This weeks blog looks at how business-education partnerships can meaningfully support future generations.
This week, London Academy of Excellence (LAE) Tottenham was named the Sunday Times’ Sixth Form College of the Year. In 2020 alone, over two-thirds of pupils graduated to Russell Group universities. A remarkable accomplishment from everyone involved in the school.
LAE Tottenham was established using the same blueprint as its sister school London Academy of Excellence (LAE) Stratford, which this year celebrated the landmark of over 1,000 of its pupils going on to attend a Russell Group university since the school opened in 2013.
Both schools were established in areas of disadvantage where there had previously been a shortage of quality A Level provision in the local authorities; approximately 40% of LAE Tottenham’s pupils come from a household with an income of less than £22,000.
These schools’ phenomenal success is aided by strong corporate partnerships which give school leaders the tools to provide the best possible education for their pupils. LAE Stratford receives financial assistance from a partnership with HSBC bank, while LAE Tottenham receives over £200,000 annual funding as well as curriculum and work experience support from Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
There are numerous examples of business playing its part in the education sectors and assisting free schools:
- Saracens High School, parented by Saracens FC, was the first mainstream secondary school launched by a professional sports club;
- King Solomon International Business School has established relationships with a range of employers such as Jaguar Land Rover and the Tasty Baking Company, that work with the school on community projects and provide students with work placements and shadowing opportunities;
- Oasis Academy Silverton has partnered with Siemens and London City Airport to develop aspects of its innovative secondary curriculum.
It is clear that young people have been hit disproportionally hard by his pandemic, both educationally and in prospects for later life. The partnerships in this blog show businesses can play a meaningful role in supporting future generations, whether through providing work experience opportunities or financial support to schools.
Though many businesses find themselves facing severe economic uncertainty, it is in the long-term interest of business to have a highly-skilled and well-educated workforce. Companies which are able to should be encouraged to step up and support education providers in their communities.
One of the most accessible opportunity for business leaders to support the education system is by volunteering as trustees on an academy trust board. The New Schools Network’s Academy Ambassadors Programme does so successfully with over 1,800 Ambassadors now in place. The skills found in the boardroom – finance, HR, compliance, legal – are invaluable in improving school governance and education outcomes. As both sectors – education and business – begin their slow recoveries post-COVID, an active commitment from business leaders to ‘give back’ to their communities will go some way in supporting both sectors to get back on track in 2021.