Behaviour hubs

Find out how the behaviour hubs programme will enable schools with exemplary behaviour to work with other schools to improve their behaviour culture.

Applies to England


We are now accepting applications for new lead schools and multi-academy trusts (MATs) to join the behaviour hubs programme.

Use this application form to apply to become a lead school or MAT.

The deadline for the current lead school application period is midnight on 31 October 2021. Download the lead school application guidance for more information about the application stage.

Prospective partner schools and MATs can apply to the behaviour hubs programme at any time. New cohorts start at the beginning of each term so schools do not need to wait until the start of the academic year.


The Department for Education (DfE) is funding a 3-year programme to improve pupil behaviour.

The programme pairs schools and MATs with exemplary behaviour practices, called lead schools or MATs, with partner schools or MATs who want and need to improve pupil behaviour.

The programme is flexible with a tailored offer of support depending on partner schools’ circumstances but all partner schools can expect to get support with:

  • diagnosing specific areas of improvement
  • designing and developing new approaches to addressing poor behaviour
  • developing clear, sustainable behaviour cultures for all pupils

The programme is based on creating a culture: how school leaders can optimise behaviour. Good behaviour, routines and structures in schools support all pupils’ engagement in education, and their mental health and wellbeing. Schools will work together to apply these principles to the individual context of the school.

Download the behaviour hubs programme brochure for an overview of support available.


Partner school and MAT criteria

The following partner schools can apply:

  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • alternative provision schools
  • special schools
  • MATs

To be a partner school you must be rated ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted. Applications are currently being accepted from schools of all provisions across England.

To be a partner MAT you should have at least one secondary school within your trust rated ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

Partner schools will need to allocate around 20 to 30 days of engagement to the programme. This can be spread out among school staff including senior leaders.

Lead and partner schools on the programme will be expected to work with each other for one year but schools may be able to work together for 2 years if it is required after completion of the first year.

Lead school and MAT criteria

Following the success of our cohort 1 lead schools, we are now recruiting for additional primary, secondary and sixth form colleges to become lead schools. Lead schools must meet several criteria for their application form to be considered by the behaviour hubs programme team.

To be a lead school you must either be rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted or have an overall ‘good’ Ofsted rating with an ‘outstanding’ rating for ‘behaviour and attitudes’. Schools that are rated ‘good’ may otherwise apply and will be considered where their application form and interview are exceptional. Minimum academic requirements based on your school phase will also apply.

To be a lead MAT you must have at least one eligible lead school within your trust. You must also be considered by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to be of sound financial health. As a minimum requirement, must not have an open financial notice to improve.

We are particularly interested in applications from schools and MATs operating in particularly challenging or disadvantaged contexts.

Download the lead school application guidance for a full list of eligibility criteria by phase.

The partner school support offer

There are 5 parts to the support offer that partner schools receive through the behaviour hubs programme.

  1. One-to-one support
  2. Training
  3. Open days
  4. Networking events
  5. Resources

1. One-to-one support

There are 3 possible streams.

Core support

This offer is for schools who want to work more independently. As a partner school, you will have access to:

  • an action planning session with the lead school to identify areas for change and establish a plan to implement and monitor that change
  • ongoing engagement with your lead school through hub networking events
  • a follow up meeting with the lead school in the third term to review progress and provide further advice

In total, partner schools under the core offer will be expected to dedicate 12 to 20 days to the programme and will receive £3,000 at the end of the programme to contribute to staff time and expenses.

Extended support

This offer is for schools who want more one-to-one support. The partner school will have access to 8 to 12 days of in-depth support from their lead school to:

  • co-diagnose key behaviour issues through site visits and data sharing.
  • identify areas for change and support to develop and implement an action plan, that will set out how to quickly improve and embed a whole school approach to behaviour management, including how to monitor the impact
  • co-deliver whole-school training to support the launch of new behaviour policies,
  • provide ongoing support, mentoring, coaching and monitoring to support leaders in implementing lasting change

In total, partner schools under the extended offer will be expected to dedicate 20 to 40 days to the programme and will receive £9,000 at the end of the programme to contribute to staff time and expenses.

Multi-school support

This offer is for multi-academy trusts who would like to implement change across several schools within the trust. The partner MAT will have access to 5 to 7 days of in-depth support from the lead MAT exec team to:

  • co-diagnose key behaviour issues through site visits and data sharing and identify areas for change
  • consider, develop and implement a MAT-wide approach to behaviour management across their schools to create a sustained cultural change throughout the trust, including how to monitor impact
  • provide ongoing one-to-one support, mentoring, coaching and monitoring to support leaders in implementing lasting change

In total, partner MATs under the multi-school offer will be expected to dedicate 22 to 30 days to the programme and will receive £6,000 at the end of the programme to contribute to staff time and expenses. In addition, they will receive extended support for a ‘requires improvement’ school within the partner MAT.

2. Training

All partner schools, regardless of their support stream, will have access to training on specific issues, common problems and effective approaches led by expert advisers, that can be implemented in their school context. Training modules have been developed and reviewed by experts from across the school sector. The training includes:

  • induction training, providing an overview of the programme and its principles
  • specialist modules on the different challenges faced when managing behaviour in alternative provision, special schools and MATs
  • essential mandatory modules on leadership and management, creating systems and social norms, consequences, including sanctions and rewards, and SEND which covers how to ensure behaviour policies and practices are inclusive
  • additional modules on data monitoring and accountability, attendance and punctuality, high challenge behaviour in mainstream settings and using alternative provision effectively

3. Open days

Lead schools will hold open days 3 times a year. These days will be opportunities for partner schools and MATs to observe good systems and approaches in action, as well as reflect on any common themes and challenges.

4. Networking events

Hub networking events will take place once every term. Lead and partner schools and MATs will come together to share experiences and good practice. There will also be online forums to share learning hosted on the behaviour hubs portal.

5. Resources

Online resources developed by the expert advisers will be available for partner schools and MATs to equip and empower schools to implement changes in their settings. These will include programme handbooks, behaviour audit tools and good practice examples.

Schools will have access to the behaviour hubs portal, where they can book onto events, access resources and training materials and contribute to forums for school-to-school advice and support.

The role of lead schools and MATs

Lead schools and MATs provide tailored one-to-one support to a number of partner schools or MATs in their area, helping them to implement lasting whole school culture changes. They will be able to respond to the specific challenges that a partner school is facing, including those relating to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or mental health issues, and their context.

A lead school will be comprised of a team of inspirational senior leaders with proven experience in implementing successful behaviour cultures within their schools. A lead MAT will have experienced executives that are able to support the development of effective trust-wide approaches to managing behaviour.

Lead schools and MATs will be required to dedicate approximately 30 to 50 days of senior and middle leadership time per academic year to support their partner schools or MATs and will receive financial reimbursement for the work they do. They will be guided by a team of behaviour advisers led by Tom Bennett who oversees the behaviour hubs programme.

Download the behaviour hubs lead school and MAT brochure for a more detailed overview of the roles and responsibilities of lead schools and MATs.

List of current lead schools and MATs

Lead schools and MATs are from across the school sector including primary, secondary, alternative provision, special and MATs. This provides partner schools and MATs with access to good practice across different types of provision, including specialist provision.

MAT hubs

  • Maiden Erlegh Trust and Maiden Erlegh School, Wokingham
  • Dixons Academy Trust and Dixons Trinity Academy, Bradford

Secondary hubs

  • Bedford Free School, Advantage Schools, Bedford
  • Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Multi-Academy Company, Worcestershire
  • Ashmole Academy, Ashmole Academy Trust Ltd, Barnet
  • Painsley Catholic College, The Painsley Catholic Academy, Staffordshire
  • St Gregory’s Catholic Science College, All Saints’ Trust, Brent
  • Carmel College, Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust, Darlington
  • Sedgefield Community College, The Laidlaw Schools Trust, Durham
  • Glenmoor Academy, United Learning Trust, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Primary hubs

  • Evelyn Street Community Primary School, Warrington Primary Academy Trust, Warrington
  • Charles Dickens Primary School, The Charter Schools Educational Trust, Southwark
  • Lyons Hall Primary School, Learning Pathways Academy, Essex
  • Chepping View Primary Academy, Inspiring Futures Partnership Trust, Buckinghamshire
  • Polegate School, East Sussex
  • Throckley Primary School, Outer West Learning Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Witham St Hughs Academy, L.E.A.D Academy Trust, Lincolnshire Local Authority

Alternative provision hubs

  • The Limes College, Alternative Learning Trust, Sutton
  • Perryfields Primary PRU, Worcestershire

Special school hubs

  • Tor View School, The Sea View Trust, Lancashire
  • Keyham Lodge School, Leicester City
  • Oak Bank School, Oak Bank School, Central Bedfordshire

Who is supporting the programme

Behaviour advisers

A team of behaviour advisers, led by Tom Bennett, will oversee the programme, deliver training and help support schools. The behaviour advisers bring experience from across the school sectors, including alternative provision and special schools, providing broad representation of all schools and their specific needs.

The current behaviour advisers are:

  • Tom Bennett, author of creating a culture: how school leaders can optimise behaviour and founder of researchED
  • Michelle Blanchard, Head of Junior Fulneck School. Former Executive Principal at Dixons Academy Trust and Principal of Dixons Music Primary in Bradford
  • John D’Abbro, founder of Dabbs Education ltd and former Head of the New Rush Hall Group
  • Mark Emmerson, Chief Executive Officer of City of London Academy Trust in London and formerly Principal of Stoke Newington School, The City Academy, Hackney and City of London Academy Islington
  • Marie Gentles, co-director of Magic Behaviour Management and former Principal of Hawkswood AP Primary in London
  • Jayne Lowe, Director of Bright Green Learning, education adviser, former PRU headteacher and currently supporting Ministry of Justice on ‘Transforming Youth Custody’
  • Jenny Thompson, Principal of Dixons Trinity Academy in Bradford

Delivery centre

Education Development Trust (EDT) has been appointed to:

  • manage the delivery of the programme
  • provide logistical and administrative support, including grant management, organising training, collecting monitoring information
  • be the central point of contact for lead schools, partner schools and the general public


For any queries relating to behaviour hubs, to find out more about the programme or to enquire about participation, email

Published 28 February 2020
Last updated 5 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to extend the application date deadline to become a lead school or MAT to midnight on 31 October 2021.

  2. We are now accepting applications for new lead schools and multi-academy trusts (MATs) to join the behaviour hubs programme. We have added a link to the application form and application guidance. We have also added more information about the lead school and MAT criteria and the role of lead schools and MATs.

  3. Removed application deadline.

  4. Clarified the aims of the programme. Added new guidance on what support is available and a list of current lead schools and hubs.

  5. Provided information about the next cohort in the 'Apply' section.

  6. Updated programme information and information on how partner schools can apply.

  7. Removed application information - the application has now closed.

  8. Reformatted guidance and re-added details on how prospective lead schools and MATs can apply.

  9. Updated the programme start date.

  10. Included a link to a previously published guidance document to clarify how users can apply.

  11. First published.