Understanding valuable outcomes for children, families and communities
- Paperback / softback, 128 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
- 10 May 2012
- Institute of Education
Introduction Overview 1 Prologue: Setting the scene for Public Value outcomes 2 Work in Progress: The context of the public education service 3 A 'new story' for Education? Schools and their communities, past and present 4 New Authorisation: Creating the climate for innovation and public value 5 Building New Capacity: Nurturing the people and resources for innovation and public value 6 Measuring for Value: Choosing the right measures for innovation and public value 7 Conclusion
As a policy maker and school system leader I was thrilled to see such a coherent argument for a different model of practice unfold before me ... The text will be of value to leaders at all levels in the education and policy environment – not just as a one-off read – but as a manual for change.
There is nothing new in the idea that successful schools connect to the communities they serve. And yet in the mad race to improve test scores this key principle has somehow been forgotten. Drawing on the experiences of ten pioneering schools, the authors of School Leadership for Public Value provide a challenging and timely reminder of the importance of looking beyond the school gate.
This is a thought-provoking, compelling, highly practical book which demonstrates inevitable and potentially powerful interdependence between schools and their communities. Using rich examples of contemporary practice and clear theoretical frameworks, it shows how practical challenges can be overcome and how we can better achieve, not only the test scores by which we are judged, but also the more humanly fulfilling educational outcomes we all desire... A timely, intelligent book rooted in reality, creating a better future now.
Mongon and Leadbeater use a broad and ambitious canvas for this thought provoking study of school leadership and innovation. Ranging across national and international research, they look at trends in school leadership through the prism of "Public Value" or PV. They use the construct of PV and some associated methodologies to measure the progress of innovation in school leadership. They present a compelling argument that successful school leaders are reconciling a drive for better and better teaching and learning within schools, with a recognition of the importance and impact of a connection with the communities they draw from.
The authors provide interesting case studies to argue that recognising and working with social context, including deprivation, does not equate to using it as an excuse for poor attainment. They present a moral imperative for innovation and equity, for the need to devise more engaging ways of learning for those from the most deprived backgrounds to close the attainment gap, but to do so while also engaging with the communities those children and their parents come from.
The authors' assertion that "the process of creating new combinations to meet new challenges lies at the heart of most innovation" is certainly borne out by this interesting and well written book. In an era of greater and greater autonomy for schools, and more diffuse accountability for their success, Mongon and Leadbeater set a challenge for school leaders and policy makers everywhere to marry their innovation to their communities.
Mongon and Leadbeater have written the right book at the right time. 21st Century learning for achievement and wellbeing requires school leadership in the service of public value. This book transcends the old divides. It correctly positions the emerging learning system as one which places communities at the centre and partnerships as the driving force. It strikes the correct balance between autonomy and accountability and casts leadership as collaborative and genuinely shared. It goes beyond the school as institution to encompass new players critical to the success of the learning game. For Mongon and Leadbeater Public Value Schools are engaged in the serious game of improvement, innovation and ultimately transformation - to ensure that all young people experience and realise the global twin goals of excellence and equity in learning.
Ultimately, School Leadership for Public Value presents a succinct and useful analysis of how schools can establish community connections to create successful programmes that directly and indirectly benefit students... Until we accept Mongon and Leadbeater’s call to action and address the issues affecting our communities, we can only have a limited impact on our children’s academic achievement.