Business 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:
One in ten children in Irish primary schools have serious difficulty with reading and writing – this rises to 30% in some disadvantaged schools. This means that 50,000 Irish children are not reaching their potential.
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.
100% of Teachers saw enjoyment of reading increase among children
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.
28% of students in our DEIS schools are in the lowest level of maths achievement category (Pisa 2018).
Time to Count, now in its third year, strives to address this. It is a numeracy support primary programme for children in third class, which aims to build children’s confidence, enjoyment and conceptual understanding in solving mathematical problems, through fun games and activities.
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, child protection guidelines and numeracy strategies.
Each weekly session consists of the business volunteer doing maths activities with a group of children for 30 minutes, over an 8 to 10 week period. The business sometimes host a workplace visit for the participating children and their teachers or a virtual equivalent.
“The “I’m no good at maths” mantra the child had built in her head was banished.”
The World of Work programme provides 2nd year post-primary school students with an opportunity to meet employees from a local company in order to learn about the world of work. It facilitates conversations and insights to the many roles in the workplace and inspires and encourages young minds to look towards the future.
The programme dovetails with the Junior Cycle curriculum and it takes place at a time that suits the business during the school year. It comprises of 5 sessions and there is local flexibility with the content.
Mock interviews offered to 5th year students as an option.
92% of students enjoyed all parts of the programme while 93% of teachers felt that the programme helped students to think about the world of work and life after school.
“It’s a really good experience to get you thinking about your future and feel more prepared to go into the workplace.” – 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.
“I enjoyed having a “non-biased” adult to talk with about the world of work where I got to ask for advice about what to look out for in the future.” – Student
basis.point is currently funding an expansion of the mentoring programme to bring it to more businesses and more young people. In particular, the focus is on increasing the number of participating companies from the funds industry and in particular Dublin, Cork and Limerick.
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 is a programme provided to principals. Delivered over the school year, these series of workshops delivered by senior business leaders, involves the business leaders sharing their expertise and experience with educational leaders.
Workshop topics include: Leadership, Time Management, Performance Management and PR & Marketing. Over 1000 principals have participated to date.
“I feel that I am learning to do my job better by participating in this project. It is an invaluable insight into the world of corporate companies. Everybody has made us feel welcome at all the seminars and information and insights have been, and will be most useful” – Principal at a Performance Management Seminar by IBM.
Cornmarket have been the sole sponsor of the Management Excellence for Principals programme since 2009.
Formerly called Management Excellence for Teachers (MET), Industry Insights for Teachers is an initiative that engages teachers with industry.
Through a series of seminars, this programme brings together industry leaders and educators to widen the knowledge which teachers can bring into the classroom to share with students.
An insight and understanding of industry trends adds real value to education professionals and engages education and business in a very effective way which benefits both sectors, with all the participating businesses equally valuing the collaboration.
“This type of event is hugely beneficial for teachers, especially teachers like myself who have been teaching for many years and very much appreciate some up-to-date input” – Teacher
The Department of Education & Skills fully funds the Management Excellence for Teachers & STEM Seeing is believing series.