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 On Monday evening the RSA hosted a reflections event in Manchester to celebrate and review the fantastic work schools and their students did last year, working with the Manchester Area-based Curriculum.

 On Monday evening the RSA hosted a reflections event in Manchester to celebrate and review the fantastic work schools and their students did last year, working with the Manchester Area-based Curriculum.

What was particularly encouraging was the enthusiasm of the Manchester Fellows to build on the successes and failings of the approach in order to further facilitate the interaction and collaboration of schools with the surrounding area, including (but not restricted to) local companies, facilities and environment. It would seem that many of the resources necessary to create lasting and productive relationships between schools and their local communities are already in place – local councils already have lists of contacts in local businesses for use when organising year 10 work experience for example – and there are many organisations really keen to get involved with their local schools.

What is needed is a way to aggregate all this information and to connect schools, resources and people, for instance, the professional tour guide company Tour Manchester, who are very keen to be involved in engaging students with Manchester, to the schools.

Yet all the enthusiasm for opening schools up to their locality suggests that this is not simply wishful thinking, but something very attainable if we harness the ‘social capital’ present, but often untapped, in and around every school. So our next step seems clear - to get the brilliant and enthusiastic fellows of Manchester together to discuss just how these relationships can be built and maintained.

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