Four back business links

George Cox Director General Institute of Directors Education isn't simply about imparting skills and knowledge, it is also about instilling values, attitudes and understanding.

Young people also need to be given an insight into what awaits them when they leave school, to see the different opportunities and to consider what suits them individually. They also need to recognise that it isn't just skills but also an enterprising attitude that will enable them to make the most of the opportunities.

Ray Priest Headteacher, St George Community College, BristolMember of the BITC Education Leadership Team.

Schools have become such complex business organisations in recent years, and it is hard to imagine how we can any longer operate isolated from the business community in which we exist. Although it is the case that our "profits" are measured in terms of successful outcomes for young people, and our "shareholders" are all who have a personal investment in our achievements within the community, our organisations have to be structured in such a way as to be responsive to changing markets and aspirations. In this way, schools share the same key features of many commercial business organisations. Schools are often major employers within their community. St George Community College, Bristol, directly employs 140 people, as well as "sub-contracting" a further 100 to support the furthering of its educational mission. More than 3,000 people of all ages use the college as a centre of lifelong learning each week and are, in a sense, our customer or client base. Courses range from the traditional school curriculum diet to a whole host of vocational options, access provision and support for a wide range of leisure activities. Who can possibly deny that this is a significant business operation?

Neil Makin External Affairs Director Cadbury Schweppes.

Cadbury was well known for its pioneering work providing housing, education, welfare, and recreation facilities for the local community in the 1800s. Today we believe that enterprise education enables pupils to develop confidence, self-reliance and willingness to embrace change. Pupils can learn useful life skills - practising risk management, learning from mistakes and develop the entrepreneurial characteristics of tenacity, independence, imagination, risk-taking, intuition and leadership.

Richard Handover Group Chief Executive, WHSmith and Chairman, National Education Leadership Team, Business in the Community.

Business involvement in education, and vice versa, should become an essential part of standard working practice. This is not a case of business trying to take over the education system, or trying to teach teachers how to teach. On the contrary, I believe business people have equally as much to learn and gain from working with educationists, as educationists do from business people. It is a case of using the skills of all those involved to provide children with a better education, achieving higher attainment levels, and more tailored to local need. It is not just about business providing cash, or gifts in kind. At the end of the day, the key will be the transference of skills to the benefit of all those involved.

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