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Organising schools during COVID-19

Community Organising in Schools:

Online Training: Introduction to Community Organising for Education Leaders

This 5-part online training is specifically designed for Education Leaders, covering the following:

  1. Understanding change, power and self-interest
  2. Building relational power through 121s
  3. Engaging students, staff and parents in the Community Organising “cycle of action”
  4. Developing leaders in your school community
  5. Evaluation and Making a Plan

Throughout the training, you will be presented with case studies that are specific to the context of schools, based on the Community Organising work that Citizens UK alliances have been doing with member schools for over three decades. As such, you will be equipped with practical advice and tools that will enable you to develop an initial plan of action for how you will build a team in your school and embed Community Organising approach in your school.

You will be trained by a range of experienced Community Organisers from across our network of Citizens alliances – spreading from Wales to Newcastle and East London – to gain different perspectives. Moreover, each session will provide ample opportunities for you to connect and learn from fellow education leaders who are grappling with similar goals and challenges to yours.




Cohort 1

Autumn Term (2020)

Cohort 2
Spring Term (2021)

Cohort 3
Summer Term (2021)




4-6 pm

11th November

18th November

25th November

2nd December

9th December

24th February

3rd March

10th March

17th March

24th March

9th June

16th June

23rd June

30th June

7th July


Register in advance via this link, you only need to register once for each cohort.

Register in advance via this link, you only need to register once for each cohort.

Register in advance via this link, you only need to register once for each cohort.

I gained a lot from these sessions and feel clear about how I can put things into practice. I’m left with a stronger appreciation for the fact that we all have access to power, especially if we set out to build relationships in our schools and communities effectively by organising around shared interests."

Natasha Boyce, RE teacher, LiFE Multi-Academy Trust, Leicestershire Citizens

"This training has given us much to think about and implement. In our roles, we are used to sharing our own personal story to build rapport with the pupils and parents we support. Learning about how story-telling can also be a technique to build relationships through which we can build powerful teams that act effectively for social change was particularly enlightening. Thank you for this brilliant opportunity!"

Claire Crow and Tina Simbo, Link Workers at North East Wellbeing, Tyne & Wear Citizens 

Registration process: after registering onto your preferred cohort, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link you will need to access for each session. Please save this in your online calendar.

Schools Conference and Citizens Challenge Awards, Weds 11th November

Core teams of students and staff engaged in Community Organising will be able to join a dynamic online Conference 12:30-16:00 and take part in a series of workshops ranging from campaign-specific issues (such as: how can schools tackle mental health issues?) to broader issues (such as: how can School Councils be more effective and engaging?), in which they will learn from other member schools. Students who took part in the Citizens Challenge in the summer, will be awarded Certificates 18:30-19:30. Registration details to follow via your Citizens Organiser. Prospective member schools are welcome to join and observe.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What costs are involved? Organisations that are in dues-paying membership with Citizens UK do not incur any additional costs. Schools and other educational institutions that are thinking about becoming a member of Citizens UK may access this Programme and all its resources (videos, PowerPoints, etc.) at a cost of £500 per organisation, which will enable up to 2 members of staff to attend the online training cohorts and up to 5 to attend the Schools Conference. Should your organisation subsequently join Citizens UK, the £500 fee will be deducted from the level of annual dues agreed with your local Community Organiser.

  2. Who should attend the training and Conference? The training is suitable for education leaders with a range of roles and levels of seniority: from Teaching Assistants to Heads of Department and Headteachers through to Link Workers. What matters is that you have buy-in from your school / organisation to put your learning into practice and that you are enthusiastic about how through Community Organising we can develop young people, create a more relational culture within schools that leads to stronger relationships between staff, students and parents, as well as stronger relationships with leaders from the wider local community and – crucially – how we can achieve meaningful, people-powered change. Participants have included people who are very new to Community Organising through to those who have attended previous training but are looking to embed Community Organising more deeply in their context.

  3. How does this training programme differ from other training offered by Citizens UK? We recognise that due to the pressure that schools are under, it can be very difficult to send staff on our Regional (3-day) or National (6-day) residential training courses, or on our non-residential training days run locally by your Citizens Chapter. Hence, this training is meant to be more accessible to education leaders. However, it does not replace the more in-depth training which you are encouraged to enrol in at a later stage. For more information visit: https://www.citizensuk.org/training
Contact: please contact your local Community Organiser to discuss how our Schools Programme fits within your membership plans and those of your local Citizens alliance. Alternatively, email schools@citizensuk.org with any questions. For more information, please visit our regularly updated hub-page: https://www.citizensuk.org/organising-schools-young-people
Check out the recordings of free online workshops we ran for for young people and school staff run in collaboration with Microsoft via the links below, and see more information on the trainings we ran in early summer 2020 here. -


Presentation from Newman Catholic College