Cambridge University Press (CUP) has involved a quarter of its UK-based workforce in supporting students from Coleridge Community College, which has helped the publisher strengthen its business relationships and gain a valuable insight into this customer group.
- The partnership provided students with access to different role models, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, meeting with students more than 1,000 times.
- Aspirations of the students were raised while CUP also provided insights into the workplace and supported the curriculum with real-world context.
- The value of students’ contributions to the business was demonstrated which reinforced the equality of the partnership.
- The partnership positioned CUP as a publisher that is genuinely involved in school communities, which helped secure business relationships with exam boards, authors and educational platform providers.
- Volunteers gained a deeper understanding of the needs of this customer group which has helped CUP tailor services and products to their needs.
- Coleridge provided an opportunity for staff to support their local community, which has led to a sense of pride, strengthened cross-functional working and developed skills.
Coleridge has had negative Ofsted reports and low results over some years. Its student intake is mixed, with a higher than average proportion from families who are not in education, employment of training (NEET).
CUP’s partnership with Coleridge has provided opportunities for the school’s students, teachers and senior managers to have access to its business. This enhanced the curriculum with real-world examples and supported the development of students’ soft skills.
The relationship also enabled CUP to draw on the expertise of the school and students, which benefits its understanding of what this important customer group needs. Students have taken pride in the fact that they are helping the company as much as it is helping them.
Through the partnership, CUP has reached students 1,097 times, with some involved in more than one activity. A quarter of the publisher’s UK-based workforce has volunteered.
What CUP's Chief Executive said:
"From the start, it was exciting to realise the potential of our relationship with Coleridge, as a genuine partnership. The school challenges us constantly to find creative ways of supporting its students and staff and this has brought colleagues together from across the Press. The activities that are useful for the school are beneficial for us too, helping us understand the practical realities of the classroom whilst developing our colleagues’ own skills and experiences. At the heart of any effective corporate social responsibility programme must be an alignment of incentives. That's been a really powerful underpinning of our work together with Coleridge, and why both organisations have already gained so much from each other." - Peter Phillips, Chief Executive, Cambridge University Press