The key to the success of North-East schools are North-East teachers. These are those teachers, who by a special combination of skills in creating relationships, interacting within these relationships, and monitoring the learning of their students, are able to effectively teach all of their students, not just some of them. North-East teachers don’t allow marginalisation to occur in their classrooms. They know how to support the learning of all of their students and would not have it any other way. This is not to suggest that North-East teachers ignore those students who are currently successful in schools. It is just that what is good for marginalised students is good for all. On the other hand, what appears to be good for all students is actually not good for marginalised students. In fact, it is often this approach (“I treat all my students the same”), that actually marginalises some students from being successful learners and dooms them to failure because not all learners are the same.
The key to the success of North-East teachers is the support provided to them by North-East leaders. North-East leaders are distributed throughout the school and include the principal, senior management members, subject or curriculum leaders, syndicate leaders, Impact Coaches and other teachers. These leaders’ primary focus is no longer traditional leadership practices such as induction, staffing, resource allocation and general administration. Instead their primary function is to be ‘Instructional Leaders’; those whose leadership tasks focus on improving teaching and learning. And we know that the closer this type of leadership is to the primary schooling ‘action’ in classrooms, the greater the effect leadership has on promoting excellence and reducing disparities. North-East Leaders lead learning in North-East schools.