Goldman Sachs: enhancing learning in schools

This case study outlines the partnership between Goldman Sachs and Ark Evelyn Grace Academy in Lambeth. 

This case study outlines the partnership between Goldman Sachs and Ark Evelyn Grace Academy in Lambeth. 

Background

Ark Evelyn Grace Academy was introduced to Goldman Sachs by BITC in 2016 and the two have developed a long-term relationship.

Goldman Sachs and its people are committed to helping communities where they work and live, and in places where opportunity can be multiplied, to make a difference.

Building a working relationship

The academy and Goldman Sachs have worked with each other in a variety of ways for the benefit of the pupils,
In the early stages of the relationship, Goldman Sachs attended a staff meeting with the Headteacher to help get to know the school and establish how the company could best offer support. It was at this meeting that the Head of Maths requested the creation of a Maths Challenge which would engage pupils in maths and demonstrate real-world applications. The project would also support the school to demonstrate Gatsby Benchmark 4 (Careers in the Curriculum) and develop the essential skills of students.

The actions taken by Goldman Sachs

Over the course of a month, students in Years 7, 8 and 9 undertook the Big Data Challenge. Students were given fictitious transactional data, and client issue reports, to tell a story linking customer satisfaction to good business.

The student groups were given two weeks, with input from Goldman Sachs mentors, to consider the data. The students were tasked with problem-solving and suggesting solutions for how the teams could improve performance.

The students were then finally invited to Goldman Sachs offices to present their findings and recommendations. Senior staff from Goldman Sachs listened to the presentations, reviewed the projects, provided feedback, and selected an overall winner. All the participating students celebrated their hard work with refreshments and pizza courtesy of Goldman Sachs as their reward.

Success factors

  • Process of co-creation, input and buy-in from the school was critical to the creation and ongoing delivery of the programme.
  • Ability to be flexible and adapt quickly, some students needed help to develop their Excel skills further. So Goldman Sachs adapted the project to make it simpler and included additional sessions with volunteers to help students.
  • Preparing and supporting student success, Goldman Sachs identified that additional early support should be put in place to ensure students could make best use of the contact time they had with Goldman Sachs volunteers.

Outputs and Impact

Although the students were initially intimidated by their surroundings, the students grew in confidence over the duration of the programme. Equally, their interactions with Goldman Sachs staff fostered an increase in confidence. Mixing with adults outside a school setting was unusual for many students but knowing that they could communicate efficiently and articulate their ideas coherently was a real boost. Their presentations to some top Goldman Sachs staff were very encouraging.

Business in the Community’s work on employment and skills

Business in the Community (BITC) works with organisations to create meaningful employment. This is one of the most significant ways that business contributes to individuals’ and communities’ livelihoods and is the only sustainable route out of poverty for many.

Offering quality work experience, adopting new recruitment approaches, and breaking down barriers to entering work for people from disadvantaged groups can benefit business by tackling skills shortages, building new talent pipelines, boosting retention rates, and achieving higher productivity.

Next step

Business in the Community’s (BITC) Community Advisers support businesses to create a skilled and inclusive workforce by embedding essential skills and building successful education partnerships through our Business Class framework. Our advisers can also work with you to design and develop sustainable and impactful initiatives to build stronger relationships within your communities.

Contact our Advisory Service Team to find out more