Supporting education locally

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Does your business invest in, or otherwise support, any education in the community?

EXCELLENT Answers

No EXCELLENT answers have been published for this question.

GOOD Answers

No GOOD answers have been published for this question.

OKAY Answers

No OKAY answers have been published for this question.

POOR Answers

No POOR answers have been published for this question.

This scorecard is due to be updated in 2018

In order for an economy to flourish, a well-educated, dynamic and employable workforce is necessary. This can be achieved by equipping people with aspirations, motivation and the right skills to succeed in education and the workplace. Nevertheless, there are complex social challenges in this process, such as:

  • high levels of youth unemployment
  • patterns of long-term unemployment and 'workless households', which result in no work experience in successive generations
  • underachievement, particularly school pupils failing to attain recognised qualifications
  • a lack of basic language, literacy and numeracy skills, particularly among the most marginalised people.

Aspirations play an important role in educational and professional achievements. A lack of knowledge about how to realise those ambitions, insufficient role-models and limited contacts ('social capital') outside a community hinders people from actively contributing to the economy. Businesses are in a position to inspire, challenge and mobilise people by providing opportunities for them to achieve. By partnering with educational institutions, businesses open up avenues for both sides to learn and develop.

Previous research has indicated that 85% of secondary school head teachers believe it is either ‘very’ or ‘extremely beneficial’ to have a sustained link between business and academia. It adds relevance to academic work, helps to broaden student options and increases motivation. A more recent review undertaken by BITC show that employer engagement is associated with a reduction in a young person's likelihood of being 'not in education, employment or training' (NEET).

Business participation is most beneficial when a well-defined, clearly-directed and well-sponsored programme of education in the community is aligned with the organisation’s own values, philosophy and strategy. The commitment of the senior management, in particular, can ensure the delivery of sustainable links and relationships with schools and the wider community. Crucial is an understanding of the expectations, requirements and needs of both sides of the relationship.

There are many ways in which companies can invest in education: offering graduate entry programmes and various work-experience schemes; provision of staff time and expertise to mentoring or tutoring programmes with local children or community groups; donations of educational equipment, sponsorship or cash support of organisations offering career instruction programmes; and, identifying and engaging in local initiatives that may be promoted by employees. Contributions to education may also include financial support of sports and youth organisations which offer life skills and opportunities outside the classroom. Business people volunteering as school governors, as another example, are in a position to raise standards and expectations within schools.

Benefits to business include:

  • greater access to future employees in the talent pool
  • chance to help in areas of need in the community
  • increased opportunities for employee engagement, promoting staff development and satisfaction
  • development of new skills in the workforce
  • networking opportunities to generate goodwill amongst and build relationships with institutions and programmes in the local community
  • new sources of business learning
  • identification of potential business opportunities.

Although there may be marketing elements in community education projects, many companies are able to balance these two aspects and meet their social, environmental and ethical objectives.

The question is designed to identify how companies support education in the communities in which they are located. Businesses may describe any participation they have in education projects in other communities, possibly overseas, but this alone doesn’t constitute a YES answer.

Community

A 'community' in this context refers to a geographically restricted area in which the company also has operations. There is no defined radius for a community: it could be a town, a section of a city or neighbouring villages and towns. For example, a rural region may consider a wide geographic area to be a community. Another community might be one identified by shared culture or ethnicity.

Social Capital

'Social capital' refers to the networks of connections among people in a particular society, which shape the quality and quantity of social interactions. Social capital gives collective or economic benefits, such as access to information, employment or specific skills and expertise.

Answering YES

All Businesses MUST

Confirm that they actively provide support for educational activities, more than just occasionally, in a community where they operate

Describe how they support education in the community

Describe the educational benefits of their efforts

All Businesses MAY

Acknowledge and outline any marketing/publicity payoff of this support, should it exist

Describe how they support education outside the communities in which they operate

Answering NO

All Businesses MUST

Explain why they do not or cannot answer YES to this question, listing the business reasons, any mitigating circumstances or other reasons that apply

All Businesses MAY

List any activities that are relevant, but not sufficient to answer YES

Mention any future intentions regarding this issue

DON'T KNOW is not a permissible answer to this question

NOT APPLICABLE is not a permissible answer to this question

Version 1

To receive a score of 'Excellent'

Stated as part of company’s key philosophies

Examples of policies and practices which may support an EXCELLENT statement (not all must be observed, enough should be evidenced to give comfort that the statement is the best of the four for the business being scored):

  1. Full-fledged commitment to bettering community education
    Establishment of institutions and scholarship funds
  2. Empowering both school children as well as illiterate adults
  3. Emphasis on working in underdeveloped rather than affluent areas
  4. Focus on addressing ignored issues such as gender inequality in education
To receive a score of 'Good'

A number of initiatives in place to improve the standard of education

Examples of policies and practices which may support a GOOD statement (not all must be observed, enough should be evidenced to give comfort that the statement is the best of the four for the business being scored):

  1. Active volunteering and mentoring by company employees to educate the community
    Training and instruction programmes for local youth
    Material and financial contributions to schools, universities, libraries
  2. Sponsoring competitions to develop knowledge and talent pools
To receive a score of 'Okay'

Elementary, ad hoc attempts due to limited company size

Examples of policies and practices which may support an OKAY statement (not all must be observed, enough should be evidenced to give comfort that the statement is the best of the four for the business being scored):

  1. Only basic efforts made due to small number of employees and limited funds
  2. Encouraging students to intern and gain work experience
  3. Some volunteering and career guidance engaged in
To receive a score of 'Poor'

No attention given to this issue

Examples of policies and practices which may support a POOR statement (not all must be observed, enough should be evidenced to give comfort that the statement is the best of the four for the business being scored):

  1. No awareness of deficient areas in the local education landscape
  2. No involvement in any educational endeavour
  3. Some policies exist but not implemented