This important new book draws lessons from a large-scale initiative to bring about the improvement of an urban education system. Written from an insider perspective by an internationally recognized researcher, it presents a new way of thinking about system change. This builds on the idea that there are untapped resources within schools and the communities they serve that can be mobilized in order to transform schools from places that do well for some children so that they can do well for many more.
Towards Self-improving School Systems presents a strategic framework that can help to foster new, more fruitful working relationships: between national and local government; within and between schools; and between schools and their local communities. What is distinctive in the approach is that this is mainly led from within schools, with senior staff having a central role as system leaders.
The book will be relevant to a wide range of readers throughout the world who are concerned with the strengthening of their national educational systems, including teachers, school leaders, policy makers and researchers. The argument it presents is particularly important for the growing number of countries where increased emphasis on school autonomy, competition and choice is leading to fragmentation within education provision.
Foreword by Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education, Boston College, USA
"This book represents a refreshing antidote to advocates of simplistic ‘policy borrowing’ and top down reform approaches, not just because it relates the story of a real school improvement programme that stands up as one of England’s genuine success stories, but also because the author provides an alternative strategy and framework for (potentially more) sustainable and equitable change." – Toby Greaney, Professional Development Today
"This is one of the most extraordinarily powerful books on school improvement and positive systemic change I have ever read. And it bears a message that the world needs to acknowledge."- Andy Hargreaves
"Mel Ainscow does a masterful job in capturing with great clarity how to lead change in complex whole systems. He led the Greater Manchester Challenge and was clearly immersed in it, but as an author he has the uncanny ability to write as if he was an observer. A great book." - Michael Fullan
1. Struggles for Equity in Education 2. A City Challenge 3. Keys to Success 4. Families of Schools 5. Mobilising Community Resources 6. Leading Self-improving School Systems 7. Addressing the Politics 8. A Different Way of Thinking