Beacon School was a government designation awarded to outstanding primary and secondary schools in England and Wales from 1998 to August 2005. The Beacon Schools programme identified schools that were examples of good practice and funded those schools to enable them to build partnerships with each other and to share effective practice with other schools.
For instance, an excellently performing school might have been 'twinned' with another school defined as failing, or in special measures, in order to improve that school's performance.
This scheme has been replaced by the specialist schools programme for secondary schools, which includes new initiatives such as the Leading Edge Partnership programme. At primary school level, Primary Strategy Learning Networks (PSLNs) are being created to encourage co-operation between schools.