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Students need to leave school with dreams for the future, high aspirations and goals for themselves and society; young men and women who will contribute to active citizenship, community renewal and economic regeneration. Schools are critical in realising this mission. The majority of our schools have talented leaders and teachers with the vision, energy and passion to create a sustainable future for their students and their communities. However, it is more difficult for school leaders serving disadvantaged communities to succeed, not only in improving learning and attainment, but in sustaining these. Contemporary research on human motivation and learning is enabling schools to understand better students’ reasons for learning and in turn, how they can raise academic achievement.