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AN ARTICLE in the November 19 issue of The TES explained how schools can be knocked off course by changes in local housing policy that trigger an influx of socially-deprived families.

The report was based on a case study by Jill Clark, Alan Dyson and Alan Millward that showed how the unexpected arrival of just a few children with serious problems can destabilise an otherwise successful school.

Their research is summarised on the website of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, who funded the study at and the summary report can be accessed at

Another Rowntree report on the relationship between social and educational issues, written by Peter Moss, Pat Petrie and Gill Poland is at This illustrates the different ways in which French, Swedish and American schools have extended their functions beyond the purely educational. The implication is that if UK teachers feel they have become surrogate social workers, then the trend is international.

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