Using PASS to measure community involvement

"We want society – the families, networks, neighbourhoods and communities that form the fabric of so much of our everyday lives – to be bigger and stronger than ever before. Only when people and communities are given more power and take more responsibility can we achieve fairness and opportunity for all."
'Building the Big Society', The Cabinet Office

A flagship policy for our Conservative - Liberal Democrat Government, building the Big Society is a chance to give citizens more responsibility for, and say in, their own communities. This will be achieved by giving communities more power, and encouraging people to take a more active role in their communities.

On a micro scale, a school is a pupils’s community, and the same targets apply. According to long-standing independent American research, a student who feels more connected to their school is more likely to be a good citizen as an adult. Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) attitudinal measure 1 (Feelings about school) explores whether a pupil feels they belong to or are alienated from their school community, allowing you to identify how much a student feels that they are engaged and have a part to play in their own 'community'. Intervention strategies can then be applied to students who have a low attitudinal measure 1 score, such as giving the pupil a position of responsibility within the school.

Pupils who feel connected to school are also less likely to:

  • Use alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Engage in violent /antisocial behaviour
  • Become pregnant
  • Experience emotional distress

This in turn helps the local community to 'solve the problems they face and build the Britain they want' as the Government mapped out in their ‘Building the Big Society’ policy document.