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It's the classroom that counts

Why, after 30 years of encouraging, supporting and developing business links, do I still believe they are worth the investment of time, energy and resources? My experience is that it can and does make a difference to both young people and colleagues from businesses.

Despite the ad hoc nature of so much of the effort in the past, the impact of opening up the doors of our schools has been beyond measure. It is perhaps the extent to which we have failed to measure, record and celebrate that impact which has hidden the benefits.

Certainly, the prevalence of "fixing" the ills of education through business intervention has given way to a recognition of mutual benefit and respect, particularly in management. Schools are complex: the level of sophistication required to manage effectively is, I would contend, more demanding than most commercial settings. Indeed, a recurring theme from business colleagues is an acknowledgement of the high level of skills among senior managers in education.

But it is in the classroom that the most significant opportunities present themselves. I think that the key to developing the myriad of unco-ordinated and disparate activities is to accredit such activities within a nationally recognised framework.

Perhaps this might provide a systematic route to achieving those attributes of problem-solving, decision-making and teamworking so beloved of the world of work.

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