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Different schools, same problem What value teacher research and inquiry?Robust school leadership is seen as the most effective route by which schools and outcomes for students can be achieved (Greany, 2015). But how does a headteacher of a school graded ‘outstanding’ by the inspectorate maintain the motivation of its teachers to work consistently at this highest level? I am a university academic, and recently I was in conversation with the head of an outstanding secondary school about this issue. He explained that most of his staff are graded as ‘very good’/‘outstanding’, and student outcomes are consistently above the national norm. The school is not aligned with a teaching school alliance, nor is it part of a multi-academy trust (MAT). Networking with other teacher professionals is limited because of a restricted budget for cover teachers and for fear of compromising standards in the long term. We talked about teacher research to encourage staff to engage with wider external networks, in order to keep them motivated about practice. This might open opportunities for dissemination to enable the staff to adopt a more critical perspective on their work. He seemed interested.