Democracy and collaboration

Reflecting a school’s needs and priorities

We are built around principles of democracy and collaboration and together with our schools see ourselves as a Family.  We aim to give learners the broad range of skills, qualifications and experiences they need to thrive in their continuing education and the world of work through a jointly designed programme of support and intervention that reflects a school’s needs and priorities.

This includes:

Innovation programmes

Our schools are passionate about innovation – “the successful exploitation of new ideas”. We aim to develop new approaches to education that have potential to influence the practices of many other schools. Current priorities include design and technology, parental engagement, and the development of learner competencies. We aim to build each school’s collective capacity for innovation, and build a culture of evidence-use and evidence-creation amongst all staff members.

Leadership development and support for staff

This strand of work will be supported by our newly approved RSA Academies Teaching School Alliance. There are opportunities for staff at different levels taking on leadership roles and assignments outside their own schools from periods of a day to a lengthy secondment.

Collaborative approach to school improvement

Our approach to school improvement is based on school to school support. The Principals and senior staff at schools within the Family take responsibility for leading school improvement within their own school and also across the Family as a whole. Our model recognises that all schools, irrespective of Ofsted category, have both strengths and areas for development.

Platform to have a broader impact on education policy and practice

Being part of the Family of Academies provides access for schools to influential networks and demonstrates its ideas on a wider stage. We have the potential to be a powerful voice in the on-going debate about the future of the curriculum in schools.

Access to skills and networks of RSA Fellows

The RSA has 27,000 Fellows in more than 100 countries, working together for the benefit of their communities. RSA Fellows have a wide range of skills and talents that they can bring to schools and have helped us foster new partnerships through their connections. We appoint RSA Fellows to the governing bodies of schools bringing new skills, experiences and constructive challenge.

Enrichment guarantee

This includes opportunities to participate in visits to theatres, galleries and cultural events; work directly with arts practitioners and designers; experience a residential stay; participate in projects for the local and wider community; and have access to a variety of careers talks, workplace and university visits, and work experience. There are many different types of projects that take place across all the schools, for example Frontline Voices, a podcast project.

Opportunities to maximise resources

Becoming an academy involves taking on additional responsibilities in areas including finance, HR, ICT and commissioning. The Family of Academies provides support and advice in these key areas, and helps schools secure better value for money by helping identify alternative suppliers and through joint commissioning of services.

There are two things that come with being part of the RSA Family. The first is the relationship with the RSA, one of the most exciting organisations in Britain. The second is the relationship between the individual schools, who all bring something different to the mix.

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, RSA