Charity, the Education and Employers Taskforce, is planning the first ever national campaign for business leaders to visit state schools and colleges during the week of the 18 – 22 October 2010.

This ‘call to action’ is a chance for bosses from private, public and third sector organisations to hear first-hand from head teachers and young people ages 5 – 19 about they can actively help shape their motivation, skills, achievement and employability.

Taking part in Visit our Schools week is completely free to everyone and only requires 1 or 2 hours of your time in the week of 18-22 October to visit a school/college in your locality. For further details and to register to take part visit: or

Leaders from the worlds of education and business have united behind this unique campaign, including all the main teaching unions, school and college leadership bodies and employer representative bodies such as the British Chambers of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Business, Institute of Directors and Trades Union Congress.

“Engaging directly with schools and colleges is one of the most effective ways in which employers can help shape education today to meet the skills needs of tomorrow. The IoD is fully behind this campaign.” Miles Templeman, Director General of the Institute of Directors

“There is much that school and business leaders can learn from each other. Visit our Schools provides a fast-track opportunity for everyone to expand their knowledge and skills. The BCC encourage their members to use this rare opportunity to learn about how they can engage directly with education to boost skills of both existing staff and potential young recruits.” David Frost, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“Employers and schools working in partnership can enhance the learning experience of children and young people. The Visit our Schools and Colleges campaign is a great opportunity to bring together business leaders with teachers and pupils. Mutual support, co-operation and understanding between business leaders and schools will help to continue to ensure that young people have the knowledge and skills which they need for a successful adult life.”
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union

“We’re delighted to be supporting this campaign. There’s huge scope for fruitful education partnerships with employers that can help pupils achieve their full potential and that’s why we are encouraging school leaders to get involved.” Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services.

Big names from the world of business who have already signed up for visits include film-maker Lord David Puttnam; Sir Mike Rake, chairman of BT; Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of global advertising agency WPP; Robert Peston, BBC Business Editor; Clare Chapman, Director-General, NHS Workforce and Sam Laidlaw, CEO of Centrica.

KPMG research published today

The KPMG research covering primary, secondary, special schools and academies shows that the quality and amount of education and employer engagement varies considerably between schools. A total of 94% of secondary schools and 55% of primary schools engage with employers and value it highly, but it is often ad hoc, inconsistent and the impact is not well evaluated. The Visit our Schools and Colleges campaign seeks to make this engagement more strategic, sustainable and effective.

A total of 63% of schools say that employer engagement is very beneficial or extremely beneficial. While 75% of school leaders believe that employer engagement has a positive impact on exam results and academic attainment.

The KPMG report says: “Schools believe that as well as adding to the skills of the young people, partnerships with employers inspire and motivate young people, who not only see the possibilities that they have after school, but understand to a greater extent the importance of their school work. Our interviews with head teachers supported this, with almost all mentioning in particular the importance of employer engagement in raising aspirations amongst pupils at an early age, especially in areas with high levels of deprivation.”