Fostering a new generation of curriculum designers
We are exploring options for a new accredited national professional development programme, available to teachers and other educators. It aims to create a new generation of curriculum designers, ready to make the most of the emerging opportunities for locally-led curriculum design that complements the new national curriculum. As such, it will add to the professional capacity of the teaching workforce as a whole and the capacity of schools to operate as autonomous, collaborative organisations.
The programme will blend the learning and principles from Opening Minds and the Area Based Curriculum, as well as from curriculum design programmes from around the world, to create a high quality professional development offer that improves educational opportunities and outcomes for pupils.
Social capital sharing
Despite numerous studies and government initiatives, it seems that Britain is impervious to the creation of an economy where ability and motivation rather than background is rewarded. Recent research has found that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds do not lack aspiration. What often distinguishes them from their better-off peers is confidence, information and contacts.
We believe it is time to create a public debate about the concentration of 'social capital' within certain social groups and institutions and why it should be shared more widely. Working with the Education and Employers Taskforce, we will trial initiatives designed to enable people and institutions to share social capital.
Not victims, not criminals: children and siblings of offenders
With the RSA's overall emphasis on social justice, the criminal justice system has become a key focus of the Projects Team. Emerging programmes include a pilot to establish an RSA Prison based on the notion of transition into society, and research into designing a form of social sentencing that would widen the constructive social connections of offenders and promote positive social influence.
RSA Education will ensure that these programmes include a focus on the welfare of children and siblings of offenders. This group is at significant risk of poor outcomes. Project opportunities include partnering with the RSA Transitions project to influence the design of the RSA Prison, ensuring that it is conducive to establishing links between offenders and their children (or siblings) and promoting skills attribution for both. We would also like to explore possibilities for a project around social sentencing, questioning whether the importance of parental involvement in a child's education should be a key factor in the sentencing process and how this can be reflected in practice.