SSAT’s Leading Edge network

Become part of the only national network exclusively for high-performing schools

We understand the challenges of achieving and sustaining high performance and believe that these challenges are best met with the support of like-minded professionals. As the only national network specifically for high-performing schools, SSAT Leading Edge connects you to colleagues across the country, providing structured collaboration and regular opportunities to learn from each other’s best practice.

View the benefits of Leading Edge

How does SSAT Leading Edge work?

SSAT Leading Edge is an exclusive network for high-performing SSAT member schools, led by a steering group of headteachers. For an annual fee, Leading Edge schools benefit from an extensive programme of activities, events, publications and support throughout the year. The Leading Edge year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

How do we become a part of the SSAT Leading Edge network?

If you have received an invitation to join the network you have already been identified as being eligible to be a part of the network. There is no need to evidence your eligibility, simply complete the form and we will process your application.

If you have not received an invitation to join the network, please get in touch with us by email. We will review your data profile and let you know whether any further evidence is required.

What is the cost of joining the SSAT Leading Edge network?

Leading Edge costs £1600+VAT. Please note that participation in the Leading Edge network is only open to SSAT member schools.

What is the criteria to join the SSAT Leading Edge network?

The Leading Edge network is open to all secondary and special schools, including academies, colleges, independent schools and free schools. The criteria is determined by the Leading Edge steering group. We review the national data each year and invite schools who are:


  • Ofsted grade 1
  • DfE Progress Band 1
  • DfE Progress Band 2 with Significant +


  • Ofsted grade 1, or Ofsted 2

Is it possible to join the SSAT Leading Edge network if we do not meet the joining criteria?

Where a school does not meet the joining criteria but feels that it has a strong case to be recognised as high-performing, the decision about joining the network will be referred to the steering group. In this instance, the school will be asked to provide evidence to support their case. Since the network is designed to support high-performing schools, where a school does not meet the usual data and Ofsted criteria it will need to provide evidence that their performance over time places them in the upper quartile of schools nationally.

If you would like your school to be considered for becoming part of the network, please get in touch with the Leading Edge team.

The support and opportunities were an ideal match for our journey towards excellence. CPD, the Leading Edge Directory, the regular journals and Framework for Excellence have provided the dual vehicle of a platform to showcase City of Norwich School (CNS) as well as being able to seek best practice from similar schools.

Jo Philpott, Headteacher, City of Norwich School – An Ormiston Academy

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If there is anything else that you need to know, please get in touch with us by email.