This book argues that much of what passes as contemporary educational reform in education is faulty and damaging. It argues that it is time for a ‘system recall’ and a need to look at what matters most in the pursuit of educational goals. The book focuses on what we know about contemporary educational improvement, transformation, and change. It will provide insights into what strategies work, long term, to build the capacity for principled change at the school and system level. The book will consider what leaders can do to secure principled school and system improvement which fully embraces diversity, equity, and equality. It will also dispel some myths about reform at scale and challenge some prevailing ideas about educational change that, it will be posited, are not helping many young people to reach their potential. The main argument of the book is that too many school and system improvement initiatives have not paid sufficient attention to equity issues in their pursuit of ever higher achievement and that the net effect of large-scale, international assessments have been to distract policy makers in ways that have not always benefitted young people. The book will use system examples to underpin and exemplify six core ways of re-botting the system and generating progress for all, It will highlight the implications for school and system leaders.

Inequality and Inequity

Inequality and Inequity

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.

Plutarch, 46–120 CE

Inequality in education is not a new phenomenon. It is well established that unequal societies create damage not only to the poorest in society but to the whole population. Ichiro Kawachi (n.d.), a professor of social epidemiology at Harvard, has called inequality “a social pollutant” that affects mental health, physical well-being, and educational opportunities. His research work focuses on the negative effects of inequality on the health of certain groups and individual stress levels. His work highlights the detrimental effects of poverty on health and well-being, with the associated implications for unequal educational progress.

In 2018, a report on the state of education ...

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