'An ideal text for challenging the thinking of those studying for NPQH...The conclusion by the authors suggests nine major points to consider if improvement for schools in extremely challenging circumstances is to happen and be sustained. These 'nine lesson for policy makers' are very frank and pertinent points, let's hope at least some of our policy makers read them!' - ESCalate 'Rarely does a book on education reform capture both the big and the small picture with such brilliant clarity. MacBeath and his colleagues furnish a 'no holds barred' account of the ins and outs of understanding and assessing the impact of schools struggling for success. A fascinating read' - Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto Schools serving young people on the margins of society face a major challenge in trying to create an environment where students can succeed. The book examines key issues in the field of school improvement. More specifically, it draws on evidence from the SFECC (Schools Facing Exceptionally Challenging Circumstances) project to explore: o the policy context of schools on the edge o the nature of extreme challenges o the way schools have responded to extreme challenge o what seems to be effective in helping such schools to meet the challenge o obstacles to success and the facilities and resources that can make a difference o strategies to meet the needs of the local community and facilitate lasting change. Each of the authors has wide experience of school effectiveness and improvement, and of working with schools in disadvantaged communities in Britain, the USA and many other parts of the world. School leaders, local authorities, practitioners and all those involved in any aspect of school leadership and school improvement will find this book highly pertinent.