Call for municipal involvement to reverse segregation at school

Obtaining the complicity of the municipal councils is the key to overturning a rather alarming situation that has an impact on the society of the future: studies warn that levels of school segregation such as in Catalonia cause more unemployment, more job insecurity and more problems social cohesion

Reducing school segregation, the phenomenon of unequally distributed students (by origin or socio-economic circumstances) between educational centers in a territory, can not be carried out overnight. But despite the long-term results, there is a series of measures that can be launched and that can help stop what is considered the main problem of the education system in Catalonia. The Ministry of Education has the central role, but it is also intended to seek the co-responsibility of the municipal councils and to question them directly, so that the fight against this problem is one of the priorities of the election agenda.

To this end, the Jaume Bofill Foundation presented the document yesterday Fight against segregation of schools: the chance of opportunities, a battery of urgent and inexpensive proposals that can be applied by the city councils, the administration that knows the school fabric in the area the most. Some councils have been leading this struggle for years and have, through their political action margins, dared to take very specific measures to combat segregation. Despite the notion that there is no universal recipe, the Bofill Foundation claims to extend these good practices and, in a chain of responsibilities, to achieve municipal involvement. Remind the consistency scheme of the range of places, balance the distribution of students with special educational needs (NO), check registration fraud or strengthen schools with less demand. "Municipalities that do not actively fight against segregation must be justified for citizens," said Ismael Palacín, director of the entity.

One of the factors that causes school segregation is the allocation of the places of the schools. One of the proposed measures emphasizes the question asked by the municipal councils to plan, together with the department's territorial services, a realistic range of sites and, from the point of view of anti-segregation, to "always avoid excessive quantities" in the most requested centers, because this condemns the centers with low demand for segregation; or use the relationships to distribute the students in a more balanced way. This means, for example, to take advantage of the drop in demand to reduce the number of students per class in the centers with the most problems. A measure that happens, also because the municipal councils promote agreements between all centers to manage and distribute the students arriving in the middle of the year, and to prevent this declaration of life from ending in the low-demand centers.

In addition to the newcomers, it is "key" to distribute the students with NO "in a balanced way". It is therefore important to identify before the start of P3 how many students require special attention, with the complicity of social services or CAPs. The law now provides that all centers reserve two rooms for children's homes with NO, a figure that is short every year. However, the Bofill Foundation believes that generating these reserved places is a "bad practice". In this connection, the Síndic de Greuges proposes that, with the exception of a minimum number of places for children with difficulties, the centers should be set up with more complexity and not allow more pupils with learning difficulties. As far as admission is concerned, the department is preparing a new decree that will change the points system so that it stops counting as a child or brother of alumni of the center or with digestive disorders.

The Bofill Foundation also suggests that it is not self-evident that different schools are affiliated to an institute to become a secondary school, because it ultimately generates segregation. They also suggest that the same school card already guarantees that there is a social and economic diversity in all centers.

One of the most important variables in distributing students is the ownership of the center and although the Síndic de Greuges said that it is not the most important factor explaining the phenomenon, there are very striking differences between the public network and the coordinated one. Thanks to a source for the Transparency Commission, Eldiario.es He published that the colleges had educated half of the disadvantaged and foreign students who would play in Barcelona or in Barcelona, ​​two in three public schools doubled in immigrants, the nearest school. The Department of Education and the Catalan ombudsman negotiate the pact against segregation together with the municipal trade unions and organizations. The ARA has already indicated that all centers (public, coordinated and private) are obliged to disclose all allowances they charge to families, study books, tracks or excursions. Yesterday, the general director of the teaching staff, Ignasi Garcia-Plata, made it possible to finance the centers asymmetrically in order to favor the most stigmatized.

The choice of families, the key

In the end, however, the preference of families is of the utmost importance. The Bofill Foundation advocates more support and training for centers that have problems getting to know, that homogeneous information & # 39; of all city centers and promote innovative educational projects that can attract families who would refuse to go to these schools from the beginning. In order to balance the educational quality of all schools in the municipality, it is proposed that even the professors from different centers rotate. In spite of everything the administrations know that they have to fight against stigma & # 39; s and prejudices and therefore there is the one who has pointed out on the table the need to restrict the right of families to choose school and that each child to the school of his district goes. "We can not let the free elections pass," said Garcia Plata, who claimed to always have equality in mind.

The 5 cases of success

Olot

In Olot they decided for years that all schools would have a similar number of immigrant students and with special educational needs (disabilities, behavioral disorders, very low incomes or non-spoken languages). The project underwent a transversal agreement involving the co-responsibility of the coordinated schools (which presupposed the extra expenditure), a strong political consensus, the acceptance and complicity of the families and more economic resources, for example to guarantee the free public transport for children with NO.

Girona

There is no single recipe for dividing a municipality into areas when it comes to training. In Girona, a few years ago they revised their zoning plan to ensure that they were more heterogeneous on a social level and to reduce the differences between centers. In addition, innovation projects in some schools were promoted through art, science and technology and with the cooperation of cultural entities of the municipality.

Manlleu

the Manlleu model It is a reference when we talk about reversing school segregation. They were pioneers in the equitable distribution of newly arrived students between public and concerted centers. With a unique area of ​​training and outside its ownership, all centers receiving public money are treated equally in terms of resources, activities, subsidies and subsidies.

Valls

In Valls, two schools concentrated most students of foreign origin and received enrollments in the middle of the year, so many families did not want to take their children with them. The link between primary schools and their reference institute was eliminated in order not to perpetuate segregation and more NO places were reserved in all public and coordinated schools.

Mataro

Mataró was a pioneering city council in the implementation of the environmental education plan, a program that was promoted by the Ministry of Education in various municipalities within the framework of the plan for language and social cohesion. In its 2016 report, the Catalan Ombudsman evaluated good practices promoted at local level, as a more equitable distribution of immigrant students and NO.