School improvement in recent years has largely focused on rapid improvement and quick fixes. Yet, genuine and sustainable school improvement is complex, gradual and incremental. It requires developing a culture and focusing relentlessly on teaching and learning.
The Gradual Art of School Improvement is a comprehensive practical guide to school improvement, covering aspects such as improvement planning, staff development, the learning environment, dealing with outside pressures including inspection, curriculum design and the role of leaders at all levels. It includes:
- Detailed accounts of the steps that can be taken to create a positive learning culture over time
- Case studies and worked examples, concentrating on the practical aspects of school improvement from the perspective of an experienced and successful head teacher
- Ready-to-use practitioner resources that readers can adapt and use in their own settings
Accessibly written and entertaining, this book is an invaluable resource for leaders at all levels and stages of their career.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Creating a Learning Culture Acceleration Quick fix versus slow burn Towards a definition of a learning culture Beyond the classroom Politics Avoiding distractions Head of teaching and learning The headteacher in the classroom Behaviour for learning Open classrooms, open leadership 2. Leadership for Learning The myth of the hero head Leaders as teachers Working with the system Innovation Two examples The leadership team The whole team Appointing leaders The digital leader Improvising 3. Real Improvement Planning The vision The self-evaluation form What should a SEF include? What to include in a learning plan An example plan The learning plan cycle Line management Embedding the plan 4. Staff Development Teachers as researchers Trios Challenge coordinators Classroom to classroom A planned programme Departmental reviews Reluctant staff Staff forum Teaching schools 5. The Curriculum What do we mean by the curriculum? Playing the game Broad and balanced Choice Standing up for the arts Vocational education Putting it all together The importance of narrative 6. The Myth of Governance The role of governors Who are the governors? How qualified are governors? Governance in practice New governors Reporting to governors The importance of policies Critical friends Inviting governors into school Accountability and trust 7. Inspection The need for inspection The dangers of being satisfactory The dangers of being outstanding The limitations of inspection Preparing for inspection Over-preparing 8. Pupils not Systems The alternative school council Teaching and learning and the school council Pupils as leaders of learning Parents Academic pupils, happy pupils Endnote Index
Richard Steward is an educational consultant with 16 years’ experience as a head teacher. He has taught in a variety of schools in a 30-year career and has worked as a part-time lecturer with The Open University. He regularly publishes articles in the educational press.