- what we do -

Our research - and much of our consultancy - is founded on the application of a proprietary research tool to the data we generate from our surveys in schools.

Relational Proximity® is a suite of validated tools which illuminates the strength of relationships by measuring their core components. Developed by the founders of the Relationships Foundation and now licensed world-wide through Relational Analytics Ltd, Relational Proximity® uniquely offers:

    • a non-emotive and reproducible approach which generates actionable information;
    • an equal voice given to both parties;
    • analysis of relationships between organisations, groups or individuals.

The Relational Schools Foundation has an exclusive license for the use of Relational Proximity in research with schools, and is also licensed to apply the tool in its work with schools and those providing services to schools overseas. To date, much of our work explores the relationships between students and their peers, and between students and their teachers. We also explore the relationships teachers have with their colleagues in their department and other departments, with their leaders, and with parents.

Relational Proximity has been derived from many years of relational research. We define relationships as, “a series of interactions between individuals who know each other such that each interaction can be influenced by past interactions and by expectations of interactions in the future”. What Hinde argues is that where there is a relationship, interaction will be ongoing and therefore different to a chance encounter.

By ‘relationship’ therefore, we assume something that is dynamic and more than a connection; rather a continual process where reciprocal engagement between two people, defines the quantity and quality of the relationship. If nothing is taken forward from previous encounters, then you are always meeting with strangers.

In our work, we define a relationship as the connection between individuals, groups or organisations, revealed in the way they talk and behave. Relationships are too often a by-product of decisions taken with other priorities in mind. They’re often neglected, undermined or put under intolerable pressure.

Yet, schools can create the conditions in which relationships flourish. We want to know whether, and how, schools are creating environments that foster relationships, or environments that hinder them. And we want to know whether students and staff experience the relationships that enable learning and development.

The core of our work has been to draw on a wide range of experience to offer a simple account of what shapes these relationships in schools. Psychology, social-neuroscience, game theory, sociology, anthropology, all these and many other disciplines, sectors and professions bring insight into relationships. The issue is how one brings all that together in a way that enables people to talk constructively, diagnose accurately, and generate effective responses.

What we try to do in our research is offer a route map through all that wisdom.