The 52 Schools of Ambition across Scotland are supported by a research team drawn from three universities. The purpose of this involvement is to facilitate an action research approach to each school's evaluation of their Transformational Plan. This paper considers the extent to which it is possible simultaneously to achieve institutional development goals as well as personal professional development for teachers within a scheme such as this. This topic is explored through consideration of one particular case, a school where an action research orientation is well established and involves a number of staff. Analysis of interview data drawn from teacher researchers and senior managers in the school indicates that even within such a positive setting there are significant tensions relating to teacher identity, management of change and sustainability.