The programme is focused around a school's strategic needs and the priorities of the school leadership team. Please note we can only establish partnerships in areas where we have funding.
Some common priorities and ways businesses can help with them are outlined below.
Leadership and governance
Partnerships can provide business governors, give practical advice on areas such as HR, IT, change and project management, marketing and communications and finance, and provide mentoring for Head Teachers and other staff development opportunities for School Senior Leadership.
Enterprise and employability
This covers areas such as pupil mentoring and career guidance from business partners, along with as work experience and enrichment opportunities, such as enterprise competitions, that develop employability skills such as team working.
Business partners can provide opportunities to bring subjects such as maths, science and design to life, through "hands-on" business challenges that give pupils a chance to apply learning in the real world.
Business partners can also provide support with many other issues. There has been much work around improving pupil attendance and behaviour, and developing extra-curricular activities.
Additionally, schools also gain access to a broad range of best practice examples from businesses through local and national Business Class Clusters.
The business case for taking part in Business Class
In one survey, 88% of young people reported wanting better access to employers to bridge the gap between education and work.1 Having businesses support your school with careers and employability advice helps to achieve this.
In 2011 only 33.9% of disadvantaged pupils achieved five GCSEs, including English and Maths, at Grade A*-C. Business engagement can raise all students' aspirations and help motivate them to achieve their potential.2 Of 700 KS34/KS5 classroom teachers surveyed, 68% felt that pupils returning to school after placements were more motivated.3
Young people who are classed as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) for more than six months are four times more likely to be out of work again in the future, five times more likely to have a criminal record and three times more likely to develop depression than those who are not.4 However, there is evidence suggesting that employer engagement in schools can prevent young people from becoming NEETs, as well as enhancing earning potential. Young people who had undertaken four or more activities such as mentoring and enterprise competitions were five times less likely to be NEET.5
While a survey found that 61% of UK education providers believed their new graduates, only 36% of employers would agree.6 Increasing the amount of dialogue that takes place between businesses and schools will help young people leave education ready to enter the workforce.
How BITC supports schools involved in Business Class
Our experienced team of Education Managers will match your school with a business and support you every step of the way. They will help you complete a detailed needs assessment to ensure the business helps you achieve your strategic priorities and work closely with you and your business to ensure you create and sustain a mutually beneficial relationship.
Education Managers also provide vital critical friendship, knowledge of current leading practice and and high quality resources. Additionally, they will facilitate Cluster activities and provide access to national opportunities to contribute to debates around education.
Should an opportunity to participate in the programme become available in an area, we will contact eligible schools.
3. NFER 2012