Educational renewal as democratic practice: 'New' community schooling in Scotland



Nixon J, Allan J & Mannion G (2001) Educational renewal as democratic practice: 'New' community schooling in Scotland. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 5 (4), pp. 329-352.;

This paper focuses on the New Community Schools (NCS) initiative as currently being developed in Scotland. This major 5-year programme is one of a raft of educational initiatives that the Scottish Executive is supporting across local authorities. Drawing on documentary evidence and interview data, we discuss the potential of this programme for professional renewal across a range of occupational groups involved in NCS: community, health and social workers as well as schoolteachers and pre-school practitioners. A key question for us is whether the initiative can support these professional groups in closer collaboration across institutional and professional divides, between schools and communities, and across the subject demarcations of the school curriculum. The permeability of institutional, professional and curricular boundaries is thus a key focus here. We discuss this theme with reference to the work of a particular local authority in central Scotland. Finally, we highlight a number of tensions within the national initiative; tensions which focus on issues of power and control between centre and locality and between different interest groups within localities. The fledgling democratic structures supported through NCS at the local level are, we conclude, highly vulnerable to these tensions and potential conflicts of interest.

International Journal of Inclusive Education: Volume 5, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2001
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publisher URL…eeecf3c9779da7a3

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Professor Gregory Mannion

Professor Gregory Mannion

Professor, Education