Inequality in education is a multifaceted problem, and the range of measures we implement to address it is similarly complex. We believe part of the solution lies in improving innovation in education, by giving schools the skills to identify new strategies for overcoming the challenges they face. Since 2012 we have been working closely with PA Consulting Group, a leading consulting, technology and innovation firm, to develop these vital capabilities – such as innovative thinking and leadership skills – in schools across the UK.
As part of the firm’s ‘Giving Back’ initiative, which focuses on raising the achievements of young people, PA is providing us with pro-bono support in a number of areas. This includes providing mentoring and coaching to our teachers, helping them develop the leadership and innovation skills they need to make a lasting impact on their students. The firm also works directly with students, running ‘skills schools’ to give them valuable career-building capabilities and an insight into the world of consulting.
In 2014 PA and Teach First formed the ‘IMPACT Partnership’, through which PA’s generous pro-bono support is supplemented by a comprehensive employee volunteering and fundraising programme. PA employees engage directly with the drivers and beneficiaries of our work, providing guidance to our trainee teachers through our Coaching Programme, supporting our Innovation Unit, and working with pupils in our partner schools, to raise aspirations through our Guest Teacher Programme and Career Insight Days.
Alan Middleton, the firm’s CEO, has himself volunteered to support our work and has taught a guest lesson on game theory and the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ at Hampstead School, one of our partner schools.
We are excited to be involved in this innovative partnership with PA, which combines hands-on support with fundraising initiatives. PA’s employee volunteering and monetary contributions will support our efforts to address educational inequality, while its expertise in education, innovation and technology, and its generous pro-bono support, will help us become even more effective as an organisation.