A new research report by the DfES into Social Capital" in two inner-city Secondary Schools has recently been published.
Social Capital as defined by this study: "Social capital refers to networks between people and the relationships of trust and reciprocity they develop. It is seen as a desirable characteristic of communities and societies and as a valuable asset for individuals, enabling access through social networks to employment, skills, health and other individual benefits.
The key findings of the report which are fascinating to read in full: • Types of social capital are inter-related. • Young people’s social capital is related to healthy socio-psychological resources. • Social capital and socio-psychological resources are unevenly distributed. • Schools have an important role in developing social capital Schools can develop social capital through different channels. For example, a feeling of safety, acceptance and support, and being treated fairly by staff and students all helped to build a sense of school belonging. • School ethos can make a difference to students’ access to support. • Neighbourhood context and family support are important influences. Strong family ties are linked to more positive orientations to school and less stress for young people.