Community cohesion through schooling

Coram has worked effectively in inner-city communities for many years, and aims to share what it has learnt about effective outreach to diverse populations

In February 2010, Coram was commissioned by Hackney Council, in partnership with The Learning Trust to undertake research with two Hackney primary schools, Kingsmead and Berger, as part of the Hackney Cohesion Review. The aim of the study was to provide evidence on how schools in Hackney can contribute to resilience and cohesion in their community.

Key findings

  • The two schools identified by the Learning Trust and Hackney for this study, Berger and Kingsmead, do indeed provide inspiring models of schools’ contribution to community cohesion.
  • They take every opportunity to bring people together, to broaden horizons, and to improve children’s life chances.
  • They provide clear evidence of the positive role that schools can play to counteract the impact of deprivation and inequality in poor communities.
  • Cohesion is built through the way in which all the core activities of the school are undertaken.
  • Both schools take a practical approach to community cohesion.
  • Principles of fairness and effective engagement with parents and the local community were reflected throughout the work of the school. Cohesion was not a matter for ‘special occasions’.