//
you're reading...
Leadership

The Educationally Isolated

For too long our view of School Improvement has been London centric; London has quite a unique context with its own drivers and challenges.  For schools that are educationally isolated, there are things to learn from the approaches of major urban areas; however, the contexts are so different that the improvement journey must also be.

Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope, Plymouth Marjon University and Dr Rowena Passy, University of Plymouth have produced an report containing deep insights into the quite specific challenges and some potential policy solutions to support these isolated coastal and rural schools.  I was delighted to be given the opportunity to introduce their report on Educational Isolation.  The introduction is below and a link to the main report is at the bottom.

It has been both a privilege and challenge to work for nearly twenty years in a school and community that shares many similarities with the “coastal and rural schools” at the heart of this research. These educationally isolated schools, and the hard working school leaders within them, deserve recognition, consideration and specific support (I’d also add teachers and support staff but they weren’t interviewed as part of the research).

As you read the Educational Isolation Report I would urge you to give deep consideration to the authors’ definition of educational isolation.  It brings together: geographical location, socio-economic disadvantage as well as disadvantage due to limited diversity or access to cultural resources.  These are multipliers of isolation rather than summative elements.  Their definition begins to delve the absolute depth of the challenge facing these schools and their communities.

This report is being published at an interesting juxtaposition; alongside the Department for Education’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, the soon to be announced Comprehensive Spending Review and Ofsted’s New Inspection Framework consultation. There is an opportunity here for education policy makers to really consider the situation of educationally isolated schools and ask

To what extent will the recruitment and retention strategy begin to address the issues raised in this report? 

Will the Comprehensive Spending Review address and reverse the decades of chronic underfunding these educationally isolated schools have endured?

Will the new inspection framework have any relevance to these schools’ improvement journey?

Not without justification, these educationally isolated school leaders are frustrated by those that control resources without truly understanding the ‘context’ the school has to work in. Currently our accountability system is too narrow and unforgiving.  What is required is a far greater understanding of the different improvement journeys required by these schools.  Decades of limited access to school improvement resources – high quality workforce, school to school support and funded school improvement interventions – has led to educationally isolated schools feeling like they have been forgotten.  They arguably have and it’s time for this to change.

This report offers a series of proposals for consideration by policy makers, funding agencies/organisations and stakeholders that begin to move the debate towards a more bespoke, coherent and cogent place-based school improvement process. We must now move to school improvement for all; we owe it to all our children and young people, no matter where fate determined they would be born and brought up.

If you’d like a copy of the full report; you can download it here.

Advertisements

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New Book: Liminal Leadership

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 26,439 other followers

Follow @LeadingLearner on WordPress.com

The Teacher Development Trust a national charity supporting effective professional development (please click to find out more)

Blog Stats

  • 1,235,898 hits

COPYRIGHT LICENCE

#5MinMarkingPlan

It won't get your marking done in five minutes but will help your structure your marking so you and the students get the most out of it.

#5MinBehaviourPlan

Getting the behaviour of students right, in the class room, is the challenge for every teacher. This simple planner will take you through the main stages required to help you achieve a purposeful learning envionment

#Outstandingin10Plus10

Ideas and the thinking behind a professional development to help improve the quality of teaching and learning. Keep the learning tight, the lesson plan loose and focus on the learners

Planning to Get Behaviour Right: Research Plus Experience

The thinking behind the #5MinBehaviourPlan and our whole school approach to managing behaviour.

Education for Wisdom

Why the four knowledge dimensions (covering knowledge and skills) and a moral compass are at the heart of an outstanding education.

When Feedback Met Bloom

A look at the power of Feedback to students using Bloom's four knowledge dimensions

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: