A report by EdComs, commissioned by Business in the Community (BITC).
These are the results of a 2007 employer engagement survey in which 400 school leaders took part. Data was equally split between secondary and primary schools with a good balance across the English regions.
Findings include high levels of engagement with employers across the National Framework activities, notably in work experience, workplace visits and enterprise activities. An overwhelming 82% of primary teachers and 97% of secondary teachers said they wanted more engagement from employers (11% of teachers overall were pleased with their current level of engagement and just 2% said they wanted less), but a majority found it difficult to organise effective business involvement. The biggest barrier to engaging employers was identified as “finding time to approach” employers. The survey demonstrates a strong interest amongst schools in receiving support to improve engagement with business and an even stronger encouragement for employers to receive training so they might engage most effectively. Comparisons to a 2004 poll show growing rates of school engagement with employers indicating that demand is likely to rise. A key finding was that 60% of primary school respondents and 73% of secondary school respondents said business involvement improves student attainment.
The top key benefits for primary schools were found to be:
- functional skills of young people (75%)
- communication skills (69%)
- engagement in learning through real life examples (65%)
- creative thinking skills (65%)
- raised attainment (60%)
Top key benefits for secondary schools were found to be:
- Enterprise skills (92%)
- Communication skills (91%)
- Engagement in learning through real life examples (90%)
- Functional skills (86%)
- Contextual understanding and wider applicability of their subject (86%)
Schools see key benefits to employers to be:
- stronger links with the community in which they operate
- improved reputation
- employee skills development