Tech giant IBM is working in partnership with London Connected Learning Centre to work with primary teachers from London schools and help them effectively teach the Computing Curriculum, which was introduced back in 2014. The teachers then cascade this information to other teachers, helping them demonstrate computing to pupils in an inspiring and practical way.

The long-term aim from IBM’s perspective is that the next generation will be not only computer literate, but that some will go on to become the next digital pioneers that make-up the pipeline of talent close to IBM’s Southbank offices.

While the London Connected Learning Centre has the teaching/learning expertise, IBM offers the teachers access to state of the art technology including Chef Watson (a form of Artificial Intelligence) and fascinating demonstrations of computing in action, so participants can explore computational thinking in a way that relates to young people. The programme was set up by IBM to provide a solution to many teachers who were worried they didn’t have the skills to teach the new curriculum and the lack of CPD and training available.

Social impacts

  • 110 school visits by IBM volunteers to support teachers and students
  • 5,400 primary school students improved their computing skills
  • 100% of the subject leaders felt better equipped to deliver the new computing curriculum
  • 15 teachers received IBM ‘Teacher Mentors’ providing on-going support
  • 600 volunteering hours contributed
  • £15,000 donated and match-funded by the DfE

Business impacts

  • Equipping young people with vital digital skills is an opportunity to build a talent pipeline local to IBM offices.
  • 55 IBM employees volunteered through the programme in London
  • 82% felt their skills had improved by supporting teachers/students
  • 81% indicated their job satisfaction has increased since volunteering on this programme.


Logo: Slaughter and May

The Key Project

Working with Central Foundation Boy’s School, Slaughter and May partners with The Access Project to help motivate students from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve places at top universities through the Key Project. The firm’s volunteers give weekly academic tutorials to students who earn their place by making a formal application and demonstrating their commitment to learning. Students access confidence and articulacy workshops, including debating and creative writing, and Slaughter and May give students work experience at the firm and mentor them through their UCAS applications.

There are currently 90 students benefitting from the scheme, which runs from the age of 13 to leaving school. Volunteers gave 1,535 hours of tutoring in the last academic year with 85% of volunteers reporting that participation in the Key Project had developed their work skills. The school achieved their best ever exam results in 2013 and 42% of students received Russell Group offers in 2014 compared to 0% before the project began.


Logo: Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Scholars

Lloyds Scholars is a programme for young people which supports their social mobility, throughout university and into employment. Partnering with eight leading universities across the UK, including UCL in London, Lloyds Scholars offers young people from lower-income households a combination of financial support, two 10-week paid internships, a dedicated mentor and the opportunity to develop their employability skills through workshops and seminars.

22 London students currently benefit across all partner universities and they are asked to volunteer 100 hours a year in the community to build skills and support local regeneration.

In 2012 100% of eligible Scholars were offered a place on Lloyds’ Graduate Programme.


Logo: Pearson


Booktime, run by Pearson, the world's leading learning company and the Booktrust charity, is a free books programme benefitting every reception-aged child in England, providing a free book pack containing two books for every child aged 4-5 years. Last year, 1,929 London schools received 109,000 book packs. With these books, Booktime aims to encourage families to have fun reading together.

Over 100 Pearson employees are involved in design, development and delivery. Editorial and design teams at Pearson work closely with Booktrust, lending their expertise to book pack and resource design, as well as book selection and author relationship management. Participating authors give their time and waive their royalties. A further 200 Pearson volunteers read one-to-one with children identified as struggling readers over a 10-week period. Encouragingly, Booktime research in 2011 showed that parents of 4-5 year olds read on average for 1 hour 26 minutes a week with their children. This is up 10% on 2009 levels.

Across its six year life, Booktime has benefitted over 500,000 London children.   


Logo: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Financial Education and Employability Programme

The Financial Education and Employability programme, supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch was launched in Bow, Mulberry and Swanlea schools in 2005. It is aimed at the development of students’ employability skills, business awareness and financial literacy.

All students aged 12 to 15 are engaged over three consecutive years, with further activities provided for a select number of alumni students to help them prepare for university.

4,500 students have progressed through the programme since it began, 2,000 students participate each year and 550 are introduced annually. The percentage of students achieving at least five good GCSEs (including English and Maths) has increased by 78%, 51% and 52% at Swanlea, Mulberry and Bow schools respectively, against a national average of 18%.

Swanlea and Mulberry schools have recently achieved outstanding Ofsted reports which acknowledged Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s contribution.


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Logo: Allen & Overy

Smart Start Experience

Allen & Overy’s Smart Start Experience tackles the issues of social mobility and access to the legal profession by giving students from inner-London schools an insight into the world of business. It’s about business; it’s about skills; and ultimately, it’s about opportunities.

Over 100 16-17 year old students participated in a week long programme of interactive workshops to help develop their aspirations and essential skills or success. Exercises included negotiating the sale of a fictional football club and the preparation of a legal defence based on a historic case.

Over 250 Allen & Overy employees are involved in the programme, resulting in over 90% of the students feeling more confident and having a clearer idea of the types of jobs available in the city.


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Logo: Lovell Partnership

Partnership in Action


Lovell established a partnership with the London Borough of Enfield in 2001, to promote construction as a career path for young people in the borough. Ten students from three schools are chosen to complete five projects throughout the school year. The construction experience enables young people to develop skills such as team work, self-management, communication and literacy, problem solving and customer awareness.

Partnership in Action also works with primary and special needs schools to promote awareness of the dangers of construction sites. Activities include supervised site visits, craft workshops, health and safety poster design and activities utilising personal protective equipment.


The project was originally selected to raise the profile and the need for students to consider the construction industry as a possible career path. As the construction industry is male dominated, Lovell began by engaging two girls' schools.

Lovell now work primarily with three schools and each year, select ten students from each school to work on five distinct projects. All dates are pre-set at the beginning of the school year to ensure relevant staff are available.

Twenty staff members take an active role in the programme; in total Lovell staff contribute over 200 days to the project.


Since the programme's launch over 6,000 students have received 350 days training.  The feedback by students in the last two years have shown that 82 per cent reported a better understanding of construction and 75 per cent said that the programme has helped them follow instructions and meet deadlines.

"I appreciate the high level of staff time and commitment involved in this programme"

Chris Gill, Chairman, Enfield Education Business Partnership

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Logo: British Airways

British Airways Community Learning Centre



The British Airways Community Learning Centre provides interactive airline focussed activities relevant to the primary, secondary and special school curriculum. The Centre runs a Global Education Week programme, which enables primary school children to understand and celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Workshops are developed to create an awareness of the different food, clothes, environmental issues, history, music and dance from countries such as India, China and South Africa.

The Community Learning Centre also runs its own Language Exam programme, offers confidence building workshops for local 16-19 years old preparing for interviews as apprentices at the London Borough of Hillingdon, and provides a computer club for girls.


The programmes delivered by the Community Learning Centre were designed and conceptualised through collaboration with teachers, education business partnerships and other educational organisations to ensure relevance to the community.

The centre is managed by the Community Investment Manager and run by a full-time member of staff. The aims and objectives of the Community Learning Centre are linked to British Airway's core business and its Good Neighbour value which are driven by the Chief Executive.


Since the Community Learning Centre's launch in 1999, over 50,000 guests have visited the centre and over 500 hundred British Airways volunteers have supported the programmes. The centre has helped nearly 9,000 students pass the Language Flag Award exam which highlights the importance of language in the workplace and has encouraged a number of students to continue studying linguistics.

‘The high quality activities are an excellent example of how businesses can get involved in education.'

Jamela Khan, Ealing & Hillingdon Education Business Partnership


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Logo: Lakehouse Contracts

Lakehouse Legacy - Safety, Environmental & Careers in Schools


Lakehouse's program aims to work with at least 12 educational establishments each year and tackles three issues - Safety, Environment and Careers.

To promote Health and Safety, the project visits schools in the areas that Lakehouse work in order to raise awareness about the dangers of construction sites. The Environmental element is carried out in partnership with stakeholders to deliver a workshop program. For primary schools, the workshops involve 'Reducing your carbon footprint', 'Build your own Olympic village challenge', 'Recycling and school visits to the Essex Wildlife Centre. For secondary schools, Lakehouse run a two day 'Regeneration challenge' and a 'Carbon footprint workshop'.

The Careers element is made up of: offering mentoring in partnership with the Construction Industry Council; work experience; careers talks; support the development of the construction diploma; enterprise workshops; and offer jobs to young people excluded from school and young people leaving education.


Lakehouse's ethos has always been based on employing and adding value to the local community and this in turn has proved to be a selling point to clients. In 2005, as a result of a new business plan, a formal Corporate Responsibility policy was developed in consultation with the Staff Representative Group, clients and residents from the community. The project's focus on Health & Safety, Environmental and Careers in Construction was chosen for a number of reasons - firstly, to reduce incidents of trespass on Lakehouse's building sites, secondly because of the need to minimise the impact of construction activities on the environment and thirdly, to improve the prospects of young people leaving education.

Lakehouse's CEO has been instrumental in the growth of the project and attends monthly CSR meetings. The program is coordinated by a Corporate Responsibility Manager who reports on progress each month to the CSR group and Staff Representative Group. This includes progress towards targets and feedback from evaluation forms completed by teachers, staff, clients and students. The relevant section Managers are responsible for developing and delivering workshops, and for training other staff to deliver them.


Since April 2005, Lakehouse have visited 68 educational establishments. 14 Trainees have been recruited from the program including four young people who had been excluded from school. Lakehouse has also offered 22 work experience placements to students.

Lakehouse have seen a 23 percent increase in educational business since the project started, and staff satisfaction levels have increased nearly 20 percent in the same period.

"I had no idea Construction has so many well paid, professional opportunities. My impression was 'Bob the builder'!"
- Student from Plashet Girls School

"I was excluded from school last year and I am now back in school presenting to young people. I found the workplace a tough environment but with all the support Lakehouse has given me I had the confidence to go back to school and present"
- Carl, trainee

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Logo: Lehman Brothers

Oaklands School/Lehman Brothers Partnership


The Lehman Brothers partnership with Oaklands School was founded in 1998. Through the partnership, students and teachers were given support for activities which enriched and enhanced the school curriculum providing experiences which would otherwise be beyond the reach of many students. The partnerships goals were to create aspirations, support learning and reward achievement.

700 employees from all business divisions and levels partnered with the school to lead programmes benefiting the children and Oakland's management team. Employee volunteering included: hosting work experience, interview skills training, partnership schemes: reading, numeracy, science, IT and French and mentoring. Lehmans hosted an annual art competition, funded student/teacher bursaries, supported exchange programmes to other countries and cultures, sponsored a literary week, regularly welcomed students into Lehman Brothers' offices, including an annual "Oaklands Student to Work Day" and hosted many other events (awards, training days, GCSE classes and celebrations).

Lehman Brothers donated IT equipment, assisted website development, and provided HR training and sport/cultural tickets. In 2006, Lehman Brothers Foundation Europe provided £60,000 for development of a recreational facility, and in 2007, £50,000 for implementation of extra curricular programmes.


In 1998 the firm investigated a long-term partnership with a local school in Tower Hamlets. Working with the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership, Oaklands was selected.

Support from all levels of management was integral to the success of all of Lehman Brothers community initiatives. At Oaklands, the Firm's Vice Chairman was the Chair of Governors at the School for seven years and employees were involved at every stage in their career.

The relationship was managed by a Director and the volunteer schemes by a Manager. Appropriate training was provided and regular feedback meetings were held with employees, teachers and the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership. These meetings shaped the development of the programme.


Over 1000 students visited Lehman Brothers' offices including all the executive areas. During the partnership, the number of Oaklands School children attaining five GCSE's A*-C more than doubled (25% to 68%). The school was ranked in top 3% nationally for contextual value added over past 4 years. In 2006, Oaklands became the first secondary school in Tower Hamlets to achieve International Status.

On the strength of the partnership, £110,000 in grants was leveraged from the Lehman Brothers Foundation Europe and an estimated £500,000 was leveraged from the Firm in cash and gifts in kind.

"The people from Lehman Brothers most definitely gave me the motivation and incentive to do well in school. Before the relationship between Oaklands and Lehman Brothers I had no idea what I wanted to do and could certainly not see myself going to University."
Ex-Oaklands School student

"I never thought I could do it. No one in my family has been to college. I went to Lehman Brothers for the Study Days and knew that I wanted to work somewhere like that."
- 16 year old Oaklands School student who received a Lehman Brothers bursary for Most Improved Student.


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Logo: London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Looked After Children, Health & Education Support Team (LACHES), Volunteer Mentoring Project


The Looked After Children, Health & Education Support Team (LACHES) Volunteer Mentoring Project provides mentors to young people in care in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham. It responds to a need to fill the gaps between the services offered by professionals involved with a child in care (legal framework) and those who would be "child lead" (volunteers). The project supports young people with their educational, health and social inclusion needs by providing support both in and out of schools and social inclusion within the community.

The aim of the project is to increase the self esteem and confidence of young people in care and to support and guide them. The mentors aim to enhance the quality of life of their mentees by assisting them to make informed choices and by increasing their life chances. They are encouraged to: engage or re-engage with education, further education and training; to be healthy, therefore, supporting their independent living; to stay safe by being well informed and understanding risk taking; to enjoy and achieve by engaging with new experiences; to make a positive contribution and to achieve economic wellbeing through education, training and employment.

Volunteer Mentors come from all sectors of the community, from 19 year old care leavers to 63 year olds who have been volunteering for many years. They are carers, doctors, office workers, nurses, homemakers, policemen, teachers, students, railway workers, environmentalists, clergymen and retired people, all working in partnership with the local authority to improve the lives of this vulnerable and very often disadvantaged group of young people.


The Project is located within LACHES, Children's Services which helps to provide a holistic support package for children in care in Barking and Dagenham. It has support throughout Care Management Teams, from Members, the Head of Service, Group Manager level, and other professionals involved with children in care.

Two paid Barking and Dagenham staff manage and support the cohort of 65 volunteer mentors. All mentors receive comprehensive training including communication and basic counselling skills, knowledge of systems for children in care, child protection, personal safety, and maintaining boundaries. All have 1:1 supervision and group support plus management staff operate an 'on call' process to back-up mentors whilst working.

Monthly and quarterly feedback is received from mentor and mentees to ensure the project is meeting needs and supporting participants. It may also identify additional needs for training or support from other professionals involved with the child. The project management continually review practices and guidelines to ensure they are up to date with current legislation and guidance on good practice.


The Project has worked with 70 children and young people in 1:1 relationships since 2005. This has lead to better engagement in mainstream education and support with flexi or vocational learning. Children in care are engaging better in education, and achieving better SATs, GCSE, A levels. The number of children in care achieving at least one A-G at GCSE has risen forty-two percent since the 2005, the number of young people achieving five A-C including English & Maths on track to reach its target of twelve percent by 2008/09, and the number of young people completing at least one year at University is now fifteen percent and rising. A total of thirty-one care leavers in all are on undergraduate degrees.

"He is there for me when I need him and is very funny"
- 15yr old boy lacking confidence, unable to express himself and with no adult role models. His Mentor, a 63 year old ex-boxer with vast experience and patience, a perfect grandfather figure. Since they were introduced, this young man's confidence and self-esteem has risen considerably.

"Thank you very much for your great help and support.....it has changed my life and me for the better, Thank you"
- A 16yr old girl who felt unwanted and unloved. She seeks constant attention and affection in sometimes inappropriate ways. Her Mentor is a 50 year old secretary who is compassionate and patient and supports this young woman to understand boundaries, deal with her feelings and make the transitions into adulthood.


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Logo: The Junior Chefs' Academy


The Junior Chefs' Academy, developed jointly with Thames Valley University (TVU) in 2003, was created to be a sustainable response to the lack of cookery teaching, increasing adolescent obesity, fewer young people considering the industry and London's need for enthusiastic, well-trained craftspeople. It currently operates in 5 London colleges (15 nationwide) and offers a real commitment to the development of young people while offering them an insight into the hospitality industry

Local school pupils attend on Saturday mornings for 12 weeks to learn basic cookery, nutrition, hygiene and health and safety, communication and social skills. Compass chefs coach at classes and students have visits from celebrity chefs such as Cyrus Todiwala, Brian Turner, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Ainsley Harriot and Raymond Blanc.

On the final Saturday, students cook and serve lunch for family and guardians at a graduation ceremony. Their graduation certificates are recognised and endorsed by City and Guilds, HCIMA and the Craft Guild of Chefs.


After the trial at TVU, stakeholders including students, feeder-school teachers, college lecturers, parents and industry representatives were canvassed on the fine-tuning of the programme.

The steering group, which includes Compass Board members, craft trainers and college representative's, meets quarterly to review targets, approve budgets, measure and monitor progress and transfer best practise. Compass's foodservice and craft development manager meets with each college bi- monthly to review, monitor and advise and has informal contact on a monthly basis.

End of course questionnaires and discussions with students have identified lessons to be learned, which are shared with the colleges.

Participating colleges have built close links with their 'feeder' schools from where they recruit the junior chefs and communicate the JCA calendar at their link meetings. Lecturers discuss students' progress with their schools and highlight any exceptional performance and sometimes schoolteachers join the classes and benefit from ideas. Information about classes is distributed to parents and students while parents attend the graduation lunch to taste the results and watch the presentations. They leave with a brochure telling them more about the industry and Compass Group!


The JCA brings multiple benefits to a number of service users, including schools, colleges and young people. Since 2003, over 800 London school children (13-16) have graduated on completing a 12-week course, with an expected 1000 by the end of 2006. 70% of junior chefs convert to full time craft courses at TVU with the remaining colleges following suit, guaranteeing course futures.

"The incredible support provided by Compass has really helped establish the Junior Chefs' Academy as the place to be for many young people on Saturday mornings. We are certain that we have been witnessing the development of the hospitality and food industry's key talent of the future.

Westminster Kingsway College is proud to have played its role in the recruitment and training of such highly motivated groups of youngsters. It is really encouraging to see the rapidly increasing number of learners that enrol each time a new programme is offered. It is also good to see so many of the JCA's graduates progressing into full time training as professional chefs - as well as additional numbers joining work based Apprenticeship programmes too.

We are privileged to have been involved in the development of such a worthwhile programme, and acknowledge that this is a feeling shared by a great many parents, who we know benefit when the young chefs are let loose in their kitchen back in their homes!"

- Geoff Booth, Director of School of Hospitality, Westminster Kingsway College