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Open Access New Community Schools and Inter-Agency Working: assessing the effectiveness of social justice initiatives

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This paper considers the meaning of social justice as reflected by New Communities Schools (NCS). It reviews the role of NCS in the modernisation of welfare, considers the criteria used to judge their effectiveness and assesses the outcomes of the NCS programme. Problems in assessing social justice outcomes are explored in terms of pilot or mainstream approaches; the focus on the most disadvantaged; local diversity versus over-arching approaches; soft or hard measures. It is concluded that there are major problems in addressing major problems of structural inequalities through pilot initiatives. However, although the NCS was not transformative it was sustaining for the schools that participated in it and led to modest improvements in the lives of staff, pupils and parents.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2004

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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