please contact Karen Burnham ( to discuss your particular case.

I’m new to the Challenge Framework. How do I get started?

All schools which have purchased the Framework have free access to the NACE Challenge Hub, which includes guidance, supporting resources, case studies and recorded webinars. Log in to the Hub for ideas and resources to help you get started. If you are still unsure where to start, please email Katharine Langley ( with specific queries and she will arrange a telephone call.

Additionally, all schools can purchase additional consultancy to support work with the Framework and/or work towards the Challenge Award. Please see below for information about the various types of support available.

I am currently working towards a Challenge Award application. Is support available?

Yes! Support includes…

NACE Challenge Hub: The NACE Challenge Hub is a great place to start. Here you will find a range of support documentation, exemplars and templates. For example, the “Challenge Framework guidance for schools” handbook is essential reading to support you on your Challenge Award journey. There are also case studies from schools that already hold the Award. All schools which have purchased the Challenge Framework have free access to the Challenge Hub. Need help accessing the Hub? Contact

Challenge Clinics: FREE one-to-one telephone support. Designed for schools working towards the Challenge Award. Run by a Challenge Assessor, these 45-minute appointments will answer specific queries about your application, help you understand more about the six elements of the Framework, or support you as you prepare for (pre)assessment. Upcoming Challenge Clinics will be held on Thursday 1 October and Thursday 28 January; early booking recommended as limited spaces are available.

Half-day consultancy and report: This can be delivered remotely or face to face. This session can be used to help your school get started with the Framework, or at any point of development, allowing you to have your progress externally checked, and to receive advice and guidance to help you move forward. Contact Katharine Langley ( to find out more.