Join us as a school community
Why do school or college communities join?
Many educational institutions (primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges) choose to become members of Citizens UK to build a better, fairer society.
We work together to make change on the issues that matter, from campaigning for zebra crossings on dangerous roads, to reforming the immigration system, to the Living Wage campaign.
Joining Citizens UK as a member you will not only support students to become leaders but build strong relationships with families and neighbouring organisations. It is a way for schools and colleges to address issues beyond their gates as well as issues which have a direct impact on the wellbeing of their young people and families.
Using Community Organising, students, teachers and parents can work together to drive community-led solutions to big and small problems, that work for everyone.
We help school and college communities develop leaders
Teachers at Radford Primary Academy in Nottingham were supported by Community Organisers to engage their young people in a listening campaign to identify issues they wanted to address in their local area. Once issues had been identified, the school was supported to develop a campaign to improve a local park, which had been kept untidy for a long while. Teachers and young people were trained to devise strategies and build a successful campaign. Read all about the campaign here.
We help school and college communities strengthen their institutions
At Reach Academy in West London, Community Organisers worked with Leaders in the school to develop relational practices which meant that links between parents/carers and the school were strengthened. Rather than developing strategies "on behalf" of families, school Leaders have now implemented some strategies for parents/carers to directly contribute to what the school offers in terms of workshops and programmes. The school has moved from a transactional way of doing things, to a relational one.
We help school and college communities win change
Students at Ark Academy in Wembley really struggled with their local buses. They were always too packed and, sometimes, wouldn’t even stop outside the school. Working with their local Citizens alliance in Brent, teachers worked with their local Community Organiser to engage students in a local campaign which saw them build links with their neighbouring organisations, including the local bus company and, eventually, with their local Assembly Member. Together, they went on to negotiate with Transport for London to bring about some much-needed change to their local transport system.
Situated in a borough facing high levels of poverty, Ark Academy pupils were also involved in listening campaigns on low wages in their community. After conducting a listening campaign and learning how to negotiate, teams of student met senior executives at Wembley Stadium to raise the issue of low pay amongst the workforce. Students later participated in a high profile Living Wage action filmed by Channel 4 news.
Community Organising resources for Schools and Colleges
The quality of the relationship between the school and the other major stakeholder in a child’s life – the parents – are often considered in passing by the inspection regime. The relationships with the neighbouring institutions never considered and the context of the child’s life and learning experience a political football. Citizens UK has tried to remain true to the original vision of building and sustaining ‘the polis’...which includes schools, to ‘teach the art of politics in action’. Neil Jameson CBE, Founder of Citizens UK
Hungry For Change
Brand new book featuring case studies from across Citizens UK...
Too often we think and rely on our government to instigate change and address harsh inequalities in the lives of everyday citizens; those of poverty and lack of access to adequate housing all of which impact the educational experiences of young people – and we are often disappointed as we are left to our own devices. The projects in this book have shown that Citizens UK is a force for good, one that works from the ground up, taking into consideration the perspective of those most affected by inequalities and to ensure their needs are met.
Professor Kalwant Bhopal, Professor of Education and Social Justice & Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education, University of Birmingham
More case studies of Organising in schools
Driving anti-racist education through student leadership
How setting up a group of student ambassadors would bring the change they wanted to see.Read more
St Mary's CE Primary School: Training for Lewisham Council
This piece tells the story of a campaign that emerged from that work, where a team of migrant parents took it upon themselves to challenge the hostile policies of Lewisham Council – and won.Read more