Business in the Community's Partners in Leadership Programme is a national scheme which is supported by the government, headteacher associations and business. It pairs a headteacher with a senior business leader, working together on the headteacher's agenda to discuss matters related to management and leadership. Partners in Leadership improves the management and leadership skills of both partners and in doing so contributes towards more effective schools. There are currently over 4000 pairings which involve over 1200 companies.
Business partners undertake a 2 hour briefing session covering the process and skills involved. The business partner is then matched with a headteacher. The partnership runs for a year and it is expected that partners will meet for up to 2 hours per half term.
Natwest, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, has always been a strong supporter of the Partners in Leadership programme. Gordon Muir, Head of Performance and Incentives, is one of over 100 managers who have been matched with headteachers to work on leadership and management issues. "It is fascinating to see how much of an overlap there is between school and business. It has been very valuable to face the challenge of applying the problem solving process in such a different environment. " Evaluations show that both parties gain tremendously from the partnership.
Reuters Foundation is a humanitarian and educational trust, primarily funded by Reuters, the global news, information and technology group. Its work reflects the concerns of the company and its people, focusing in particular on areas where Reuters skills can be put to use in ways which will benefit the communities in which Reuters works worldwide.
As part of this commitment to education, Reuters partnered with the John Scurr Primary School in Tower Hamlets in 1997. Together, they explored the possibility of becoming actively involved with the school. Given their skill in ICT, it was agreed that Reuters staff would focus on improving the school's IT standards.
First came a donation of 16 computers, with Reuters staff providing technical support. This led to further help in the form of laptops for the teachers, printing the school's prospectus and, in 1998, converting the old swimming pool into an ICT suite.
What has been arguably more important is the involvement of Reuters staff, who worked alongside the Head and Deputy Head to devise an action plan for the school's IT needs. Lunchtime IT sessions, with Reuters volunteers working with the children on projects such as setting up a website and designing greetings cards, proved so popular with children and volunteers alike that the sessions were extended. As Bridget Fagan, Deputy Head, said:
"It was easy to see the effect on the children. With lots of outside people going in, you could feel the 'buzz'I The Reuters staff were role models for what the children could become..."
In 2002, building on their experience with school partnerships, Reuters Foundation, is adopting five schools on five continents. This new project extends the Foundation's commitment to education worldwide. Previous projects include building new schools in Sierra Leone, China and East Timor.
McDONALD'S HEAD TEACHER CONFERENCES
Since 1993 McDonald's has developed, funded and presented eleven conferences for headteachers. The conferences are designed to enhance leadership skills and give an insight into how a multi-billion pound company is managed.
The idea began originally through a teacher placement in Grantham. The first McDonald's Headteacher Conference - Managing Change was developed by a steering party of headteachers, the Education Business Partnership, the Training and Enterprise Council and a representative from McDonald's. The group developed the agenda that they felt would be most appropriate for Lincolnshire's heads. It included seminars on time management, health and safety, marketing, strategic planning and teambuilding.
Each topic was presented by a senior executive from McDonald's who gave their business perspective, however, the most important part of the seminar was to engage the heads and facilitate a discussion on how they could implement best practice into their leadership style and school environment.
Since then, subjects have grown considerably to include Ken Blanchard's One-Minute Manager, crisis management, negotiation skills and meetings. Guest speakers have been introduced from other companies and agencies including, in most cases, the chief education officer of the area.
The headteachers get a great day out, during which they not only build on leadership skills, but also have an excellent opportunity to network with their peers in comfortable surroundings. From the success of the earlier conferences, the format is being replicated throughout England and Scotland. The next one is taking place on July 8th in Wakefield and although this one is fully booked there will be further conferences planned in the near future.
As one of the country's leading organisations working at the strategic interface between education, business and the government, HTI (Heads, Teachers and Industry) understands their interdependence better than most.
HTI's flexible portfolio of sabbatical and secondment opportunities, now linked to the various stages of leadership development identified by the NCSL, has given hundreds of teachers hands-on experience of issues that face business and future generations of employees.
Opportunities typically range from six weeks to three terms in duration, providing varying depths of exposure to a non-educational culture.
Projects and outcomes are closely aligned to the aspirations, development needs and career stage of the secondee, as well as the objectives of the school and host business.
A secondment might offer an introduction to a business culture, enrich subject knowledge or develop new leadership and management skills. Time away from school offers a valuable opportunity for reflection, re-energising and reviewing career progression. For experienced headteachers a secondment can enhance consultancy, strategic thinking and networking skills.
Sue Folkard views her one-year secondment to Bass plc as the catalyst that led to her first headship at Hereward Community College in Peterborough.
"I had always welcomed challenges, but didn't feel ready to lead a school," said Sue, whose HR-related project won Bass a place in a national award final. "My achievements surpassed everyone's expectations, including my own. When I returned to education my confidence was sky high and I quickly gained the knowledge I felt I needed to lead my own school."
For more information please contact: Michelle Nursey on 024 7641 0104, email: email@example.com.
ROLLS-ROYCE TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Rolls-Royce Combustion Systems and the Nottingham Bulwell Education Action Zone (EAZ) have been working together since 1999 after a HRH The Prince of Wales's Seeing is Believing visit organised by Business in the Community. In May that year, headteachers from 6 of the 10 schools within the EAZ, the EAZ Director and Deputy Director together with four Rolls-Royce senior managers attended a Leadership Challenge Programme.
The programme, facilitated by the Tom Peters Company, focused on leadership behaviours and was the first of its kind. It was unusual as a diverse mix of delegates from education and industry got together. The initiative has since aroused national interest and provided a model for developing effective partnerships.
Alan Mudie, Combustion Systems HR Director from Rolls-Royce believed that, "I was told that I would be going on the Leadership Challenge programme, not realising that I would be sharing the experience with educationalists. I was horrified. I didn't want to go. How wrong can you be? I found that I was forced to relate to issues in two dimensions. Headteachers faced much the same challenges in their working lives as ourselves and as a result the whole experience was so much more beneficial to me."
The course proved the catalyst to a number of separate joint ventures. As well as 6 further courses taking place, the company has also supported in other ways, including: 4 members of the Combustion senior management becoming School Governors; company trainers facilitating a 'Business Improvement Activity' and speaking at conferences on partnerships with schools.
As well as supporting leadership in schools, the staff at Rolls-Royce have been involved in basic skills programmes within schools and also in creating a sensory garden in the Hucknall community.
www.rolls-royce.com National Leadership team
John Adshead Director, J Sainsbury plc
Alan Benzie Partner, KPMG
George Cox Director General, Institute of Directors
Peter Evans Assistant Director of Education, Essex County Council
Martin Glenn President and Chief Executive, Walkers Snack Foods
Richard Handover Group Chief Executive, WHSmith plc
Tony Harris President, BTopenworld
David Hart General Secretary, NAHT Tom Jeffery Director of Pupil Support and Inclusion, DfES Stephen Lamport Deputy Private Secretary, HRH The Prince of Wales's office
Neil Makin External Affairs Director, Cadbury Schweppes
Martin Mosley Consumeramp; Community Affairs Director, Barclays
Andrew Peters Chief Executive, Deutsche Telekom
Robert Phillis Chief Executive, The Guardian Media Group
Ray Priest Headteacher, St George College Bristol
Anthony Saltz Senior Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Andrew Taylor Chief Executive, McDonald's Restaurants
PARTNERS IN LEADERSHIP
Business partners working with headteachers www.bitc.org.ukeducation
School Governors www.schoolgovernors-oss.co.uk
SECONDMENTS for Headteachers HTI www.hti.org.uk
Business in the Community www.bitc.org.ukeducation
National EBP Network www.ebp.org.uk