IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Place and belonging in schools: unlocking possibilities

Video Series II


'Belonging' is that sense of being somewhere where you can be confident that you will fit in and feel safe in your identity. Schools are one of the few shared social institutions which can create that sense of belonging, or exclusion: a point illustrated by the children from St Anthony's Catholic Primary School.


Agency is a mindset of possibilities. Agency is our ability to intervene in the world, to make a difference, to have our voice heard. To develop your agency, you need a belief that you can make a difference. You also need the skills and the opportunities to act.

Place and space

What makes a school a 'place' are the relationships, the hopes and the aspirations. What also matters is how both the physical and emotional spaces are used.

Unlocking possibilities

What brings the school together are the people - and school leaders are key. They set the framework for belonging or exclusion, influencing how communities are viewed and how young people view society and their place within it.