Ian Gilbert, founder of Independent Thinking Ltd, education writer, editor of The Working Class
The Birmingham Book is not just a book about Birmingham. There are warnings here – and lessons aplenty – for school leaders, administrators and governors everywhere. And, of course, for local and national politicians. More than a book about what happened in Birmingham, this is a book about politics, religion, equality, tolerance and intolerance, about the politicisation of education, abuses of power at local and national level and the ability of ethical school leaders to do what needs to be done, despite enormous pressure, wherever they may be.
There are many lessons to be learnt by unpicking the debacle that was Birmingham's sorry Trojan Horse scandal. One is about the uses and abuses of power in the education system at school, local and national level. Another asks us to reflect how far we have genuinely come as a society in matters of tolerance, acceptance and equity. And among many takeaways from the inspiring education leaders in this book, it is clear that 'community, community, community' will always be at the heart of all great schools.