Education business partnerships raise achievement for all;Raising standards for all

26th June 1998 at 01:00
The business agenda for action in partnership with Government and the qualifications and curriculum authority.

1. ASSISTING THE BASIC SKILLS OF LITERACY AND NUMERACY

- Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel Numeracy Project

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

Pupils from Greenholm Primary School, Birmingham, learnt about the application of number in the workplace. Pupils spent structured time on 'maths trails' in different parts of the hotel business including the kitchen, restaurant and sports facilities. They measured areas, calculated amounts and solved number problems. Teachers tested pupil progress in line with the National Curriculum. The programme has continued to develop with older primary pupils designing mathematics challenges for younger pupils.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Raise standards in National Curriculum mathematics at Key stage 2 and personal development through study in a work place

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* promoted the reputation of the Marriot Forest of Arden Hotel in the local community.

* employees developed inter-personal and numeracy skills.

* helped build teams and employee morale across the business.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENT

* NFER test results showed that the numeracy standards of pupils aged 9 and 10 years were measurably higher than previous years.

* Headteacher's comment: "The improvements on last year's results reflect the children's increased confidence in maths".

* teachers have also been able to build on the pupils' experiences developing further projects for applied number in the school.

- The East Anglian Daily Times 'Reading Together' Project

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

The Suffolk Education Business Partnership and the Newspapers in Education Project helped develop The East Anglian Daily Times 'Reading Together' project. Primary and Middle school children undertake a range of reading activities helped by their parents at home using specially designed workbooks and sections in the newspaper published three times a week. Teachers set reading tests before and after the project and monitored progress.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Improve reading skills in primary and middle school pupils and to encourage and enable parents to complement school work by reading with their children at home.

BUSINESS amp; EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* The East Anglian Daily Times has a vested interest in advancing a more literate population as future employees and readers.

* increased exposure and awareness of the newspaper to local markets building product loyalty and increasing market share.

* working with the local school builds company reputation for social responsibility.

* the children participating in this project took a reading test before and after six weeks and the results showed overall improvement and "some outstanding increases in reading age" - for example at Causton Junior School in Felixstowe over 50% of pupils showed an increase in reading age with 3 children improving by more than a year.

* increased the number of parents reading with their children inspiring them to read more and value books and establishing a culture of learning.

2. SUPPORTING CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

- Pfizer's GCE A Level Chemistry Mentoring Project

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

Employees from Pfizer's Central Research Division have volunteered to mentor Chemistry A-level students from Astor School, Sandwich, in Kent. Building on an existing mentoring programme, the project was an effective way to provide specialist support on chemistry to students in need. Company staff and students were carefully matched and met every 6 weeks either at school or at the company site to discuss syllabus topics and learning problems. Additional volunteers have now expanded the scheme to two more secondary schools.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

To increase the number of students staying on at school 16-18 years and achieving GCE A levels in science subjects.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* promoted the reputation of Pfizer in the local community where it is a major employer.

* company mentors developed communication and personal skills and gained individual satisfaction from helping needy students gain qualifications.

* increased motivation amongst staff led to more employees becoming mentors.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENT

* over 80% of the students identified as at risk of drop out completed the course.

* overall GCE A Level grades improved on previous years a number of mentored students gained an increase of 3 grades above expectations.

- Bristol amp; West 'Hartcliffe Performance' Project

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

Bristol amp; West in partnership with Education Extra supported the 'Hartcliffe Performance' in Hartcliffe Secondary School which serves a highly disadvantaged estate in Bristol. The company provided employee volunteers and financial sponsorship. Students from Hartcliffe School researched, planned and organised a drama event for students and parents including performing on stage.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

To raise levels of motivation and achievement particularly for those at risk of disaffection and drop out.

BUSINESS amp; EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* promote the corporate reputation of Bristol and West as a responsible company investing resources in regenerating a disadvantaged community * volunteer employees developed inter-personal and communication skills and were motivated by working with at risk young people.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENT

* overall improvements in attendance levels at school.

* many at risk students developed personal confidence and a wide range of key skills including communication and problem solving.

* participating students gained more GCSE subjects and higher grades than previous cohorts.

* Grades in Art and Drama at GCSE levels were raised significantly.

3. PROMOTING THE WORK RELATED CURRICULUM AND KEY SKILLS

- BAA Gatwick Airport Special Needs Project

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

BAA is committed to support children with special educational needs. For the past two years BAA has hosted a specially designed work placement programme for further education students from St Piers Special Needs School in Surrey. The students suffer from Epilepsy and required a highly structured work experience programme to help them achieve NVQ in Business Administration. This involved training for BAA staff and employee volunteer support for the students.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Provide meaningful work experience for students with special educational needs to enable all to gain vocational qualifications and a range of personal and key skills including communication, time keeping and self-management.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* promoted the reputation of BAA as a caring and responsible company around GatwickAirport where it is the largest employer.

* staff commented on the degree of self satisfaction and motivation experienced and developed a wide range of skills, including patience, communication, coaching, awareness of special needs.

* helped unite the whole business as a team working together on a worthwhile project.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENT

* students developed key skills, personal confidence and evidence for vocational competencies.

* participating students gained NVQ Level 1 and 2 in Business Administration.

- Midland Bank support for Young Enterprise

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

Over 700 employees from Midland bank are business advisors to support Young Enterprise companies. Together with a large consortium of businesses Midland Bank helps over 40,000 15-19 year olds each year to set up and manage small businesses. The programme has provided students with experience of key business functions such as production, marketing, financial management, sales, customer care and personnel management which help develop key skills and business education. A scheme named Team Enterprise enables students with special educational needs to participate and all students can receive accreditation for skills development.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Promote key employability skills and an understanding of business and wealth creation through practical business projects in schools supported by business mentors.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* helps skill future entrepreneurs and business employees.

* reinforces the Midland Bank's corporate image as the "community bank".

* offers personal satisfaction and development of communication and coaching skills for employees.

* staff development and training including an understanding of problems faced by small companies.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENT

* contributes to higher grades in Business Studies qualifications.

* develops the following key skills which are formally accredited:

the ability to work in a team

improved communication skills

more enthusiasm and self confidence

a willingness to take responsibility and initiative

time management skills

4. TACKLING UNDERACHIEVEMENT

- BT Study Support Centres with The Prince's Trust

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

The Prince's Trust in partnership with BT, local businesses, LEAs and TECs have established over 200 study support centres, many in deprived areas. These offer students access to centres for structured homework. A number of centres are equipped with internet-enabled computers andor access to libraries. In addition, many centres organise workshops and student mentoring and tutoring to improve skills and self-esteem.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

To provide a learning environment with support for independent and self-sustaining learning towards achieving higher grades in foundation qualifications.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

high local and national profile for BT as a responsible company investing in future skills and tackling underachievement and potential exclusion in disadvantaged communities * opportunities to equip study support centres with computers and communication facilities connected to BT's Campus 2000 internet resources * volunteer employee support as IT tutors and student mentors

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENT

* schools with study support centres have seen thenumber of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSE A-C grades increase - in some cases from 25% to 50%.

* individual students participating in study support improve school attendance and the number and grades at GCSE or GNVQ passes including key skill development.

- Business in the Community's Roots and Wings Mentoring Programme

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

A consortium of companies, including BT, IPC Magazines, SBC Warburg and Citibank have developed Business in the Community's Roots and Wings mentoring programme for secondary schools. For example, staff from IPC Magazines have mentored 14-16 year old students in a number of inner city schools, including Deptford Green School in New Cross. The scheme involves meetings twice monthly and targets at-risk students. Mentors and students usually meet at IPC's offices, where students experience the world of work as well as discussing and receiving advice on their studies, career options and future education or training needs.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

To support young people aged 14-16 years at-risk of under-achievement and drop out in schools serving a highly disadvantaged area by mentoring students.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* a positive profile within the community and corporate world.

* employees have developed personal and key skills, especially listening and communicating, and an understanding of education and inner-city young people from different backgrounds.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENT

* overall improvements in attendance, coursework and numbers and grades of qualifications at 16 years.

* in one case study school over 80% of the mentored (at-risk) group have stayed on in full-time education compared with 50% from those not-mentored (control group).

* grades achieved in GCSE examinations were on average 10% higher than non-mentored pupils and the mentored group had higher punctuality and attendance rates (Aim High National Winner 1996).

5. DEVELOPING TEACHING AND MANAGEMENT SKILLS

- KPMG Partners in Leadership Programme - Headteacher Mentoring

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

A consortium of over 100 companies, including Bankers Trust, BT, Halifax, Midland Bank, Prudential, Shell and Unilever, work in partnership with DfEE, TTA, the National Association of Headteachers and local EBPs to provide business mentors for headteachers. Senior managers from business are trained and matched to headteachers, often in schools serving disadvantaged communities where social issues strain limited resources. Mentors discuss management issues such as business planning, personnel, budgeting, prioritisation of resources and time management and act as confidential advisers. Headteacher mentoring will form part of the new Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Providing headteachers with senior management mentors aims to empower school and college managers to improve overall performance and raise standards.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* high profile and high leverage way for senior managers to impact on the education system.

* "advising headteachers on management issues has proved a really effective way for KPMG partners and senior staff to apply their business expertise in the community and develop their own management skills to help schools undergo change and improvement" Michael Fowle, Senior Partner, KPMG.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENT

Headteachers have benefited from advice and many have instituted strategic change in their schools and colleges to improve performance with measurable targets, performance indicators and business planning to tackle specific issues.

- Proctor amp; Gamble Business Skills for Schools Management Training Programme

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

Procter amp; Gamble are working with schools and colleges across Newcastle. The Procter amp; Gamble Business Skills for Schools Course is a free 3 day training course to help teachers operate more effectively in an increasingly self-managed environment. The company pays for all materials and trainers are company staff volunteers. To date, teachers from 90% of Tyneside secondary schools have attended the course which is now being offered to teachers from primary schools. BT and Northern Rock have recently joined forces to deliver the programme and provide business mentors for headteachers.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Assisting the continuous professional development of headteachers and teachers with management responsibilities by providing customised management training for primary and secondary schools.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* promote the local reputation of Proctor and Gamble as a responsible stakeholder in the Newcastle community.

* promote the corporate reputation of Proctor amp; Gamble by developing a high quality and innovative scheme and engaging partner companies to spread impact on education.

* Procter amp; Gamble employees have developed key skills and awareness of management issues within their own company.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENTS

* participating teachers have developed: - practical knowledge of professional skills in management

confidence to take on management responsibilities

strategic and personnel management skills

formal evaluation has proved that the scheme has helped to improve school management systems and performance

6. SUPPORTING WHOLE SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT

- Bankers Trust and Morpeth School Partnership

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

Bankers Trust (an international investment bank), Tower Hamlets EBP and Morpeth School have worked together on a range of whole school projects to help raise standards. By providing investment of funds, management expertise and employee volunteers the following projects have been set up:

* a study support centre providing a stimulating environment for independent study.

* study and revision weekends.

* student mentoring.

* IT expertise, advice and equipment.

* bursaries for teaching staff to study specific educational subjects.

* charitable fund to support curriculum development.

* management support.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

To develop whole-school strategies to raise aspiration and achievement levels of all students at Morpeth School and to create a new learning culture.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* high profile reputation for Bankers Trust, especially with major companies in the City of London.

* promoted Bankers Trust as a responsible bank in the local community.

* Bankers Trust employees have learnt from the challenge of supporting a school in a highly disadvantaged inner-city area.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENTS

* partnership with Bankers Trust has helped to improve whole school performance so that GCSE A-G grades (once well below the national average) have now risen to over 85%, GCSE 5 passes at grade A-C now are ahead of the national average despite the level of social deprivation, attendance has dramatically improved (up to 99% in some years) and exclusions have been cut dramatically with many more young people continuing into further education.

- Tate and Lyle and London Electricity Consortium support Newham Schools

PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION

A successful partnership with a consortium of local businesses (including Tate and Lyle and London Electricity), Newham local education authority, TEC, EBP, Community Health Trust and all schools and colleges has been developed to raise achievement across Newham in London - an area with widespread low skill. Programmes to tackle under-achievement have been set up on literacy (particularly for those with English as a second language), tackling truancy and exclusions from schools, running summer schools for low achieving students, providing study support for 14-16 year olds, developing goal-setting compacts for post 16 students and creating a learning community for adults - especially for the low skilled and unemployed.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Raising educational achievement across the whole authority through ambitious target setting, integrating public and private educational facilities and taking joint action on key areas of low attainment.

BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

* business involvement in policy development and the implementation of strategies have enhanced the position of local employers as stakeholders in the community and helped build the skills base for economic regeneration.

* employees have developed key skills and an awareness of the ways their companies can contribute to schools and adult education.

IMPACT ON ACHIEVEMENTS

* target setting and specialist strategies focused on literacy in primary schools, low attendance and poor performance in secondary education and low-skill adults in the community have raised levels of achievement and improved the performance of schools across the whole community.

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