Rachael Saunders, Business in the Community Education Director introduces The Whole School, Whole Child report published today that contains invaluable resources to support school-business partnerships.
" For the first time, the Business Class framework is being published. The framework was developed based on research and evidence on what school business partnerships should look like, was piloted in the north west of England, beginning ten years ago this year, and has been scaled up across the UK in part through our Business Class programme, and through our businesses using the framework to shape their own partnerships. One of those businesses, BP, collaborated with us to create guidance for other businesses that could benefit from embedding the framework in their own ways of working – that guidance is published today as well, alongside examples that illustrate what can be achieved, intended to inspire action, under each of the Business Class framework pillars.
There has never been a more important time for business and schools to collaborate. Business faces real skills gaps. 3.7 million children, 30% of the total number of children in the UK, live in poverty. Children that grow up in poverty are less likely to succeed, at school and then at work. The UK has one of the lowest rates of social mobility in the developed world.
Education is our greatest opportunity to break that cycle. Our mission is for business to play its part so that every child, particularly those facing social disadvantage, achieves in education, leading to a successful working life, thriving in business.
We want every business to have a long-term, strategy, sustainable partnership with a school, using the Business Class framework that has been used successfully over ten years by 550 partnerships.
"We are more likely to succeed if we can give young people essential skills early, and to do this we need you and your business to take action".
If we are to reach the government's ambition of at least one meaningful engagement with business every year for every child in secondary school, we need to scale up. Business in the Community is publishing our knowledge and learning as part of our contribution to that mission.
Looking forward, we are calling for businesses to increase engagement with primary schools locally. This is following a survey of a subset of our membership in 2017 which showed that; of the members that responded, 64% are already active in collaborating with primary schools – compared to 100% of respondents who engage with secondary schools, and 68% who engage with higher education institutions. We are more likely to succeed if we can give young people essential skills early, and to do this we need you and your business to take action."