Tackling place-based disadvantage through individual empowerment: the approach of Berryhill’s cradle-to-career school design
-Kirstin Kerr, PhD, senior lecturer, University of Manchester, UK and Victoria Hirst, ESRC CASE Studentship PhD researcher Manchester University, UK
This paper considers what an extensive extended school offer might look like for schools serving disadvantaged populations with no clear target neighbourhood. In the UK, the most extensive models of extended education employ cradle-to-career school designs, developing a seamless pipeline of holistic support for children throughout their schooling, with ‘wrap-around’ services to improve health and wellbeing in family and community contexts. However, school choice policies mean children do not always attend their local schools. This can break or weaken the link between schools and the neighbourhoods in which students live. We report on findings from an 18-month empirical study of Berryhill School’s emerging cradle-to-career design in South-East England, serving a geographically disparate but disadvantaged student population. We draw on Lawson’s (2016) definition of ‘wicked issues’, Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) socio-ecological theory and Nixon’s (2011) concept of ‘slow violence’ to consider how educational disadvantage becomes ingrained in particular neighbourhoods and residents’ lives over time, and how cradle-to-career designs might mediate this. The findings reveal that Berryhill has positioned itself as a cohesive community for its students and families, wherever they live; its overarching aim is to achieve intergenerational parent-led change in individual families. To some extent, it is intervening in place-based dynamics by promoting a unifying sense of school community and some new service infrastructure. This suggests cradle-to-career designs can be developed which are not reliant on close school-neighbourhood alignment, but which nonetheless draw on, and strengthen, area-based assets to enable suitably contextualised and individualised responses to disadvantage.
Participation in organized leisure activities – A matter of social background?
-Karen Hemming, PhD, senior researcher, German Youth Institute, Germany
Organized leisure activities offer educational processes in non-formal settings and play a major role for youth development. Their potential is often underestimated even though not only school-based competencies are positively affected by organized activities. Especially the rapidly changing development during adolescence can benefit. Participation in organized activities can support goal orientation, social competencies, performance at school and vocational orientation. Therewith, it is particularly important for socially deprived youth. However, mostly performance orientied youth and youth from better equipped family backgrounds participate in organized leisure activities.
Based on the forms of capital (Bourdieu), the paper aims at analysing specific effects of social background indicators on the participation in organised leisure activities for youth in lower and middle educational settings in Germany. Therefore, different determinants of organized leisure activities will be examined.
Data derive from a quantitative baseline survey conducted in the final years of school (grade 9/10) with n=1,547 participants. For measuring activity participation retrospectively a calendar instrument was used. Cultural, social, and economic capital were included as social background indicators complemented by migration background, gender, and school performance.
Social backround indicators show significant effects on the determinants of activity participation: cultural capital and school performance play a major role for activity rate and diversity of activities. Continuity is furthermore affected by social and economic capital in the family.
The results illustrate the importance of social background indicators for participation in organized leisure activities. Socially deprived youth miss out on non-formal education opportunities, thus, they are faced with twofold discrimination.
NABO – Social inclusion and belonging: Young people in the Nordic countries
-Ellen Dröfn Gunnarsdóttir, PhD, methodologist, University of Iceland and Gestur Guðmundsson, PhD, professor, University of Iceland
NABO is a project launched by the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2018 in Sweden. The project is for three years and is a Nordic co-operation project aimed at examining youth´s social engagement in the Nordic region and their experiences belonging to the community where they live. The aim of the study is to gain deeper knowledge and understanding of young people’s experience of their social and political status and to promote societal change in order to increase their societal engagement. In Iceland, 6 review group interviews were conducted with a total of 37 young people both in the capital area and other regions. What remains stands out for young people in Iceland is that they often have strong opinions about what can be better and they want to make an impact, but feel their voices are not allowed to be heard. They have both experienced belonging and being excluded in society, some have met prejudice because of their young age, sex or origin, and many experience that their independence can be limited by financial and social status. They want to make an impact, but lack the resources and tools to do so and therefore want increased opportunities for political engagement.
The role of social work in the process of provision of inclusive education
-Mariam Mazmanyan, researcher, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland and Emanuela Chiapparini, PhD, professor, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
The inclusive education reform has been the subject of widespread public debate both in Armenia and in the Canton Bern. According to the policy of the Government of Armenia, by 2025 all Armenian mainstream schools will provide inclusive education. The country goes through the transition from a dual system (special schools and general schools) of education to the notion of inclusive education, where certain supporting factors are in place for children with disabilities to study with peers without special educational needs. One of the widely recognized supporting factors is the presence of a social worker in the multidisciplinary teams of schools. However, in Armenia, there is no requirement by the law to have a social worker in the multidisciplinary team and the importance and potential of social work are not well communicated to the stakeholders.
In the Canton Bern reforms are also aimed at ensuring quality access to basic and advanced education through provision of inclusive education and all-day schooling opportunities.
The cross-country research brings the light on the possible and actual role and functions that social workers have in the inclusive education and long-day schooling settings in Canton Bern and Republic of Armenia. The research paper clarifies the scope of competencies which social workers may exercise as a member of the multidisciplinary team as well as represents the challenges which social workers face while working in the inclusive schools. Based on the research findings the authors make recommendations on how to improve the social work practices in inclusive and all-day schools.