ESCXEL Project – School Network for Excellence is a network based on a partnership between public schools of eight municipalities, the correspondent 32 school units, and CICS.NOVA, an interdisciplinary Social Sciences research centre at Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCSH-UNL).
In the context of decentralization and school autonomy policies, that have been changing educational systems over the last decades, this Project is one example of partnerships between schools and other actors, which constitute a form of voluntary regulation of a collaborative (Justino & Batista, 2014), decentralized and informal nature.
ESCXEL network was born in 2008 from the initiative of some researchers and their interpretation of de Portuguese educational system trends and challenges. Its main goal is to foster a continuing endeavour to improve quality and performance in its schools, following Aristotle thoughts:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”

Aristóteles, 384-322 a.c., citado por Durant (2006 [1926]:98) —


1. Focus on the dinamics of improvement
Better schools are the ones which improve

2. Dinamic perspective
Analysis of indicators throughout time

3. Compared analysis
Analysis of indicators referenced to common pattorns


1. Empowerment of schools and communities for the promotion of education excellence;
2. Support municipalities in the design of templates to improve local education development;
3. Identify, disseminate and regulate “good practices” in education;
4. Improve self-assessment processes;
5. Contribute to the increase of scientific production about education.


1. Self-assessment models (internal and external);
2. Strategic development (school and local communities);
3. Educational innovation;
4. Scientific studies.