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Business Calls for Greater Say in Education


CBI Director-General Digby Jones is calling for business to have greater input into children's education.

At the first ever CBI Public Services Dinner today, Mr Jones will argue that the education system could become more effective by increasing the use of partnership between the public sector and business.

The CBI said that preliminary findings of its study into the involvement of business in education showed that business expertise can increase the performance of local education authorities (LEAs).

The research looked at nine LEAs from across the country where the government had intervened to create a partnership with business to support performance improvement.

In these areas, the proportion of pupils achieving an average of five or more GCSEs at A* - C grade has increased at almost three times the national average on a year-on-year basis.

Mr Jones said: "Progress should not be impeded by ideological arguments about the use of business to support public service delivery.

"No sector operates in a vacuum. The huge problem of low literacy and numeracy levels requires us all to work seamlessly together to deliver the levels of educational attainment that the country needs and our young people deserve."

Mr Jones will also voice his concern about attitudes towards business involved in education.

"Because business has been brought in to help with poorly-performing LEAs, we are only seen as white knights who ride to the rescue when there's trouble," he said.

"Don't just wait until the situation is desperate, because we want to be able to help all children achieve their potential. Our success in poorly-performing areas can be replicated with all LEAs. The whole of society will benefit if standards are raised, and business is committed to making that happen."


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