ENHANCING LIFE CHANCES BY IMPROVING ‘SATISFACTORY’ SCHOOLS
This timely and important report on ‘satisactory’ schools has direct relevanceor the RSA’s concern with ‘The social aspiration gap’ - the growing gap betweensociety’s expectations or lie in the 21st century and the trajectory upon whichit is now set. On the one hand, in providing today’s young people with aneducation which combines academic rigour, the development o wider skills andcompetencies, and nding and developing each individual’s enthusiasms, schoolsare vital to developing the citizens modern Britain needs. On the other hand,one o the most proound examples o the social aspiration gap lies between ouryearning or a airer society and the apparent inability o policymakers to developpopular, credible ways o achieving greater social justice. Given the importanceo schooling or the lie chances o disadvantaged pupils and the concentration o such pupils in (un) ‘satisactory’ schools, a step change in the perormance o theseschools could make an important contribution to closing this aspect o the gap.This report contains many striking ndings and important recommendations. Onethat stands out as emblematic o our approach is that the ‘Satisactory’ category berenamed as ‘Perorming Inconsistently’. This is not merely a matter o presentationor semantics. It highlights the key challenge in these schools o spreading the goodpractice which they contain across the whole school. Lying behind the call both orgreater support and guidance or these schools, and a more granular approach toperormance and accountability is the view that the current status o ‘satisactory’is only acceptable i it is explicitly seen as a oundation or improvement.This report reects the hard work not just o RSA sta, but o Osted colleagues,who have supplied and modelled the data, and have maintained enthusiasticengagement as the project has developed. Working with Osted has made us awareo the rich public resource o robust data and wealth o committed expertiseunderpinning the organisation’s work. Our collaboration with Osted supports thecurrent Government’s contention that making inormation about public servicestandards available in an accessible orm can itsel be an important driver o policydevelopment, public engagement and service improvement.
Chie Executive RSA