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The curriculum has always been a political animal. As a nation, and as institutions and individuals, it defines our values and clarifies our hopes for future generations. Any attempt to try and ‘depoliticise’ the curriculum is neither desirable nor realistic. Indeed, most debates about the curriculum start from the wrong place. Instead of asking ‘what should the curriculum include’, our starting question should always be ‘who should determine what the curriculum includes’? Such a question enables curriculum development to play a significant role in building and reshaping civil society.

Throughout its history, the RSA has built and sustained interest in school curriculum issues. Building on this reputation, as well as our successes and learning from developing this project we will continue to contribute in four specific ways:

First, we worked in Peterborough through the new Learning Partnership, and find ways to transfer our learning to other areas interested in developing local curricula.

Second, in partnership with the Institute of Education and the Curriculum Foundation, we developed a pioneering professional development programme for teachers and other educators. Grand Curriculum Designs fosters a new generation of skilled and sensitive curriculum designers.

Third, we will continue to foster curriculum innovation in our growing family of academies.

Finally, we will continue to offer the RSA’s House and online platforms as spaces for purposeful, evidence-based debates about the curriculum to take place.

This RSA project worked in partnership with the Esme Fairbairn Foundation, Peterborough City Council and Arts Council England.