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Primary books: Three into one goes just nicely

Improving Primary Schools, Improving Communities
By Tony Cotton with Jasbir Mann,
Anna Hassan and Stella Nickolay
Trentham Books pound;15.99

Planning, Teaching and Class Management in Primary Schools (second edition)
By Denis Hayes
David Fulton pound;17

Anyone wanting to know what primary schools should really be like could find no better place to begin than Improving Primary Schools, Improving Communities, a far more exciting book than it would appear from the publisher's description on the back cover.

Tony Cotton doesn't waste a word as he weaves descriptions of the life and work of staff, children and parents from three multi-ethnic urban schools to produce a firecracker account of how determined leadership and courage (in rejecting notions of limited expectations and horizons) can provide outstanding learning experiences.

The book makes a cracking start in comparing the backgrounds of the schools described in their Ofsted reports with the views that the schools themselves project in their prospectuses, mission statements and development plans. The prejudices and stereotypical thinking of the former stand out a mile.

Read the full review in this week's TES Friday

Mike Sullivan is an inspector and former primary head based in the West Midlands

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