Equity, Trust and the Self-improving Schools System

Paperback / softback, 178 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
23 Feb 2016
Trentham Books

Price: £21.99

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Richard Riddell draws on his interviews with senior managers in schools, academy chains and the regions during the UK Coalition Government to analyse the changes in education policy during its term. He argues that the developing regional organization for supervising schools in England, with its regional commissioners, provides a far more consistent context for reducing longstanding disparities in pupil attainment than the declining local authority systems it replaces. However, the insecurity of headteachers – even those who are well-placed – and the pressures on them in the current arrangements cannot be allowed to continue. The book advocates a two-stage process to achieve long-term school partnerships based on trust, so that inequity in schooling is effectively addressed.

  • Richard Riddell

    Richard Riddell is Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at Bath Spa University's Institute for Education.

CONTENTS: Introduction and Acknowledgements; 1. Equity and its dilemmas; 2. Getting to good: Investigating a system in development; 3. Ratcheting up the expectations on schools: Changing policy frameworks; 4. The emerging English polity for schools: Changing conceptions, identities and loyalties; 5. Foretastes of a school-led system: The shifting assemblage of governance and practice; 6. Changing governance, realigning relationships: Emerging arrangements for a school-led system; 7. Equity and the developing English education polity; Appendix: Pseudonyms of frequently quoted interviewees; References; Index

'The author shines a laser-like, bright light on the confused and fragmented landscape called the English schooling system. He illuminates some pathways that, if taken, could lead to greater equity for present and future generations, and helpfully signposts some traps to avoid en route. Accessible, principled, with realistic examples and always thought-provoking, this book is a must for school leaders, policymakers and academics alike.'

Professor Sir Tim Brighouse, Norham Fellow, University of Oxford, and formerly Commissioner for London Schools

'At a time of significant educational turmoil it is important that policymakers, teachers and researchers are provided with insightful interpretations of the changing landscape. In writing this book Richard Riddell has produced a well-balanced reflection of the potential impact of these current changes, and raises pertinent questions about the veracity of the political motivations and theories driving this agenda. At the heart of this important book is an empathy for teachers, presented with a realistic perspective of the challenges faced by schools in the twenty-first century. This book will surely be essential reading for all who wish to engage in an informed debate about educational policy and its impact upon the teaching profession.'

Richard Rose, Professor of Inclusive Education, University of Northampton

'Could well prove to be the definitive study of the education polity in the current era.'

From the Foreword by Geoff Whitty, Director of the Institute of Education, 2000–2010