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21 March 2016

Engaging with your Local School Made Easy

 Business Owner helping children at computers

The process of making initial contact with a school can be a daunting prospect because it’s an unknown world for most small businesses.

Worry not, here’s some great hints and tips from FSB members who are involved in schools across Scotland. 

Organising

Businesses often found that organising their engagement was fairly straight forward and a real benefit to their business:

“No it wasn’t too difficult to organise. It [work experience] wasn’t something I thought about before being approached [by the school] but it’s all worked very smoothly. I just get the students to help me out with lots of different tasks; it’s really quite helpful to me as I can’t afford to employ anyone else.”

Identifying Pupils’ Needs

Finding out the needs of pupils is key to successful school business engagement. Some of our small businesses found this process easy:

“Yes it was easy [to identify a way in which the business could help] because we could see what skills the children needed to develop.”

Jobs Market

Others felt that schools needed to provide them with more information in order for them to help in the best way possible:

“We helped in the best way we could with the understanding we had. But maybe we would have been able to offer more support to the pupils if we knew more about their curriculum and specific needs.”

Outside Help

Using organisations who bridge the worlds of education and business make it easier for many time poor small firms:

“It’s all worked really well… Career Ready have been a big help, they’ve organized all the meetings between businesses and schools.”

Work as a Team

FSB members found that, when they engaged with a school, the way to get the most out of it was to work as a partnership:

“I think my advice would be to engage early and try to work with the school as a joint process. It shouldn’t be like a contract with the business, it should be a form of partnership working.”

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