Comprehensive Achievements

All our geese are swans

Author/Editor(s):
Format:
Paperback / softback, 180 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
ISBN:
9781858565309
Published:
8 Oct 2013
Imprint:
Trentham Books

Price: £23.99

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Schools in England are radically changing their organization and governance, casting aside the founding principle of the 1944 Education Act that education is a public service and abandoning the ideal of education as nurturing a sense of community. This book presents a portrait of a successful comprehensive school, between the years 1980 and 2000. It illustrates how education could be broad-based, holistic, and creative, enabling children to love learning and develop as all-round people, in addition to passing examinations.

More than fifty insider contributions contextualized by historical accounts tell the story of a thriving school based on non-selective principles. The voices are of the students, teachers, governors, and parents. Together they show how it is possible for a well-led school with well-chosen staff to hold firm to their professional and moral beliefs, and in doing so resonate with their pupils, parents, and the wider school community.

This book is aimed at all those interested in education: parents, governors, teachers, teacher-educators, and policymakers. As a well-grounded case study of a non-selective school it belongs on the reading list of graduate and undergraduate degrees in education.

  • Tamsyn Imison

    Tamsyn Imison is currently an education strategist and was headteacher of Hampstead School, 1984-2000.

  • Liz Williams

    Liz Williams was chair of governors of Hamsptead School and is currently a trustee of Research and Information on State Education (RISE).

  • Ruth Heilbronn

    Ruth Heilbronn teaches at the Institute of Education, University of London and is a specialist in philosophy of education and languages in education.

Preface (Tim Brighouse); 1. Editors’ Introduction (Tamsyn Imison, Liz Williams, Ruth Heilbronn); 2. Student Voices; 3. Parent and Governor Voices; 4. Staff Voices; 5. Context; 6. Postscript (Tamsyn Imison); References; Index

It's essential reading for anyone who cares about state education, both its past and, more vitally, its future.

Zadie Smith,

This extraordinary text conveys the far-reaching effects of professionals who care. As English education policy moves toward narrower definitions of school success, through ‘core knowledge’, the accounts in this unique book provide inspiration for those who seek to understand how rich and extended provision changes lives. They show us compellingly how complex, extensive, and necessary such provision is.

Professor Anna Craft, University of Exeter and the Open University

I have always considered myself extremely lucky to have attended Hampstead School, a fact hard to explain to the sort of people whose interest in a school begin and end with its league tables. To me, it was an exemplary inner city state school for reasons that sometimes included those league tables but more often stretched far beyond them. It was more than an education; it was an experience – one of the most fulfilling of my life. It's a pleasure to be able to hear so many former students expressing the complexity of that experience; what it meant to them to be in a school that believed everyone deserved at least the same opportunity – whatever their ability, class or race – and for free. It was by instilling this belief in their students that the school hoped to give us the sense that we were nothing if not pure potential. Of course, not everyone took up the opportunities offered. But many did, far more than seem possible or likely. (I was one of the unlikely ones.) This book, initiated by our headteacher, explains how it was done, and how something similar might be achieved elsewhere. It's essential reading for anyone who cares about state education, both its past and – more vitally – its future.

Zadie Smith,

The accounts in this unique book provide inspiration for those who seek to understand how rich and extended provision changes lives.

Professor Anna Craft, University of Exeter and the Open University

An inspirational book

Maureen Cruickshank, ASCL

...every chapter is inspiring.

Helen Hunt, The Teacher, Spring 2014