Some schools operate in circumstances that present additional challenges.
These challenges can be wide ranging in nature and include:
- serving areas of severe socio-economic disadvantage
- having a high proportion of pupils with special educational needs (SEN)
- meeting the needs of pupils who speak languages other than English
If we are to succeed in narrowing the attainment gaps which exist between children from different backgrounds, we must ensure that children, particularly those with additional needs, are taught by the most effective professionals.
Some teachers can be deterred by the real and perceived challenges of working in schools with high numbers of disadvantaged children, and because of this, challenging schools often face greater recruitment problems, higher staff turnover and higher numbers of temporary staff.
In spite of the difficulties that they may face, there are many examples of schools that have been extremely successful in turning a difficult situation into a success story. Working in these schools can be very rewarding and for those who are willing to meet the challenge, it can provide unique and significant opportunities for personal and professional development. To help pupils fulfill their potential these schools need the very best teachers and leaders.
Last year, the TDA held a flagship seminar at Burlington Danes Academy in London. Key note speakers, case study speakers and the pupils from Burlington Danes itself, provided valuable insight and thoughts on the issues that challenging schools face.
Videos and media coverage
Watch several videos and read press articles on the TDA seminar focusing on challenging schools held earlier this year.
Read challenging schools case studies for Arthur – Head Boy and Haengeun – Deputy Head Girl.