Towards Self-improving School Systems : Lessons from a City Challenge
The last twenty years have seen extensive efforts in many countries to improve the quality of state education systems. The dominant approach has involved top-down methods that have sought to improve educational practice, particularly in respect to teaching and leadership. Whilst evidence suggests that this approach can raise minimum standards, there is a growing recognition that it is not able to equitably bring about the overall levels of performance that are required.
A fundamental challenge for policy makers and practitioners is to continue to improve the performance of their schools in a way that breaks the links between disadvantage, educational failure and restricted life chances. Drawing on statistical data and qualitative evidence collected over four years through the work of the Greater Manchester Challenge, Ainscow presents recommendations for the development of self-improving school systems based on two overall strategies:
- increased collaboration within and between schools, ensuring that the best practices are made available to a wider range of children and young people
- active involvement of community partners, including local businesses, universities and colleges, faith groups, voluntary organisations, academy sponsors and the media.
Towards Self-improving School Systems provides positive suggestions that can be used to guide the development of policy and practice in the field internationally, set within an account that offers a critical commentary on the practicalities of putting these proposals into action within real world contexts.
This book will be relevant to a wide audience of practitioners and policy-makers globally, including post-graduate students, researchers and academics who are focusing on school improvement, headteachers and senior staff in schools, and those leading the development of groupings of schools.