Creating Citizenship Communities Project

Pippa Lord, Jennifer Jeffes, Ian Davies, Gillian Hampden-Thompson, Vanita Sundaram, Maria Tsouroufli

13 May 2013

Survey phase report

The Creating Citizenship Communities project is funded by a generous grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and has been conducted in partnership between the Department of Education at the University of York and NFER. In relation to community cohesion this research project aims to identify current thinking and practice in schools; explore young people’s perceptions and practice; and, through the development of a focused impact strategy encourage partnerships to be established between professionals and others.

Research methods include a literature review, analysis of secondary data and case studies, as well as a representative online survey of schools in England conducted by NFER in June 2011. Target respondents for the online survey were members of staff with responsibility for community cohesion and/or citizenship within their school. A total of 119 schools participated in the online survey.

Key Findings

  • There is widespread agreement about the importance of community but there are different perspectives about its meaning.
  • A great deal of work is undertaken by schools to support the development of citizenship communities. However: (a) schools could do more to create a sense of community within schools themselves and (b) schools could do more to help young people engage with their local communities.
  • Young people suggest that schools should take citizenship education more seriously and that the content of citizenship education could be more directly relevant to their lives.
  • There is at times relatively little attention paid to young people’s existing knowledge and experience in the development of education to explore and support citizenship communities.
Read the report Read the article