Un/Satisfactory? Enhancing life chances by improving “satisfactory” schools
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Dr Becky Francis

This report maps the location, trends, and demographics of ‘satisfactory’ schools. It finds that disadvantaged pupils are over-represented in these schools, and that inconsistent quality of teaching practice is their strongest characteristic. Partly as a result of this inconsistency many satisfactory schools do not improve, meaning that their high proportion of disadvantaged pupils are being disproportionately let down.

While the government has concentrated policy on school structures (such as free schools and academies), a significant proportion of schools continue to provide a lower quality education, with little policy in place to support them in improving their provision.

This analysis amounts to a call for action, arguing that a bold new approach to supporting satisfactory schools is urgently needed. It presents a set of recommendations that incentivise and support improvement in satisfactory schools, through a dual approach of support and accountability. 

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Dr Becky Francis

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Royal Society of Arts (RSA)

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Examining trends and policy failures around satisfactory schools, this report will make for useful reading for policy makers. 


Analysis of trend data.


Record ID:
R195 / 140
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