Bank rides in with management plan
The black horse of Lloyds TSB is galloping towards the classroom bearing the Business Excellence Model, a self-evaluation system which permanent secretary Michael Bichard says every school should consider using.
He told headteachers and business people last week: "I believe we can be the best-educated nation in the western world in 10 years, but only if we commit ourselves to developing the business excellence model in every school across the country.
"I don't see why in five years every school in the country shouldn't be twinned with a local company and developing the business excellence model."
The model is adapted from one described as a "flexible management tool" which any business - even schools - can use to assess the way it operates and draw up improvement plans.
The bank funded its development and its introduction in hundreds of schools - materials and training are free. Spokesman John Swannick said: "Our aim is to be the driving force for excellence in the classroom in the UK.
"People will point to the UK and say that's a place where people do things really well. To do that we have to get into the hearts and minds of children, teachers, governors, and so on."
Some 300 schools already use the model and the bank hopes a "conservative" estimate of 1,000 schools in 40 local authorities will be on board by the end of the year.
The original was developed by the British Quality Foundation, the body set up with government money in 1992 to promote management excellence. It was at the BQF's Quality in Education conference that Mr Bichard was speaking.
Mr Bichard later said his enthusiasm extended to other schemes, such as Investors in People.
Under the model, organisations look at their activities in nine key areas, ranging from leadership to customer satisfaction. In Lloyds TSB's own assessment, its involvement in the scheme counts as a credit in the box marked "impact on society".