Funding EBPs

4th July 1997 at 01:00
On behalf of the National Education Business Partnership Network, I would like to welcome the recent Business Links supplement (TES, June 13), as evidence of the increased importance of the work of such partnerships in preparing young people or adult and working life.

However, I must correct a misleading impression in your news report which stated that millions of pounds had been poured into these partnerships in a "huge initiative" by the Government since 1991. In reality, a relatively small amount of money was made available for their development - approximately Pounds 50,000 per partnership the first year and Pounds 35,000 in the second, after which the funding ceased.

It is this lack of consistent funding at a sufficient level which has handicapped partnerships. As the Department for Education and Employment stock-take points out, the quality of EBP work is directly related to the resources available.

Information from our members indicates that the total turnover of the nearly 200 partnerships in the whole of the UK is no more than Pounds 34 million, and most of this comes from training and enterprise councils, local education authorities and from county councils. This works out at only Pounds 4 per student per annum for preparing young people for adult and working life; a vital task for the future prosperity of the country and one in which the EBPs have been increasingly successful.

JOHN BOTTEN, Chairman, National EBP Network, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

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