Tinker - and transform your school

26th September 2003 at 01:00

Education Epidemic: transforming secondary schools through innovation networks
By David H Hargreaves
Demos pound;10

The New Strategic Direction and Development of the School
By Brent Davies and Linda Ellison
RoutledgeFalmer pound;65, paperback pound;19.99

"You don't put me at risk enough... let's take some more this term." I've never forgotten the head's startling encouragement at the pre-term staff briefing. It was unusual even a dozen years ago, let alone since. Perhaps risk-taking is just beginning to be thinkable again. Read David Hargreaves's latest Education Epidemic book to fill your heart with courage and your pockets with confidence.

He's made a habit of writing "just in time", cogently argued books about schools. Here he paints an impressive motorway map to guide school leaders, arguing persuasively that in the best schools, leaders know how to promote and multiply what he describes as the school's "social and intellectual capital" and then, vitally, the know-how - "organisational capital" - to orchestrate and apply it.

Brent Davies and Linda Ellison are a little like highly skilled "organisational engineers". They provide a more detailed footpath guide for schools that are trying to link their longer-term strategies to day-to-day life. Their argument incorporates three case studies, drawn from primary and secondary schools and a local education authority which has adopted the DaviesEllison approach,

Read more in this week's TES Friday magazine

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