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.

Hard Truths

Hard Truths

By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.

Sustainable Development Goals (2015)

Inequality and inequity are not only hardwired into many education systems but are also widely accepted, exploited, and in some cases, actively maintained (Harris & Jones, 2017). For many education systems, closing the poverty and attainment gap is a stated policy priority. In other education systems, breaking the powerful link between poverty and underachievement remains a daunting and challenging prospect. The effects of poverty on young people are multifaceted, affecting self-esteem, mental health, and participation in wider society.

Income inequities also play out in different ways that directly affect educational attainment and opportunities. For example, more-affluent ...

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