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Tackling educational inequality: Lessons from London schools

Demie, Feyisa

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This research paper explores the lessons from London schools in driving school improvement and addressing inequalities. Drawing upon evidence from trend attainment data by ethnic background, a literature review of academic research, the London Challenge, Ofsted and London Local Authorities publications, and case studies of schools, the paper will identify areas of good practice that contribute to raising achievement in London schools. The overall findings showed that attainment at GCSE (General Certificate for Secondary Education) has risen much faster in London than nationally since the London Challenge school improvement programme was launched to improve outcome. There are several reasons why London schools are bucking the national trend. The paper identified many success factors and strategies which contributed to the raising achievement and tackling inequalities such as effective school leadership, quality of teaching and learning, use of data, use of multi-ethnic workforce that reflect the community, and effective support for ethnic minorities and EAL pupils and targeted interventions. The overall conclusion of this study is that improvement in schools in London is an exceptional achievement and offers a worthwhile example of a success story that policymakers at both national and international levels can learn from. Lessons from London schools in tackling inequality and the policy and research implications are discussed critically in the final section.


Demie, F. (2023). Tackling educational inequality: Lessons from London schools. Equity in education & society,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 12, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 10, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Apr 17, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 17, 2023
Journal Equity in Education & Society
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
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Published Journal Article (1.3 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (

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