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Business makes it better for many

WE were surprised and disappointed by the misinterpretation of some of the results of our survey into education business links (TES, June 29), in particular, the sensational contention that "business links with schools have little or no impact on raising standards or improving pupil motivation".

We believe the survey shows that schools which have established links with business greatly value them - and note that they do raise achievement. The results are excellent if you cross-reference their involvement with relative benefits.

Some 98 per cent of schools involved in work experience recorded benefits in preparing pupils for work and 83 per cent recorded better pupil motivation and attendance. Also, each primary on the literacy programme achieved similar results.

We believe that the report highlights the real benefits of education links - the sort that were featured in The TES's own business links supplement only four weeks ago.

Previous research supports the findings of this survey and highlights how business support for schools can have a real, positive impact. Department for Education and Skills research shows that businesses providing reading support to pupils over a 12-week period can help improve reading ages by six months.

The most important fact of this research is that it highlights that too many schools have not yet got effective links. A closer analysis of the responses shows that it is these schools who have responded negatively.

Business in the Community's member companies hope that the new arrangements for local brokerage of links with business, under the auspices of the Learning and Skills Council, will lead to more businesses getting involved in education, concentrating on the key issues we have identifed.

John May Director, education Business in the Community 137 Shepherdess Walk North London

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