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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Julie Rattray

C. Bagley, C.L. Ackerley & J. Rattray (2004). Social exclusion, Sure Start and organizational social capital: evaluating inter-disciplinary multi-agency working in an education and health work programme. Journal of Education Policy 19(5): 595-607.

Author(s) from Durham


Social policy-making in the UK under the Labour government has galvanized around the issue of social exclusion, identifying young children (0-4 years) and their families living in areas of high social disadvantage to be particularly at risk. This paper attempts to recover the experiences and views of professionals concerned with the delivery and implementation of a multi-agency programme tackling the social exclusion of these young children and their families known as Sure Start. The data are based on the analysis of documentation, attendance and observation at meetings, and 32 semi-structured interviews with members of the inter-disciplinary team responsible for the Sure Start programme's delivery. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using open coding from grounded theorizing. The paper, in reflecting on the problems and dilemmas of multi-agency approaches and reported in other research, considers how the preliminary findings from this study suggest the team have managed to accommodate and overcome these potential difficulties, to facilitate an integrated, holistic and user-centred approach to the programme. The paper concludes by considering the possibility that the team's approach may be conceptually located within an organizational social capital framework as posited by Nahapiet and Ghoshal.