Playing Fair: Curriculum-based project guide for schools and businesses

Playing Fair: Guidance For Schools and Businesses Collaborating on Curriculum-Based projects

This toolkit is for businesses and schools that are considering a collaborative, curriculum-based project to improve young people’s academic attainment and help prepare them for the world of work.

The toolkit covers:

  1. The case for action – why businesses and schools working together can make a difference in the outcomes of young people at school and beyond. The benefits for schools and businesses.
  2. Planning your project – including Preparing for success; Designing the content; Embedding essential skills; Supporting academic attainment; Examples of curriculum projects; Getting the pupils on board; Feedback and evaluation; Celebrate, share and follow up.
  3. Inspiration for your project – examples of successful school-business curriculum-based projects.
  4. Further information – where to go for more support and guidance.

Curriculum-based projects can support young people’s academic achievement by showing students how what they learn in the classroom relates to the ‘real world’. This is particularly the case for lower achievers whose motivation can be increased through these types of projects(1). However, all students benefit from the opportunity to practise essential employability skills, helping prepare them for the transition from school to work.

As well as advantages for young people, businesses and schools can also benefit. Delivering projects with businesses provides direct contact with employers. This helps schools meet guidance for embedding careers and employability learning in the curriculum. Business can also benefit from engaging with schools. Projects such as this provide engagement and development opportunities for staff; create talent pipelines into an industry or business more specifically; address skills gaps; and demonstrate a commitment to responsible business through community engagement.

The information and advice included here is based on Business in the Community’s extensive experience of establishing school-business partnerships across the UK. It also includes some specific insights gained from delivering the Passport 2 Employment (P2E) programme, as part of a consortium in the Black Country funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company. Many thanks to UBS for their support of this toolkit.

How business in the Community is helping create
a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow.


1 Mann, A and B. Virk (2013) Profound employer engagement in education:
What it is and options for scaling it up 2013