Collaboration as a strategy for promoting equity in education: possibilities and barriers

Many educators take the view that working together with others is a major means of achieving improvements in schools. The danger is that this belief can distract attention from the complexities involved in achieving effective forms of collaboration. There is a related risk that politicians and policy makers - seeing collaboration as the ‘silver bullet’ of educational reform – might decide to mandate it as a means of achieving success. In so doing, they may overlook how other policies make this difficult. With these concerns in mind, the presentation will draw on extensive international experience and research to provide guidance regarding the conditions that are needed in order to make collaboration work. It will focus in particular on the major challenge facing education systems around the world, that of achieving equity.

Professor Mel Ainscow, University of Manchester


Mel Ainscow is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Manchester, UK. He is also Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and Honorary Professor of Practice at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He is internationally recognized as an authority on the promotion of inclusion and equity in education. A long-term consultant to UNESCO, Mel is currently working on international efforts to promote inclusion and equity globally. He can be reached at

Related Publication

“Struggles for equity in education: The selected works of Mel Ainscow” (Routledge World Library of Educationalists series, 2015).