ECER 2010 in Helsinki was well organised and a rewarding experience for the members of our research network. The network programme consisted of some 40 papers. Evaluations showed that the overall quality of the papers was high. The papers and research covered the major topics of our research network: urban education, multi-service schools/improving the social infrastructure, dropout prevention in regular schools and alternative programmes, and more.
In Europe the notion that collaboration among educators and other practitioners, clients, community leaders and policy-makers is crucial to transforming the educational, (mental) health and social service systems that serve children and families is increasingly recognised among the stakeholders. This belief creates a momentum in which further experimentation with inter-agency collaboration, school-based or school-linked comprehensive services, behaviour and learning support teams, and alternative programmes for youngsters with severe behaviour problems is stimulated and supported.
Research is beginning to accumulate on programme characteristics, viability and effectiveness, and implementation, managerial and administrative issues. Fortunately, planning frameworks for coordinating, harmonising, and synchronising the internal, school-owned supports and services and community-owned services are increasingly available. This work entails institutional change involving schools, health and human services agencies, and their boundary relations. The assumption is that school improvement and renewal processes are destined to fall short of their intended aims until such time as the family and community contexts for children’s learning and healthy development are addressed simultaneously. The research network will prepare a major symposium during ECER 2012 on innovative education and health and human services partnerships. In Berlin 2011 this symposium will be discussed.
Furthermore it was decided that the research network, again, will encourage the development of collaborative and comparative reserarch projects. In Berlin 2011 this topic will be discussed at our business meeting. We are planning to write an update of our 1997 book Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education; Research, Policy and Practice.
Also, dr Ross Deuchar (University of Strathclyde, Scotland) and dr Sofia Marques da Silva, (University of Porto, Portugal) have joint the network and will act as co-convenors. More colleagues have shown interest in joint activities. Proposals/suggestions will be discussed in Berlin