In October 2010 the government confirmed it would introduce a “pupil premium” payable to schools with disadvantaged pupils. This shift towards resourcing by group rather than area may mark the closing of another chapter in efforts to produce a more meritocratic education system utilising what might be termed intermediate institutions. Their predecessors opened more than 3500 Children’s 10 Centres to develop new strategies for working with the families of preschool children in order to alter long-term educational trajectories. This paper reflects on an earlier chapter in public efforts to secure greater educational equality, the first three years of the Red House Education Centre in Denaby Main, a mining village in Yorkshire’s West Riding, in the period 1969 to 1972. Red House was 15 the most significant development arising from the West Riding Educational Priority Area (WREPA) Project and was an example of area-based positive discrimination. The paper explores two key questions. Can schools be re-positioned so that they offer the community an opportunity to develop as active participants in reshaped democratic processes, or are new institutional forms required? Did 20 Red House offer parents and professionals the opportunity to improve educational outcomes in a neutral space where both felt a sense of ownership?