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Around the world, countries are searching for ways of making their schools more effective for all children and young people. This book offers a new way of thinking about how to address this challenge. It sees improvement as requiring a collective effort that involves contributions from all members of a school community. Crucial to this is the idea of ethical leadership.
Promoting Equity in Schools is written by a team of academic researchers who had a most unusual opportunity to work with a network of schools over three years, experimenting to find more effective ways of including hard to reach learners. Bringing together practitioner knowledge and ideas from research carried out from a variety of perspectives, the authors provide rich accounts of what happened when the schools attempted to become more inclusive and fairer. In so doing, they throw light on the challenges this presents for school leaders.
The accounts presented in the book are located in Queensland, Australia, where the school system faces significant difficulties in relation to equity that resonate with similar difficulties around the world. These difficulties relate to policies that emphasize high-stakes testing and school choice, which tend to promote increased segregation, to the particular disadvantage of young people from low income and minority backgrounds. The arguments presented suggest that even where worrying policies are in place, with leadership driven by a commitment to equity, schools can still find space to develop more equitable ways of working.