1st Edition

The Gradual Art of School Improvement
A Practical Guide

ISBN 9780367136918
Published June 24, 2019 by Routledge
206 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

USD $28.95

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Book Description

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

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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.