Study shows how links can help boost exam results

13th June 1997 at 01:00
Ian Nash finds evidence of some positive and encouraging results in an evaluation of the Aim High scheme in Northumberland.

Clear evidence that education-business links can improve GCSE performance has emerged from a detailed study of the programmes in more than 30 Northumberland middle and high schools.

The rise in numbers of pupils gaining five GCSEs grade A-C was considerably higher in those schools which took part in the popular Aim High award scheme than in those which did not.

Schools used the initiative, launched by Business in the Community and sponsored for the past two years by BT, to target the groups likely to under-achieve. It aimed to raise aspirations and improve standards of literacy.

A comprehensive database of individual performance was compiled, charting performance not just in the academic field but in work experience, industry-backed mentor schemes and other initiatives.

Teachers, who themselves had work placements, reported improved self-confidence and greater awareness of career choices. Norman Tomlin, the education business co-ordinator, said analysis of the data helped schools introduce more effective attainment targets and performance indicators.

By concentrating efforts around the Aim High scheme, the different groups involved in school and college industry links - the training and enterprise council, EBP and Northumberland National Targets Taskforce - were drawn together. In many other areas, this separation was identified by government research (analysed on page 9). as a weakness. The most startling result is the GCSE improvement rates (see table right).

Mr Tomlin urged caution in interpreting the results but was optimistic: "While it is obviously not possible to claim this as being solely due to the effects of Aim High, it is one of the contributing factors."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now