Relational Schools – strengthening the quality of relationships 

Relational Schools, an original project of the Relationships Foundation begun in 2014, is now a formal division of the charity. Within the education sector, our aim has been to demonstrates how a focus on improving relationships in schools improves a broad range of educational and social outcomes, and can overcome disadvantages. We have done that by measuring the quality of relationships between people and, through our analysis and subsequent advice and interventions, sought to influence organisational practice and policy with a relational agenda.

Our main aim is to build relational capital and capability in the lives of students, teachers, families and communities by supporting positive and evidence-based change in: the way schools are organised; the way schools conduct their practice with respect to teaching, learning, leadership and management; and the way system-level organisations and authorities influence school practice through policy or regulation.

As one of our largest and, to date, most successful applied research initiatives, it is clear that the model of the Relational Schools project is replicable. We must harness the energy and reputation around its brand; draw on the huge support it enjoys from donors and partners; utilise the capacity it has developed through significant investment in the tools and approaches and exploit the opportunities that lie ahead to move into new sectors and revisit and reengage with the successful projects of the past.