The Exceptional Schools Award exemplifies the excellence and uniqueness of outstanding schools, including the quality and consistency of teaching that Ofsted now expects. The quality standard is based on the attributes and practice of the best schools nationally. It includes a 360 online survey of stakeholders that provides a unique insight into the effectiveness of the school’s provision and informs school improvement planning and a timeline for achieving the Award.


Who is this for?

The quality standard is for all schools that are currently outstanding or aspire to become outstanding. Schools can access the ESA at three levels from developmental to accreditation level.

What are the benefits?

You can use the quality standard for self-evaluation and developing your practice in order to demonstrate excellence through achievement of the Award.

  • 360 outcomes to inform school improvement planning and a timeline for achieving the Award
  • Exemplification of consistently outstanding standards of teaching and learning
  • National and regional networks to enable you to work with other exceptional schools
  • The opportunity to participate in the audit of other outstanding schools

How is it delivered?

The quality standard takes the form of:

  • a hard copy of the standard and exemplars that will help guide you towards the Award
  • access to online Best Practice Network materials and school case studies
  • a 360 degree online survey for all stakeholders of the school against the quality standard
  • a report generated from the 360 that will confirm the exceptional qualities of your school and provide insight into any areas that you might want to improve
  • a self-evaluation against the quality standard plus a small number of your existing documents to form the basis of the submission for accreditation
  • a case study which showcases your exceptional practice
  • an audit visit to verify that the standard has been achieved (Accreditation level)


The Exceptional Schools Award is delivered nationally on a per school basis

What does it cost?

The standalone ESA development package that includes the online 360 and access to all resources and documentation is £450 + VAT. If you wish to receive a quotation of the full Award, which includes the audit, please complete the contact form.