Flipping Schools!

School improvement that is not matched by a strategy for community engagement is no longer fit for purpose. School improvement that bases itself purely on flawed numerical measures and does not take proper account of broader outcomes, such as personal and social development and wellbeing, has now become dangerous and damaging. School improvement that fails to understand the difference between organisation and community cannot now take us to the levels of excellence and equity we need.

These three key messages form the basis for this powerful book. In response, it argues for a move away from the present focus on social mobility to placing equity and social justice at the heart of school leadership, and calls for a thorough re-examination and re-orientation of a school's relationship with its communities. It explores in detail the renewed importance of a school becoming a builder of social capital.

School improvement has been the dominant component in educational policy making for more than a generation. It is becoming increasingly clear that at national and school level this policy has become disproportionately significant to the point that we are almost in a situation of diminishing returns – teachers and school leaders are working harder than ever without commensurate return. School improvement is only one of the complex variables that determines securing equity and improving outcomes. It is time to redress this imbalance by placing traditional school improvement in context and arguing for equal weight to be given to schools in their community and to schools as communities.

This strongly evidence-informed book draws on the work of current school leaders whilst linking this to a huge range of research and analysis. Singling out four building blocks for change, it combines a laser-sharp focus on moral leadership with a raft of strategies to help schools and policy-makers turn principle into practice.