NAHT and The Aspire Programme

NAHT and The Aspire Programme
NAHT and The Aspire Programme 2018-03-28T11:24:40+00:00

In 2013, the NAHT commissioned EdisonLearning to design and develop a school improvement programme that would reflect the challenges being faced by their members in the light of declining support from traditional sources of school improvement and ever-increasing accountability measures.

Today, schools from all parts of England, reflecting every context and character, have joined the Aspire family.  Working in one of 19 regional Aspire networks, these schools are benefitting from Aspire’s unique combination of school-wide professional development, research-based school improvement and active engagement in an NAHT-supported local network to demonstrate the power and impact of the Aspire approach – on leaders, teachers and on learners.

“The Aspire project demonstrates the potential of what can be achieved when schools work together to share expertise and drive up standards”

– Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan, speaking at the NAHT National Conference in May 2016.

Since its launch in 2013, NAHT Aspire has had unparalleled scrutiny on its impact and effectiveness.  A three-year DfE-funded pilot programme which concluded in May 2016 was independently evaluated by the University of Derby.  It concluded:

Aspire Pathways

Although its underpinning principles remain consistent, Aspire is continually evolving to reflect the rapid change being seen in the education world.  Today more than half of schools joining the Aspire family do so from a starting point of a Good or Outstanding judgement, either seeking further sustainable improvement in the face of the Coasting School definition, or to provide a stimulus for tighter and more effective school-to-school networking.

NAHT Aspire Partner Schools Programme

Offers a credible and proven plan for any school that is seeking to bring about rapid and certain improvement.  Find out more generic lipitor online about the Partner Schools Programme>>

NAHT Aspire ConnectTM

Provides a new and exciting way forward for existing networks of like-minded schools: trusts, federations and other less formal groups of schools who may be considering what their future together might become.  Connect sets out to strengthen and extend collaborative practices and to develop the expertise, capacity and shared ways of working that will inspire and sustain partnerships. Find out more about NAHT Aspire Connect>>

“Many of the schools on the programme have seen NAHT Aspire as a transformative experience: it has changed the way the schools see themselves, improved progress, attainment and pupil behaviour and increased the confidence levels of many staff.”

– NAHT Aspire Pilot Evaluation; Executive summary.

“This independent report shows that NAHT Aspire is a credible pathway for school improvement. Aspire is value for money, it’s an example of the profession taking responsibility for school standards, and above all it works.”

– Russell Hobby; NAHT General Secretary

In the last school year:

13 new Aspire networks have been established

More than 500 middle and senior leaders have been involved

Over 140 ‘Aspire Network Days’ have been held across the country

Over 1000 days have been spent in schools, supporting senior and middle leaders

Aspire’s underpinning principles

  • ‘Doing with’ not ‘Doing to’
  • Applying what research tells us
  • Focusing on quality and impact
  • Building professional capacity
  • Collaboration rather than competition
“Aspire has created great CPD opportunities for all staff, including myself and this has set us upon an exciting journey that we envisage will continue for many years to come.”

– Headteacher: Elmwood Primary School

You can find out more about Aspire at, or by contacting a member of the Aspire team at