Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Learning and the Local Community: Is Community Involvement always a Good Thing?

Geoffrey Walford.

It is widely assumed that community consultation and involvement in schooling is a positive activity that should be encouraged. Yet, one of the purposes of schooling is to give children opportunities and ideas that they would not have if they remained within their local worlds of family and community. Community consultation and involvement can lead to negative and conservative policies within schooling as well as policies that may be more liberal and have the needs of the child at their focus.

This paper explores the nature of community consultation and involvement in schooling, and uses examples from a recent Spencer Foundation funded study of evangelical Christian schools and Muslim schools in England and the Netherlands to question the widely accepted view that community involvement is a wholly positive influence.


Geoffrey Walford  (United Kingdom)
Professor of Education Policy
Department of Educational Studies
University of Oxford

Geoffrey Walford is Professor of Education Policy at the University of Oxford, England.

  • Community involvement
  • Muslim schools
  • Evangelical Christian schools

(30 min Conference Paper, English)