Supporting schools in promoting community cohesion
Schools have a key role to play in promoting community cohesion. The pace of population change in local communities is greater than ever and schools can support communities to come to terms with this.
Since 2007, all schools in England have had a new duty to promote community cohesion. From September 2008, OFSTED will start to report on schools' progress in this area.
Many schools have already made great strides in promoting cohesion. Others are starting to consider how best to implement the duty so it is relevant to their local communities.
Since October 2007 iCoCo has been working with DCSF to provide support and guidance to schools, so they can meet the duty by building on work already underway.
iCoCo now provides support and training directly to schools or groups of schools to help them respond to the duty and provide them with the tools to integrate cohesion activity with all areas of school life.
So what's new?
In many ways schools have promoted community cohesion for years, without necessarily describing their work in those terms, they have strived for the best opportunities for all children irrespective of their backgrounds. Exploring and respecting diversity and promoting tolerance and fairness is at the heart of all good schools and there are many excellent examples to draw on. The new duty recognises the growing importance of promoting cohesion for Britain and provides a stronger focus for work in schools and their links with the wider community.
Schools' duty to promote cohesion extends to three areas:
- Teaching, learning and curriculum
- Equity and excellence
- Engagement and extended services
How iCoCo can help
Leading national experts will support and guide the development of tailored solutions for your local area. Services include:
- Briefing and familiarisation: provision of head teacher, governor and officer briefings
- Capacity building: tailored workshops and conferences to build capacity, facilitate peer support and develop networks
- Resource development: harnessing and developing locally focused good practice guidance and resource
- Benchmarking and auditing: providing support and guidance for partnerships and peer evaluation
- Whole-school community forum design and facilitation: young persons leadership and consultation exercises, evaluation and development of student voice initiatives
- Support for intercultural teaching and learning methods
iCoCo's education team combines national experts working with the Department for Children, Schools and Families and OFSTED with former head teachers with a track record of delivery on cohesion and diversity issues.
What you will gain
Tailored to specific school needs, groups of schools or whole local authority areas, iCoCo's services will help schools to implement the new duty by building on work already underway. It will assist schools to prepare for their OFSTED assessment but also look at how they can have greater impact in the classroom and within the wider community.