The RSA Academies will grow to four in September when Arrow Vale High School in Redditch, an upper school for children aged 13-18, becomes an RSA Academy.
We are continuing to look at ways of engaging Fellows with schools in the RSA Family and are grateful to those Fellows who expressed an interest in working with Lilian Baylis School in Lambeth on their “adopt a student” mentoring scheme for sixth form students. More than 20 Fellows and three RDIs attended the launch event at the school on 31 May and a number have now signed up for the new scheme.
We have also been working with Whitley Academy in Coventry on a programme to develop public speaking skills, which culminated in a group of students visiting the RSA on 10 July. They had a tour of the building, gave their views on “What makes a good teacher”, the subject of the first Education Matters debate, and attended the second Education Matters debate on whether education is the answer to social mobility.
Meanwhile the RSA Academy Tipton was shortlisted in three categories at the TES School Awards 2012: for outstanding business/ financial team or initiative; outstanding sustainable school or community partnership; and for healthy eating.
Work has also continued on the permanent governance arrangements for RSA Academies. Following an exceptionally strong response from Fellows interested in becoming Trustees of the RSA Academies Board the RSA’s Nominations Panel have appointed five people who will bring an enormous depth and variety of expertise when they join the Board in September 2012. They are:
• Malcolm Forbes, an ICT expert who runs a consultancy providing advice on the technical development of internet applications and is also a founding Director of the Lambeth e-learning foundation
• Sue Horner, who was previously Director of Curriculum at QCA and has also been the long-standing Chair of Booktrust.
• Jenny Jupe, a former Director of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust who has been a Member of the Academies Board since its inception in February 2012.
• Hanif Virji, an investment banker and member of the RSA Trustee Board who has also been an interim RSA Academies Board member.
• Suzy Walton, who is a former Senior Civil Servant and is deputy Chair of the RSA Trustee Board and deputy Chair of the Board for the University of Westminster
Bristol Education Partnership is planning an event where students will meet professionals to hear about the jobs and skills that will be needed in a zero-carbon economy.
The RSA Driving Ambition project, which started as a collaboration between a small group of Fellows in North Oxfordshire and local schools, is now going into its tenth year of mentoring and supporting Oxfordshire’s young people to reach their potential.
Students are increasingly looking to study subjects that have relevance in ‘the real world’. Meanwhile uptake of MFL at UK schools and universities is plummeting. So why are we still framing the benefits of language-learning as purely communicative?