Schools as community hubs: Policy contexts, educational rationales, and design challenges

McShane, I, Watkins, J and Meredyth, D 2012, 'Schools as community hubs: Policy contexts, educational rationales, and design challenges', in Jan Wright (ed.) The Joint Australian Association for Research in Education-Asia Pacific Education Research Conference, Sydney, Australia, 2-6 December 2012, pp. 1-14.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Schools as community hubs: Policy contexts, educational rationales, and design challenges
Author(s) McShane, I
Watkins, J
Meredyth, D
Year 2012
Conference name Joint AARE APERA International Conference, Sydney 2012
Conference location Sydney, Australia
Conference dates 2-6 December 2012
Proceedings title The Joint Australian Association for Research in Education-Asia Pacific Education Research Conference
Editor(s) Jan Wright
Publisher Australian Association for Research in Education
Place of publication Australia
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Abstract There is increasing interest in making more effective use of schools as community hubs, both in Australia and internationally. Investment in shared facilities aims to engage parents and local communities in schooling, encourage civic participation, co-ordinate educational and community services and overcome disadvantages of location or service provision. Parent and community partnership with schools is an important priority within current educational policy, at both state and Commonwealth levels. It is a priority that can be supported from different parts of the political spectrum, fitting liberal conceptions of parental choice and private investment as well as more communitarian conceptions of local engagement, civic renewal and participatory design. This paper provides historical background, policy context and educational rationales for the rise of the community hub concept. It discusses how schools as community hubs have provided early childhood services, through both state funding and public-private partnership. It then focuses on the lack of alignment between the Commonwealth Government's top-down scheme of school capital investment, Building the Education Revolution, and other major public investments into digital infrastructure for schools. This lack of alignment points to a wider lack of community input into school redevelopment projects, alongside a fundamental difficulty in identifying the appropriate constituents of a target community. The paper concludes with four key challenges to the design and implementation of sustainable schools-based community hubs: governance and consultation; cross-jurisdictional issues; physical vs. digital infrastructure; and measurement of effectiveness.
Subjects Urban Sociology and Community Studies
Education not elsewhere classified
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