As part of the 2021 ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, the Urban Institute is organising a panel debate and online showcase focussed on the role of schools in the city. Drawing on a collaboration with volunteers and staff at Arbourthorne Community Primary School, the two activities pose the questions:

  • What role should schools play in their urban communities?
  • How have schools supported families and communities – beyond online learning – during COVID?
  • And what are the lessons for how schools can contribute to wider goals, such as a cleaner and greener environment?

The panel will discuss activities at different schools in Sheffield, London and Buenos Aires with two school leaders and a community representative. The panel will be followed by a Q and A session to spark wider reflections on the role of urban schools with particular reference to community cohesion, COVID response and recovery, and urban sustainability. This panel discussion is supported by staff in the University of Sheffield’s Urban Institute (Beth Perry) and the Departments of Education (Alison Buxton), Geography (Miguel Kanai) and Urban Studies and Planning (Lee Crookes).

The panel will take place on Tuesday 2nd November, 1630-1800 and you can sign up on Eventbrite here

The online showcase has been co-curated with parent volunteers in Arbourthorne, with the help of Growtheatre and the An Even Better Arbourthorne team. The showcase will tell the story of Arbourthorne Community Primary School and celebrate the work of the volunteers who make it happen.

You will be able to view the online showcase here from 1 November 2021.