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True autonomy needs skills and knowledge as well as freedom

Autonomy is not just about letting people make their own decisions and doing things without supervision or instruction, it’s also about making sure that people have the skills that will enable them to make the most of that freedom and self-direction.    Skills + knowledge +  freedom = autonomy   This insight was a real …

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What I wished I’d known about social cohesion

As a geography teacher in a large, mono-cultural secondary school, I remember feeling a depressing powerlessness in the face of a small but fairly vocal minority of pupils’ attitudes to race, ethnicity, or any culture that differed from their own. Studying topics like migration and aid were particularly prone to revealing views that made me …

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Social cohesion: Can and should schools do more?

This morning’s Schools Week highlights Shadow Secretary of State, Angela Rayner’s speech to the Labour party conference in which she railed against “segregation, segregation, segregation”. But the focus of last night’s ship debate, #LKMco16, was on“cohesion, cohesion, cohesion” – as we asked whether schools can (and should) make society more cohesive. We were joined by four outstandng panelists …

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Positive interaction: thoughts on the Church of England’s Living Well Together conference

Back in December I had the opportunity to go along to the Living Well Together conference organised by Church of England Education. The conference raised some tough questions about how schools and colleges could better support communities from different faiths and cultures in UK society in “living well together”. Some argued that many young people …

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