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Reaching out to everyone

How can schools succeed with all of their pupils? Mel Ainscow finds inspiration in classrooms around the world

Attempting to move practice forward leads to turbulence at both an individual and organisational level as attempts are made to change the status quo. Turbulence may take several forms, involving organisational, psychological, technical or micro-political dimensions. At its heart, however, it is frequently about the dissonance that occurs as experienced people struggle to make sense of new ideas.

There is evidence to suggest that without a period of turbulence, successful, long-lasting change is unlikely to occur. In this sense turbulence can be seen as a useful indication that the school is on the move. How can teachers be supported in coping with such periods of difficulty? My colleagues and I have formulated a typology of six conditions that seem to be a feature of moving schools. These are: * Effective leadership throughout the school * Involvement of staff, students and community in decisions * A commitment to collaborative planning * Co-ordination, particularly in the use of time * Attention to the potential benefits of enquiry and reflection * A policy for staff development focusing on classroom practices

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