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Great Aspirations

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Great Aspirations is more than a series of case studies from Outstanding schools; it is a collection of stories of what can be achieved when school leaders believe in achieving the exceptional. It is the latest in a collection of case studies emanating from the Going For Great programme, run by the London Leadership Strategy.


Going for Great supports outstanding schools to learn from each other and in turn support the schools around them. Now in its 9th year, Going for Great has supported 130 schools. Each year, a new cohort contributes a book of case studies documenting innovative, inspiring initiatives in their schools. This book is the 8th in that series.

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Great Aspirations is more than a series of case studies from Outstanding schools; it is a collection of stories of what can be achieved when school leaders believe in achieving the exceptional. It is the latest in a collection of case studies emanating from the Going For Great programme, run by the London Leadership Strategy.

Going for Great supports outstanding schools to learn from each other and in turn support the schools around them. Now in its 9th year, Going for Great has supported 130 schools. Each year, a new cohort contributes a book of case studies documenting innovative, inspiring initiatives in their schools. This book is the 8th in that series.

About the editors

Rachel Macfarlane is a National Leader of Education in her 15th year of Headship. After seven years as Headteacher of Walthamstow School for Girls, an outstanding 11-16 school in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, Rachel joined Ark Schools in 2011 to set up a new co-educational, all-through academy for 4-18 year olds in Ilford, East London. Isaac Newton Academy opened in September 2012 and will take a new primary and secondary cohort each year until full in 2020. Since 2009 Rachel has been Project Director of The London Leadership Strategy’s Going For Great (G4G) Programme, which involves working with leaders of outstanding schools to share good practice and produce case studies for dissemination to London schools. She also led the Good to Great (G2G) programme from 2010-14. She is a Director of LLS. Rachel is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Education. She also serves on the Headteacher Board for the Regional Schools Commissioner for the North East London & East of England region.

Damian McBeath was the founding Headteacher of Ark Conway Primary Academy, the first free school to be designated as Outstanding and described by the Nicky Morgan as ‘an Engine for Social mobility’, and by her predecessor Michael Gove as ‘truly excellent, a brilliant school with inspiring teachers and leaders.’ Rated as the highest performing school for infant pupils for the last four years, Ark Conway has become a beacon of excellence in West London. Damian has worked as an Executive Headteacher significantly improving the quality of education at Ark Bentworth and Ark Swift. In 2014 Damian was named by the Education Foundation as one of their Educational Reformers of the year ‘for inspiring and collegiate leadership and nationally acknowledged achievement for pupils in a new school.’ In 2016 Damian was part of the DfE’s ITT Behaviour working group responsible for producing ‘Developing behaviour management content for initial teacher training (ITT)’ and has been chair of the Ark Schools Primary Teacher Training steering group for the past two years.


Additional Information

Author Rachel Macfarlane and Damien McBeath
ISBN 9780995679023
No of pages 226
Format Paperback
Publication Date 20 Feb 2018

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