The Relational Schools Project is an education research and consultancy group based in Cambridge (United Kingdom).

At Relational Schools, we believe that education exists for the good of all people in society, and that good educational opportunities are our gift to future generations. At the heart of our approach is the belief that good relationships are essential for outstanding education. Our main areas of focus are around building strong parent-to-schooling, teacher-to-pupil, and peer-to-peer relationships. We work towards these goals by carrying out research and through our education consultancy services.

No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship… all learning is understanding relationships. (Rita Pierson)

Our vision for education is one that goes beyond the ‘four walls’ of the classroom. We want to see local people working together to raise educational outcomes and to deliver benefit to the whole community. We encourage strategic thinking and collaboration between local schools within a framework of healthy competition. Using the Relational Proximity® Framework developed by Relational Research and  Relational Analytics, we can assess the quality of relationships in education and make targeted recommendations for improvement. This gives us important information which can be used to deliver a wide range of benefits, ranging from improving classroom discipline and the reduction of bullying to greater levels of parental engagement and staff retention.

Research Over the next three years the Relational Schools team, led by our director Rob Loe, will be carrying out an in-depth study into the quality of key relationships in UK schools. It is widely documented that the most significant relationships in determining educational outcomes are the parent-to-schooling, teacher-to-pupil and peer-to-peer relationships.

The initial pilot phase will examine relationships in 10 schools across England, ranging from schools situated in areas of high material deprivation to private fee-paying schools such as Eton College. The likely number of pupils impacted by the project pilot phase is calculated to be around 15,000, with as many as 1,000 directly involved in completing questionnaires, and several hundred involved in dialogues with other stakeholder groups. We can also calculate the number of teachers likely to be impacted in the pilot schools at close to 1,000.

Over the full three-year project we hope to work with around 80 schools, 8000 teachers and 96,000 pupils.

Consultancy Services & Relational Schools offers education consultancy services to schools, educational institutions and educators worldwide. We are based in Cambridge (United Kingdom). We’re an independent consultancy practice with specialist knowledge in secondary schooling and building strong educational relationships. We work closely with parents, teachers, governors, students and the wider community to help promote effective relationships and excellent educational outcomes. We believe that outstanding education involves a partnership of stakeholders both within the school and in the community.

We can help you develop your leadership and management team to help your school run efficiently and effectively. We also specialise in providing English curriculum consultancy. Our Director, Robert Loe, is also available for speaking engagements and bespoke advice sessions. For more information about Robert’s consultancy services please get in touch at office@relationalschools.org or call the office on +44(0) 1223 781 171.

Appointed as Director of the Relational Schools Project on 1 January 2014, having been involved with the Relational Research education project for several years. Having worked in secondary schools in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex, Robert’s last role was that of Assistant Principal in a successful Community School leadership team in Suffolk. He studied English and Education Studies at Cambridge University. Robert is a Fellow of the RSA.

Robert’s principal research interests lie in two distinct fields. Firstly, the field of raising achievement in the secondary classroom; as an English, Film and Media specialist, first and foremost, Robert is particularly interested in boy’s underachievement and the psychology of failure on a broader scale. He has written, and presented on, the nature of underachievement and the adoption of strategies by students to cope with perceived failure. Fundamentally, previous research centred on quality teaching and learning, the design and execution of well-prepared materials, and targeted strategies to improve student self-worth at all levels and with both genders.

The second area of interest is school organisation, nationally, locally and within the context of the institution itself. Robert’s university research examined issues of method surrounding the cultures of school effectiveness and improvement research. The study was a retrospective history of a school that was inspected under such methodological criteria and was judged to be failing. On the micro scale Robert is interested in the way institutions are organised and theories of leadership and management.