Obstetrics For Schools - A Guide To Eliminating Failure And Ensuring The Safe Delivery Of All Learners£18.99*
- Rachel takes a look at the impact of educational disadvantage, exploring opportunities to break the cycles.
- Rachel offers four key steps required for an impactful action plan.
- Each chapter of the book focuses on a key potential barrier to success and offers school leaders and practitioners a range of strategies to help dismantle them.
- The book also provides guidance on strategic planning, as well as a variety of ideas and inspiration for staff training.
- The book is essential reading for school leaders and teachers at all levels of education.
Sometimes a book will land on the desks of the UKEd team sparking curiosity, and although we know not to judge a book by its cover, the title of this book caught a lot of attention as the title itself made us wonder how this specialised medical field related to education. As any quick search on the internet will tell you: Obstetrics is the field of study concentrated on pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Hence the curiosity among the team.
But no – this is no book about pregnancy and childbirth. It is a book that presents a powerful manifesto for school leaders and teachers setting out how they can bridge the advantage gap and deliver positive outcomes for all pupils. The author’s – Rachel Macfarlane – main concern is about disadvantage and closing the gaps in education. Starting with a quote from Marcus Rashford, Rachel sets out that the book is about righting wrongs and offers a grim set of statistics highlighting the educational disadvantages to groups of young people that negatively impact on their lives and the wider society they grow into. So, why the reference to obstetrics within the title? Rachel justifies the title by referring to the child mortality rates of the 1800s, which were so alarmingly high that something had to be done about it. As a result, the link between the high rates of educational underachievement are made, therefore requiring similar political action, educational transformation and creating opportunities to inspire our younger generations.
Each chapter of the book focuses on a key potential barrier to success and offers school leaders and practitioners a range of strategies to help dismantle them. Calls to build strong relationships with students, acknowledging the importance of relationships and the role of leaders in developing relationships is highlighted early on. Attention to positive and supportive climates and cultures in classrooms that will determine outcomes for young people. Similarly, attention is given to impactful parental engagement as well as creating an environment of high-quality teaching and learning. The book also provides guidance on strategic planning, as well as a variety of ideas and inspiration for staff training.
Rachel also highlights the importance of metacognition and self-regulation (see details here about our 5* rated online Metacognition Teaching Strategy here), offering reflections, audits and explanations on how to start exploring this impactful approach to teaching and learning. Of concern in recent years has been the poor levels of oracy that are evident when children embark on their schooling, and the importance of supporting learning to develop critical oracy skills. The book also explores poverty-proofing your school, developing cultural capital, and preparing learners for successful transitions. However, none of these strategies will work unless we get to the root of the problem. Rachel offers four key steps required for an impactful action plan:
- Showing clarity about the barriers faced by learners.
- Agreeing objectives, targets, success criteria and milestones.
- Designing an effective implementation plan.
- Reviewing, evaluating, adapting and re-implementing.
So no, this is not a book about childbirth and pregnancy, but it is an important book that highlights the disturbing educational disadvantage gaps evident in the England education system. The book concludes that staff in schools need to recognise the barriers which are placed in the way of our young people succeeding, and believing in the potential of all learners to achieve outcomes that may exceed the expectations of themselves, their families, and their communities.
The book is essential reading for school leaders and teachers at all levels of education, and although the book focuses on England’s education system, there are clear messages which are applicable to school systems in other countries.
*RRP – Correct at time of review publication