Talking about whole school issues to improve inclusion

The questions raised by the Home Office Consultation on Citizenship [see ‘a part to play’, right] highlight significant issues for schools regarding their role in contributing to an inclusive society. Issues of diversity, identity and citizenship have been a starting point for a Tide~ working group, seeking to develop some materials to support schools in enabling teachers’ professional development for work around these themes in a global context. The group have been inspired by ideas and approaches shared in Here, there and everywhere and have used it as a stimulus to their creative work.

Below we share an extract from a presentation given by Robin Richardson. He reflects upon the implications of a global context for businesses and their development ... in so doing, he perhaps raises some interesting parallels and questions for schools.

A part to play

What can we do to make sure that everyone is able to feel proud to be British and belong to this country?

How can we make sure that people who may not have been born here or whose families have come to live in Britain from other countries don’t feel that they have to change their traditions to feel that they belong to Britain?

How can we help people, especially young people, feel that they have a part to play in the future of this country?

Home Office Consultation on Citizenship, 2004

Published in Here, there and everywhere, 2004.

Students at a secondary school in a town in rural Derbyshire, working with students at a multi-ethnic school in Derby City some 20 miles away, set up a web-site. The purpose was to explore differences and similarities between the two schools and to share reports and reflections about various joint projects. Echoing a song by the Beatles, the students called the site, Here, there and everywhere. The same phrase has been taken as the title of this handbook, produced by Robin Richardson for Derbyshire Advisory and Inspection Service. It explores how issues of belonging, identity and equality are here, there and everywhere in every school.

The handbook is organised around six ‘big ideas’. It offers a wealth of stimulus to support teachers’ thinking about these ideas together with practical ideas for supporting learning through different curriculum areas.

Six ‘big ideas’

Shared humanity

Difference and identity

Local and global

Achievement everywhere

Conflict, justice and right

Race and racisms

Extract from a seminar given by Robin Richardson, 21st April 2005 at Tide~ AGM, entitled 'Thinking globally about local diversity'

The third of this year's Reith lectures was delivered yesterday evening. The speaker referred more than once to the title of a book by one Andy Groves, a specialist in the physics and technology of semiconductor devices, and co-founder and subsequently chairman and chief executive of the Intel Corporation: Only the Paranoid Survive. This, he maintained, is what globalisation means. If you want to think globally about local diversity, or indeed about anything, never forget for one moment: only the paranoid survive.

Also, said the lecturer yesterday evening, only those who think globally survive: 'To be only nationally competitive is to be not competitive.' He was talking about getting the fruits of technological advance to market, and selling them there, but his point was of extensive - global - import. To educate only nationally is not to educate. To think only locally is not to think. What the lecturer said about companies is true also of schools, for example, and of individual educators such as those present here this evening: 'Companies have ceased to make entire products themselves and have become assemblers of the world's best, and to do this they have to know the world - both its technologies and its peoples.'

The proposition that to think only locally is not to think, is one to which all friends of the Tide~ Centre would no doubt say Amen. Would they, would you, say Amen quite so fervently to the proposition that only the paranoid survive?

In the preface to his book with the famous title, Groves wrote:

When it comes to business, I believe in the value of paranoia. Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your business and then another chunk and then another until there is nothing left. I believe that the prime responsibility of a manager is to guard constantly against other people's attacks and to inculcate this guardian attitude in the people under his or her management.

The things I tend to be paranoid about vary. I worry about products getting screwed up, and I worry about products getting introduced prematurely. I worry about factories not performing well, and I worry about having too many factories.

I worry about hiring the right people, and I worry about morale slacking off.

And, of course, I worry about competitors. I worry about other people figuring out how to do what we do better or cheaper, and displacing us with our customers. But these worries pale in comparison to how I feel about what I call strategic inflection points. A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.

Full script of Robin's presentation