Schools Without Walls - RSA

Schools Without Walls


  • Community and place-based action
  • Education and learning

Exploring the schools that extend their impact beyond the school gates by working with the local community.

This RSA-ECIS (Educational Collaborative for International Schools) report includes the stories of 11 schools in the UK, USA, Italy, and Israel that are committed to community partnerships.

Schools Without Walls shows how these school’s collaborations with local charities and voluntary organisations, professional bodies, arts and cultural organisations, colleges and universities, and businesses benefits students and the wider community.

The impact of these successful partnerships came under four distinct themes:

  • Overcoming poverty through partnerships with families and communities (Surrey Square Primary School, Reach Academy Feltham and PS/MS 188 The Island School)
  • Building knowledge and skills through real-world learning (XP School Doncaster and Plymouth School of Creative Arts)
  • Developing committed citizens through social action (Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, The Blue School, EMIS and UWC Adriatic)
  • Preparing young people for future work and study through partnerships with universities and employers (University of Birmingham School and Cristo Rey New York High School)

Schools Without Walls also includes inspiration and guidance for:

  • People working in schools
  • Charities and employers who could work with schools
  • Parents and carers of pupils
  • Policymakers and funders

We hope these examples will inspire schools across the world to break down the metaphorical walls between schools and the wider world, and collaborate with the partners out there that can help them fulfil their educational mission.

Download Schools Without Walls (PDF, 2.3 MB)


Picture of Laura Partridge
Former Associate Director, Creative Learning and Education

Picture of Naomi Bath
Assistant Researcher, Creative Learning and Development