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Schools, communities and social capital: building blocks in the 'Big Society' (Research associate full report)

Flint, Neil (2011) Schools, communities and social capital: building blocks in the 'Big Society' (Research associate full report).

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Abstract

"This study looked at how effective schools engage with their communities. Its aim was to identify key mechanisms that promoted community engagement. It also sought to determine the impact this had on the amount and nature of social capital available to pupils, parents and the wider community. Effective schools were found to generate significant amounts of social capital within their institutions as demonstrated by the degree of trust, reciprocity, civic engagement and social cohesion. Pupil voice was a powerful mechanism in developing a sense of control and self-efficacy. Recently created posts such as family workers, therapists and social work placements extended much of this impact into the family. Schools that went further to promote social capital in the neighbourhood were those with a more aspirational vision that went beyond simply engaging the community to aid school improvement. They viewed community empowerment as key to the success of their pupils and families within the wider social context. They encouraged community leadership and decision-making, often through informal learning approaches, and truly became ‘hubs of the community’, facilitating community development and promoting community cohesion. The findings suggest that a more reciprocal view is needed of the relationship between school and community and that schools could play a central role in creating the ‘Big Society’."

Item Type: Document from Web
Publisher: National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's services (NCSL)
Additional Information: © National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services
Depositing User: Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 12 May 2011 11:04
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2012 18:25
URI: http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/2981
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