School Leadership for Public Value

Understanding valuable outcomes for children, families and communities

Paperback / softback, 128 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
10 May 2012
Institute of Education

Price: £23.99

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School Leadership for Public Value is a timely contribution to the debate about the purpose and structure of schooling in England. It describes how some schools enhance pupil attainment by creating strong alliances with their neighbourhood communities. Those alliances enable the neighbourhood community to help raise the academic attainment of pupils as well as to improve the much wider range of outcomes for children and young people. In turn, the school’s resources are deployed sometimes subtly and sometimes explicitly to encourage community growth or regeneration. This book claims that schools working like these are writing a ‘new story’ for education which abandons institutional isolation and recreates powerful and positive relationships between communities and their schools. It is a story of disciplined educational and social innovation, led by headteachers and others with a mixture of passion and pragmatism, determination and ingenuity. It is a narrative which will help leaders from schools, local authorities and third sector services to understand the benefits which increasingly autonomous schools can both derive from and contribute to a strong engagement with local communities. At a time when national policy and financial constraints will tempt some schools into a siege mentality focussed internally and exclusively on classroom craft, this book offers an alternative, broader framework within which both higher attainment and improved well-being can be pursued.

  • Denis Mongon

  • Charles Leadbeater

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.

Don Ledingham, Midlothian Council

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.

Professor Mel Ainscow, University of Manchester

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.

Professor Michael Fielding, Institute of Education, University of London

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.

Matt Dunkley, East Sussex County Council

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.

Anthony MacKay, Centre for Strategic Education, Australia

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.

Cari Strand & Jess L. Gregory, International Review of Education Vol 59 (2)