Enhancing collaboration between school professionals and local communities



The theme of professional capital in schools is approached by focusing on the capability of professionals to listen to local needs and collaborate with families and other stakeholders to build community resilience.  

In recent years, issues of equity and inclusion have become central to the policy debate. Race, class, and immigration are recognized as key factors that hinder collaboration between schools and communities. A broader understanding of power relationships is considered central for school professionals, to reinforce parent agency and decolonize practices in parent involvement, adopting empowerment approaches and more equitable practices with parents from nondominant backgrounds (Baquedano-López et al., 2013).

In this regard, deficit discourses are still widely present in schools, attributing students' learning outcomes to a "lack" of knowledge, practices, or resources at home or in the community (Phillips & Luke, 2017). In developing countries, this issue of “othering” (Cherry., 2023) students, parents and families by professional educators will be considered to highlight barriers and good practices in family and community involvement which are based on equity, parity and respect.

In many of these low and low middle-income countries, leveraging all available resources to support quality education make successful parental involvement a prospect worth pursuing (Elmeski, 2012; Zaalouk, 2006).

On the other hand, experiences of self-improving school systems (Ainscow, 2015) and place-based school partnerships (Ainscow et al. 2023) are interesting and promising examples of how school partnerships can not only enhance the quality of education for all but also involve community partners in creating local wellbeing systems.

The interest is to gather examples of schools being instrumental in creating coherent wellbeing systems across their localities which involve publicly funded agencies agreeing to be collectively accountable for improving the lives of all children and young people. The role of schools - and headteachers/principals in particular - acting as key agents for system change is an emerging phenomenon as it takes the role of school leadership well beyond the confines of classrooms and into the policy/systemic domains.

Our aim is to start a new international conversation about how schools might enhance community involvement in education. The articles will deepen how collaboration between school professionals and local communities takes place in different contexts and countries, with attention to inclusive policies and practices for minorities and marginalised communities. It is also aimed at expanding the geographic and cultural breadth of research on partnership building with parents and local communities in the Global South.

Submissions can cover conceptual aspects, empirical research, case studies ("Research paper" type in the online form), or policy analysis and literature reviews ("Review paper" type).

List of Topic Areas

  • schools at the centre of their communities;
  • how schools are promoting partnerships with parents, including those from minorities and disadvantaged contexts; 
  • schools acting as local support systems for creating community agency and resilience;
  • locality-based collaborations and partnerships led by schools transcending externally imposed governance; 
  • how school professionals are building collaboration with local partners for school improvement;
  • developing professional capital within and across schools to promote collaboration and community growth;
  • the role of school leadership in building trust with families and connecting with local communities;
  • the transition to digital communication and how it is changing the interactions between schools, parents and communities;
  • ways in which 'middle levels' are supporting schools and local communities;
  • how national educational policies have been developed at local level with schools and communities.

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at: JPCCs ScholarOne page

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see: Journal’s author guidelines

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to "Please select the issue you are submitting to". 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Click here to submit!

Guest Editors: 

Sara Romiti, INVALSI, Italy, [email protected]

Anton Florek, the Staff College, UK, [email protected]
Mohammed Elmeski, The Nordic Centre for Conflict Transformation, Morocco, [email protected]

Key Deadlines:

Opening date for manuscripts submissions:11th of January 2024
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30th of June 2024    

Call for abstracts:
Closing date for abstract submission: 15th of April 2024    

Email for submissions: [email protected]