Are you a School ?

Partnering schools with businesses

A-day-in-the-life-during-Skills-@-Work-programme-1024x685Business Action on Education succeeds due to the wonderful support of primary and post primary schools around the country. We have a network of matched schools all over Ireland and many have been with their local companies beyond ten year milestones. It is our aim to  create mutually beneficial relationships.

Our Business Action on Education is delivered to schools under the name, The Schools’ Business Partnership. We have two primary school initiatives and four post primary programmes.Once a school is matched with a local company, a dedicated BITC programme coordinator works with both parties to ensure an efficient and impactful programme.

Below are more details on how the programmes work from a school’s perspective:

Time to Read

Our Time to Read programme provides children in second class with reading support from a business volunteer over a 20 week programme. The programme aims to increase the enjoyment of, and confidence in reading whilst encouraging self-discovery for the participating children. Our programme was piloted in 2010/11 and evaluated by renowned expert Dr. Eithne Kennedy of St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.

Teachers and participants report significant impacts on the children.  All business volunteers who partake in this programme receive training in advance which provides volunteers with the desired outcomes, programme details, feedback and support elements, best practice information in terms of reading strategies and child protection guidelines.  Each weekly session consists of the business volunteer reading one to one for 30 minutes each with two children. The children, volunteers and parents have a visit(s) to their local public library.  The business also hosts a workplace visit for the participating children and their teachers.

The Time to Read programme is funded by the participating business and by a donation from an anonymous funder through The Community Foundation for Ireland.

Skills @ Work

Our Skills @ Work provides students with a unique insight into the world of work. A number of volunteer employees partner an entire class senior cycle. Over five sessions, students are provided with the opportunity to learn about the partnering company and its business and to consider careers and further study options available to them when they finish school.

Sessions in the Skills @ Work programme involve a site visit, CV writing skills, mock interviews, Day in the Life insights and at the conclusion the class use their creativity to present their learnings. In many of the companies involved in this programme, it is the HR department who conduct the mock interviews and this can be an invaluable experience for young students who would never have experienced preparing for and performing in a professional business interview.

I found this programme very beneficial to my character and outlook on employment. I received a lot of opportunities for which I am extremely grateful for. I feel like I would have been a step behind had I never got the chance to do this programme.  – Student

Our Student Mentoring Programme strives to encourage students to stay in school, increase their self-esteem and develop an awareness of the workplace over the course of their senior cycle. The Mentoring programme involves a two year commitment from an employee who agrees to be a mentor to one student during their senior cycle in school.

Over the two year period, students meet with business employees for an hour every three weeks to discuss topics such as career potential or direction, researching college options, approaches to study, CV writing, interview preparation, etc. The mentor acts as an additional support to students subtly communicating the importance of school completion and continuing education.

Mentoring is one of the most powerful ways to support a young person achieve their true potential in life.    Over 3000 students and mentors have participated to date.

“When I first started the mentoring programme, I lacked confidence and self-belief with regards a college course and career. My mentor helped reassure me by helping me make decisions about going to college and about my future career ” – Student

basis.point is currently funding an expansion of the mentoring programme to bring it to more businesses and more young people during 2017 – 2019. In particular, the focus is on increasing the number of participating companies from the funds industry.

basis.point is the Irish Fund industry’s initiative to make a difference to those in need. basis.point’s aim is to make a real contribution to improving educational opportunities for those in need in Ireland, particularly young people. basis.point provides grants to fund programmes and initiatives that focus on education and which aim to make a sustainable and tangible difference to those living in poverty.

Management Excellence for Principals and Teachers are programmes which provide principals and teachers access to workshops delivered by senior business leaders. It involves them sharing their expertise and experience with educational leaders through a series of workshops over the school year.

Workshop topics include: Leadership, Time Management, Performance Management and PR & Marketing. Over 1000 principals have participated to date.

Probably the best and most valuable in service I have received in my new role as a principal.”  Dublin Principal at a Performance Management Seminar.

Cornmarket have been the sole sponsor of the Management Excellence for Principals programme since 2009.

The Department of Education & Skills fully funds the Management Excellence for Teachers & STEM Seeing is believing series.


For further information, please contact:

Germaine Noonan
Programme Manager The Schools’ Business Partnership

(01) 874 7232

gnoonan@bitc.ie