Inclusion, social capital and space within an English secondary free school

Julie Allan*, Clara Jørgensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses interactions and inclusion at a newly built and recently opened secondary free school in England, presenting findings from a qualitative research project carried out in 2016–2018. Free schools were introduced in England in 2010 and enable parents, community organisations, charities and universities to set up their own schools, funded by the government, but entitled to decide on their own curriculum, staffing and admissions arrangements. In this paper, we draw on a combined theoretical framework of social capital and spatial analysis to analyse the way students and teachers at the participating school described interactions in different school spaces, focusing on two main analytical spaces: ‘seeing space’ and ‘connecting space.’ The findings illustrate the socially constructed nature of school spaces and emphasise the importance of different kinds of spaces to ensure the social inclusion of all students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-431
Number of pages13
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number4
Early online date20 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • inclusion
  • social capital
  • space
  • disability
  • school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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