There has been much discussion recently about the need to build stronger, more cohesive communities in England. A vision of society where people are committed to what we have in common rather than obsessed with those things that make us diﬀerent, and where opportunities for advancement are available to all, not just a selected few, is a tantalising prospect. A particular problem in some communities is the lack of English spoken at home, especially by mothers and their children. There is a range of actions already in hand across government to strengthen cohesion,
including a new duty on schools to promote community cohesion, use of extended schools, and work with diﬀerent faith communities. However, a particularly eﬀective way to promote cohesive communities would be to establish a number of multi-faith community academies, modelled on Henry Morris’s concept of the village community schools described in the previous chapter. We have seen how schools like the Comberton Village Community School in
Cambridgeshire are the centre of community life, providing both a high standard of education for their children, and serving as a centre of community life for adults. The government has recently provided funding for extended schools, to enable schools to stay open and provide a diverse programme of after-school activities for both pupils and the wider community. This chapter recommends building on the extended schools concept by adding the
essential ingredients of Henry Morris’s community schools. To help tackle concerns over segregation in some of our urban areas, it also proposes adding a further vital ingredient of seeking the support of all our major faiths for these schools.