Urban Village Schools

£8.50 + p&p 112 pp
ISBN 978 1 903080 11 5 (November 2009)

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With over 35,000 young people leaving schools in the UK each year with few if any qualifications, despite the best efforts of many schools to address their needs, have we got the design and organisation of our secondary schools right? Is the current programme of school renewal in danger simply of re-housing old problems in new buildings?

Following his investigation for Chanel 4’s Dispatches programme, ‘The Children Left Behind’, former headteacher James Wetz asks: how can we organise our secondary schools so that all young people are encouraged to learn and gain a stake in society?

Drawing on the stories of disaffected young people, international examples of human scale education, and the psychological and developmental factors that make for a successful childhood, James Wetz develops principles for rethinking the way we design and organise our secondary schools and uses these to formulate a new model of schooling for our inner cities: the Urban Village School. Based on a learning community of 375 pupils, where members of staff teach no more than 75 pupils each a week, the Urban Village School puts relationships at the heart of its organisation and design. James Wetz describes its principle features and includes plans and visualisations of an Urban Village School from award-winning architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

James Wetz is Visiting Fellow at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education, and worked for over 30 years in state secondary education, 16 of these as a head teacher. He is a Fellow of the RSA and of the Centre for Social Policy at the Warren House Group in Dartington. He published the report Holding Children in Mind over Time (2006) and researched and presented the documentary ‘The Children Left Behind’ for Channel 4’s Dispatches series in 2008.

Download PDF of 2006 report ‘Holding Children in Mind Over Time’ by James Wetz
Download PDF of supplementary quantitative data

Updated on 24 may 2018

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