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The Guardian Lecture 2012 Embracing Change: Thriving in Adversity Sir William Atkinson. Thursday November 8 th 2012. “Unequal societies have unequal educational systems and unequal education outcomes.” The Spirit Level, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.

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the guardian lecture 2012 embracing change thriving in adversity sir william atkinson
The Guardian Lecture 2012Embracing Change: Thriving in AdversitySir William Atkinson

Thursday November 8th 2012


“Unequal societies have unequal educational systems and unequal education outcomes.”The Spirit Level, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

poor in uk dying 10 years earlier than rich
Poor in UK Dying 10 Years Earlier Than Rich

The life expectancy gap between rich and poor people in England is widening, despite years of government and NHS action, a hard-hitting National Audit Office report reveals today.

Extensive efforts have failed to reduce the wide differential, which can still be 10 years or more depending on socio economic background, says the public spending watchdog.

The gap in life expectancy between government-designated areas of high deprivation and the national average has continued to widen.

The Guardian, Friday 2nd July 2010


If the United States had in recent years closed the gap between educational achievement levels and those of better performing nations such as Finland and Korea, GDP in 2008 could have been $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion higher. This represents 9 to 16 percent of GDP.

  • If the gap between low income students and the rest had similarly narrowed, GDP in 2008 would have been $400 billion to $670 billion higher.
  • If the gap between America’s low performing states and the rest had been similarly narrowed, GDP in 2008 would have been $425 billion to $475 billion higher.
  • Reason for the underachievement of poor kids and minority students - on average, the United States systematically assigns less experienced, less qualified and probably less effective teachers to poor and minority students.

White City

  • The White City Estate is ranked within the top 5% of the most
  • deprived neighbourhoods nationally with regard to income
  • level and within the 10% most deprived with regards to
  • barriers to housing and services
  • 53% of tenants are rent in arrears
  • Wormholt and White City Ward has one of the highest
  • standardised mortality rates
  • Birth rate and domestic over-crowding highlight significant
  • health problems on White City Estate
  • Highest concentration of residents on Council’s Disability and
  • Mental Registers, as well as those receiving Community Care
  • packages to support independent living at home November 2009
ofsted 1994 key judgements
Ofsted 1994Key Judgements
  • There is little sense of coherent management and direction within the school
  • …. the implementation of policies and procedures is inconsistent between and within the main areas of the school
  • The school has no systematic and underpinning culture of monitoring and evaluation to inform its subsequent actions using clear, shared and agreed criteria
  • There is no evident and distinctive positive ethos in the school
  • Some staff display a lack of self confidence in their ability to ensure a suitable working environment
the purpose of education
The Purpose of Education
  • Education needs to prepare students to…
    • Deal with more rapid change than ever before…

… for jobs that have not yet been created…

… using technologies that have not yet been invented…

… to solve problems that we don’t yet know will arise

  • It’s not about more of the same, but about new…
    • Ways of thinking – involving, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving and decision making
    • Ways of working – including, communication and collaboration
    • Tools for working – including, the capacity to recognise and exploit the potential of new technologies
    • The capacity to live in a multi-faceted world as active and responsible citizens

Andreas Schleicher, January 2010

strategic goals 1995
Strategic Goals 1995
  • To provide effective distributed leadership
  • To build a strong and positive learning culture
  • To establish a system of target setting in relation to student outcomes
  • To develop an effective whole school system for monitoring teacher and student performance
  • To exceed National Floor Targets and achieve National Rates of Progress
  • To be fully subscribed
  • To achieve outstanding designation by Ofsted
the challenge for leadership
The Challenge for Leadership
  • Recruitment and retention of quality people
  • Continuous professional development
  • Clear specification of what success should look like in the classroom
  • Transparent monitoring process with clear agreed success criteria
  • Ownership of goals and targets – critical
  • Targets, benchmarks against the best (not just similar schools)

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success – without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.

Carol S Dweck


“‘I am convinced that world-class performance emerges from mindset,’ says Keen. ‘Many of our greatest cyclists did not start out with obvious natural advantages, but they have transformed themselves through application. Perhaps the key task of any institution is to encourage the adoption of a growth mindset. When that kind of philosophy becomes embedded in the culture, the consequences can be dramatic.’”Peter Keen is a leading sport scientist and the architect of Great Britain’s success at the 2008 Olympic Games

Extract from ‘Bounce’, Matthew Syed

looking for
Looking For…
  • Intelligence
  • Resilience
  • Fortitude
  • Passion
  • Commitment
  • Ability to feast on crumbs
  • Unwarranted optimism
  • GCSE Results2006 - School judged most improved in England based on maths and English GCSE results
  • OFSTED2008 – School judged Outstanding
  • CVA Results – 5 year trendJanuary 2011 – 2ndJanuary 2010 – 1stJanuary 2009 – 4thJanuary 2008 – 9thJanuary 2007 – 2nd
ofsted 2008 overall effectiveness
Ofsted 2008Overall Effectiveness
  • “The Phoenix is a remarkable school; it continues to transform the life chances of both students and their families. It can do this because the School operates from a deeply rooted understanding, and heart-felt appreciation of the challenging circumstances that many of the students come from.”
  • “Achievement at the school is outstanding. Students attain examination results in Year 11 that are broadly similar to those found nationally; because of their exceptionally low starting points, this is outstanding progress.”
  • “The School is exceptionally well led.”
end note
End Note

Believe in your ability to get better!

Ability is not fixed!

Work on it!


Description/Comparison of ICU/HDU/General Ward

Dr Jeffrey Phillips - Consultant , Department of Critical Care, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow