Presentation on theme: "Working Together in Faith, Hope and Love Whats Community Cohesion about? And how does that relate to our mission?"— Presentation transcript:
Working Together in Faith, Hope and Love Whats Community Cohesion about? And how does that relate to our mission?
Definition of community cohesion The Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF) Guidance on the duty to promote community cohesion, published in July 2007, states that: "By community cohesion we mean working towards a society in which: there is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities the diversity of people's backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued similar life opportunities are available to all, and strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and in the wider community."
How do schools contribute? 1. Teaching, learning and curriculum helping children and young people to learn to understand others, to value diversity whilst also promoting shared values, to promote awareness of human rights and to apply and defend them, and to develop the skills of participation and responsible action 2. Equity and excellence to ensure equal opportunities for all to succeed at the highest level possible, striving to remove barriers to access and participation in learning and wider activities and working to eliminate variations in outcomes for different groups. 3. Engagement and extended services to provide reasonable means for children, young people, their friends and families to interact with people from different backgrounds and build positive relations: including links with different schools and communities and the provision of extended service with opportunities for pupils, families and the wider community to take part in activities and receive services which build positive interaction and achievement for all groups.
The four dimensions of community What do we mean by 'community'? The word 'community' has many meanings. Four dimensions are defined in the DCSF guidance on the duty to promote community cohesion. These are: 1. The school as a community 2. The community within which the school is located 3. The UK community 4. The global community
Areas that link into Community Cohesion Assisting the Development of personalised learning Diversity and Citizenship Faith school provider and impact on the community Safeguarding children and staying safe Admissions Code School Uniform
There is a duty to promote community cohesion The duty to promote community cohesion permeates nearly all aspects of school life it encourages links to be made with the communities around the school offers a particularly valuable role for members of the governing body who by definition link the school to its communities Governors may be able to get involved in many aspects of the community cohesion work of the school which may include: internal and external evaluation, helping to collect the views of parents and students, identifying links with organizations and individuals outside the school who can help enhance learning about diversity or taking a role in a working party to review school practice and provision. A written policy on cohesion is not a legal requirement
The Role of Governors The school governing body is legally responsible for ensuring that the school meets the duty to promote community cohesion, with the head teacher taking responsibility for operational management of the duty. The Education and Inspections Act 2006 requires schools in England to promote community cohesion, whilst taking into account the local area's Children and Young People's plan. Governors should make sure that the school's strategic plans are informed by the local area plans.
What do schools need to do to promote community cohesion? In simple terms, the aim of the duty to promote community cohesion, as highlighted in the Children's Plan, is to achieve a situation whereby children: understand others, value diversity, apply and defend human rights and are skilled in participation and responsible action fulfil their potential and succeed at the highest level possible, with no barriers to access and participation in learning and to wider activities, and no variation between outcomes for different groups have real and positive relationships with people from different backgrounds, and feel part of a community, at a local, national and international level.
How can governors help? With their experience of the wider community and, in some cases, formal links with local agencies and community groups, governors can be particularly helpful in advising the school on how it can develop its role in the community and become more effective as a force for cohesion across the local area. Governors may also play a useful role in guiding the school as it improves the way it educates young people to become responsible citizens, fully equipped to combat prejudice and create a more cohesive community in the future.
How will the new responsibilities work? The duty to promote community cohesion falls on the governing body of the school who are legally responsible. As Governors you must ensure that the school complies with all relevant legislation. The head teacher must ensure that duties are implemented within the school. As in other areas, the head can advise the governors about the school's approach to promoting community cohesion, what is in place and what is planned, the kinds of evidence currently available for the school's Self-Evaluation Form (SEF), the school's readiness for Ofsted inspection in this area and whether, in the head's opinion, a policy, action plan or working group is appropriate to take this work forward.
Suggestions for discussion Governing bodies may wish to discuss the following: how they wish to ensure that the school is currently complying with the legal duty to promote community cohesion what information they would like to receive regarding the present situation and any plans to improve the schools compliance to this legal duty whether it is appropriate for the school to conduct an audit to gather relevant information on the schools' promotion of community cohesion whether it is appropriate to develop a policy and an action plan specifically for community cohesion whether work on community cohesion should be linked to other school policies or plans, such as equalities policies, extended services, citizenship, teaching and learning, creativity or school specialism whether the governing body would like further information or training to clarify the significance of the duty to promote community cohesion when progress should be reviewed at a future governors meeting.
Governors may wish to discuss these issues and could contribute to the school's action plan. What is the school's impact on the local community whether they are exacerbating divisions or challenging them and breaking them down? Can the school serve a wider community and help to bring different students and parents together? Does the school engage with all sections of the parent body and promote ways of bringing them together, and are they represented on the governing body or included into special consultation meetings? How representative is the governing body of the local community and student body? What does the school do to create an ethos of inclusion, in which divisions and intolerance of others are unacceptable? How does the school actively promote understanding and dialogue between different groups, especially those that are disadvantaged or marginalised? Has the school considered the local social problems which impact adversely upon the school and sought action by partners How will the governing body carry these important issues forwards? Is the governing body aware of what the local authority may be doing to promote community cohesion?