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ERIC Number: EJ1060108
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-8211
An Education Worth Having: The Aspirations and the Development of the Whole Education Network in England
Crossley, David
European Journal of Education, v50 n2 p184-195 Jun 2015
The Whole Education National Network is a dynamic national not-for-profit partnership of schools and organisations that believe that all children and young people are entitled to an education that supports the development of wider skills, qualities and characteristics to enable them to thrive in life, learning and work, as well as conventional academic achievement. The article outlines the background to the development of the growing network of some 150 schools plus partner organisations and its core aims. It then considers what the Network is achieving and what it is learning about its approach as it grows. It offers and is seeking to embed and sustain an approach to school development that is "values-led, evidence-informed and impact-focused". It is also predicated on a commitment to and belief in peer-to-peer collaboration, inspired and encouraged by the work of leading academics, thinkers and practitioners. Whole Education is also a response to what many observers and commentators identify as a weakness of the English and many other systems: the gap between the outcomes achieved by the more disadvantaged and other students. Part of its moral purpose is to help to narrow that gap, underpinned by a belief that focusing on immediate outcomes and test scores is not enough on its own. The Network operates in the belief that it will only be through the commitment to an entitlement to a "whole education for all" that any school or system will truly narrow the gap and make a real difference to the life-chances of all young people. School leaders and schools that have gravitated towards Whole Education seek like minds to share and, more importantly, develop both their thinking and strategies employed to help achieve their goals. At the heart of the change model underpinning Whole Education is the development of effective communities of practice that develop professional capital and unleash the creativity of teachers. Creating, embedding and sustaining a national self-funded school-led network committed to achieving longer-term aspirations rather than immediate needs is both inspiring and challenging. The pressure to respond to short-term targets in terms of student outcomes and accountability pressures has meant that the energy and resource tend to be focused on the immediate rather than the medium- or longer-term needs. Whole Education provides a powerful example of how schools that share common aspirations can seize the agenda, have real impact on students and demonstrate the potential of a self-improving school system.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A