Community cohesion

Like other schools, Mount Street Primary is charged with developing community cohesion. Plymouth City Council describes this as “…. the ability of communities to function and grow in harmony“. It is essential for the school community. It is also important for the wider community outside school. To this end, Weller and Bruegel (2009) examine “…. the role children play in developing the kinds of connection and relationship that build social networks, trust and neighbourliness.” They explore “neighbourhood social capital in relation to two critical interactions: first, between social policy, parenting values and children’s autonomy and, secondly, between children’s and parents’ local engagement“.
Note to self: read this.

Locality working must presumably have a role to play in the development of community cohesion.
Note to self: find out how these tie together.

WELLER, S. & BRUEGEL, I. 2009. Children’s Place in the Development of Neighbourhood Social Capital. Urban Studies, 46, 629

Investigation of locality working in Bristol

Barry Sullivan’s dissertation (2011) investigated “…. experiences of multi-agency working to inform the locality developments being experienced within the authority“. His research questions were:

  1. What are the factors perceived by practitioners within this Local Authority‘s Children‘s Services as most important to effective locality-based service delivery?
  2. What are the perceived benefits of locality working for those in this Local Authority‘s Children‘s Services broadly and educational psychologists more specifically?
  3. What can we learn from professionals‘ experiences of multi-agency working to guide the development of locality teams?

According to the abstract, the paper “is concerned with the development of a model of multi-agency service provision, locality working, in a unitary Local Authority (LA). …. The literature review highlights the lack of evidence supporting the notion that multi-agency working results in better outcomes for service recipients. …. Its unique contribution is to provide an appreciative conceptual model for a form of multi-agency service delivery …

This is probably worth a read to see what Mount Street Primary can learn from it. I wonder what an appreciative conceptual model looks like?

SULLIVAN, B. M. 2011. The Development of Locality Working and its Impact on Educational Psychologists: an Appreciative Inquiry. University of Bristol.

Locality working

Plymouth Children and Young People’s Trust Plan 2008 – 2011 says this about locality working:

We will work together to …. develop a locality delivery structure to enable all targeted and some specialist services to be delivered locally.

Through locality working ensure that we maximise the potential of children’s centre, primary care centres and schools working closer together.

Plymouth is committed to ensuring that integrated information management systems provide a tool for staff to assist improved information sharing and locality service delivery.

Six localities have been identified and each will have its own needs profile based on the city wide needs assessment.

Over time the planning and commissioning of services will be undertaken within localities, informed by and reflecting their local needs.

The economics of value and localism

In a posting on the economics of value and localism Professor John Seddon argues that centralisation of services, rather than reducing cost, generates failure demand that pushes cost up.

…. managers assume that standardising work cuts costs, yet when they study their services they find that standardised processes prevent the system from absorbing variety. In simple terms, it makes it hard for customers to get what they want, and the organisation consumes more resources as a consequence. It is a hard lesson. But studying the work obliges managers to confront the evidence of their own eyes: while specialisation and standardisation of work lower transaction costs, overall costs of service go up because the factory design creates more handovers, fragmentation, duplication and errors and hence re-work, and generates massive failure demand. Studying the work, they understand a paradox – managing costs creates costs.”

There are useful insights from the comments on his article.