The RSA has a long history of innovation in education, including pioneering national examinations from 1850, the 1870 inquiries into the state of education, its work on education for industry in the 1970s and the more recent development of the Opening Minds framework. Our recent influential report on social justice in education and policy-changing analysis of satisfactory schools means that the RSA is well placed to make a significant, independent contribution to education debates.

View our reports:

Licensed to Create Licensed to Create: Ten essays on improving teacher quality
Licensed to Create explores how we can unleash creativity among teachers, with 11 authors offering their perspective from practice, policy and academia on how we can improve teacher quality.
Research_and_the_teaching_profession Research and the Teaching Profession: Building the capacity for a self-improving education system.
This final report from the BERA-RSA Inquiry into the role of research in UK teacher education summarises the evidence, develops ten system-wide principles and country-specific recommendations to help develop research-rich education systems.
Everyone_starts_with_an_thumb Everyone Starts with an A: Applying behavioural insight to narrow the socioeconomic attainment gap in education.
Using research from behavioural science and our evolving understanding of human nature, we explore how effort, motivation, learning enjoyment, resilience, and overall performance at school can be influenced in ways not often traditionally recognised.
Schools_with_Soul_thumb Schools with Soul: A new approach to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education (SMSC)
The requirement of schools to develop the broader human qualities of their pupils has become side-lined due to the overwhelming pressure placed on them to deliver better exam results, an RSA investigation has found.
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The role of research in teacher education: Reviewing the evidence

January 2014: This Interim Report brings together the evidence gathered so far, addressing a number of important questions about how different teacher education systems across the UK and around the world currently engage with research and what the international evidence tells us about the effectiveness of research-based teacher education.

Between the Cracks report cover

Between the Cracks

Moving schools multiple times has a devastating impact on pupil's grades and the numbers of children affected are set to grow. Between the Cracks showed that when compared to their peers, the attainment of pupils who move school in-year is markedly lower. Only 27 percent of pupils who move schools three times or more during their secondary school career achieve 5 A* to C GCSE's, compared to the national average of 60 percent. Results in English & maths for children at Key Stage 2 dropped 12 percent following one in year move, 17 percent for two moves and 25 percent for three moves.

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Suffolk Education Inquiry report: No school an island

In July 2012, the RSA was invited by Suffolk County Council to conduct an independent Inquiry into how on how to achieve a significant and sustained improvement in pupil attainment and improved capabilities for young people in the world of work. Read our recommendations in the Final Report and the Executive Summary.

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Unleashing greatness: Getting the best from an academised system

The Academies Commission’s report, published here, looks at the opportunities and risks associated with academisation, and makes important recommendations as to how further change might be implemented so that all children and young people experience the benefits of academisation.

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Diverse, collegiate, improving: Balancing autonomy, collaboration and accountability in the academies programme

This pamphlet, written by RSA's former Director of Education Becky Francis, seeks to highlight the key issues emerging as a consequence of mass academisation in the English education system, and outline the RSA's model for its emerging family of academies.

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The Missing Middle: The case for school commissioners

With over 50 percent of secondary schools having converted to academy status, it is time to radically slim down the Department for Education (DfE) and devolve powers to new regional or sub regional education commissioners that sit alongside an independent regulatory body. This report sets out a new vision, based on the evidence from other countries and London Challenge, for an educational 'middle tier' in which city mayors, regional or sub-regional authorities appoint commissioners to develop and steer a shared educational strategy.

rethinking the importance of teaching

Rethinking the importance of teaching

This report from the RSA's Area Based Curriculum work addresses the challenge of teachers not only being asked to design curriculum, but to collaborate with local stakeholders to do so. It concludes that while government emphasis on the quality and importance of teaching is welcome, the vision of what a quality teaching workforce looks like lacks ambition.

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Curriculum Innovation

Based on practical projects with schools and teachers, we have developed a suite of reports, think pieces and case studies to support those thinking about or developing their own locally based curriculum.

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Opening Minds: An evaluative literature review

RSA Opening Minds commissioned the University of Sussex to conduct a literature review. The aim of the review was to collate an evidence base with regards the effectiveness of competence based curricula in secondary schools both generally and with specific reference to the RSA Opening Minds competence framework.

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Teaching, Learning and Assessment on Competence Based Programmes

The latest Opening Minds Action Research explores the connections between planning and delivery for OM lessons, and achieving an outstanding lesson. The project illustrated a range of approaches to balancing content and skills, and also that OM based research and professional development activity has the power to surface important issues and to demonstrate how issues can be overcome in their own and in other OM contexts.

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(Un)Satisfactory? Enhancing Life Chances by Improving 'Satisfactory' Schools

This study of schools graded ‘satisfactory’ drew on Ofsted data and inspection reports to analyse the location, demographics, and characteristics of these schools, and the relationship between socio-economic background and attendance of a ‘Satisfactory’ school.  Our report shows how:

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Not enough capital: exploring education and employment progression in further education

Over half a million young people from low-income backgrounds are studying in FE colleges. But a new RSA report, Not Enough Capital, concludes that these students currently struggle when progressing in education and their careers. The report explores the reasons for this, and recommends a number of interventions aimed at better supporting them.

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The social class gap for educational achievement: a review of the literature

This review of the literature maps social class inequality across educational sectors, and the various government and philanthropic initiatives that have sought to tackle it, and draws from this analysis conclusions and recommendations for the direction of future work.