The more I think about this the greater is its significance. ‘Belonging’ is considered to be one of the most central and fundamental needs of humankind. It is therefore of ultimate importance that schools learn to celebrate diversity and difference, enabling every individual to feel at home and safe. But it’s not just important within schools – for example, I noticed that when a leading premiership manager was interviewed about his success in management he responded with how his priority was to make sure that every player in the squad ‘belonged’.
The worst schools or communities homogenize and the more I travel around schools, the less value I can see in the ‘birds of a feather flock together’ approach. Put simply, the world is a very diverse place now and for children to learn to accept, value and appreciate the diversity of a community is central. Added to this it is good for every runner and rider in the community to feel that they are accepted for simply being themselves.