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As a passionate supporter of Teach First, the charity set up to tackle inequality in education, Nick Owen, Chairman of Deloitte NWE, recently went back to school. He talked to pupils at Cantell School in Southampton as part of The Big Class Challenge, and is calling on others to follow in his footsteps, delivering special classroom activities that will encourage and inspire children from low-income communities to ‘dream big’.
Standing in front of a class of 14-year-olds, I did wonder if they would connect with me. After all, I am a 50 something white bloke who lives in London and here I was in a school where half the pupils’ first language is not English and more than one in five qualify for free school meals.
The ace up my sleeve to grab their attention was my local connection.
I don’t know where they expected the Chairman of Deloitte to have been educated. It probably wasn’t the sixth form college not that far away in Chichester. Yes, I left school at 16 to do my A levels at sixth form college. I doubt they were anticipating that.
A year ago, Deloitte embarked on an ambitious programme to change the futures of one million people. One year on and the impact of One Million Futures is truly impressive. However, for Fiona Walker, Responsible Business lead Partner, it is the individual stories that are truly inspirational.
The results are in. In the last year our professionals have volunteered 31,000 hours of their time and provided £700,000 of pro bono services to the 54 schools, charities and social enterprises we have partnered with through One Million Futures. Already more than 138,000 'futures' have been directly impacted and, now we are helping these amazing organisations to develop and grow, we are on target to reach one million.
While these figures are incredibly impressive (and if you are one of our volunteers, thank you), what really stands out as we look back at the first year of One Million Futures are the individual stories of lives transformed by education or training opportunities.
The start of the new academic year is an exciting time for pupils, and those that support them. As part of our education programme, Deloitte Access, volunteers are helping students from all backgrounds to prepare for success. Runa Khanom-Bakshi is a consultant in our Cardiff office, and her son, Yousuf, attends one of the schools benefiting from Access. After he achieved 13 A*s in his GCSEs, Runa shares her own experience of the difference that employers can make.
This time last year I was launching my online maths tutorial business…from the spare bedroom at the top of my house.
One year on and Hegarty Maths is now being used in over 10 per cent of secondary schools and by 5,700 teachers to plan classes, assess pupils and set and track homework.
More than one million hours of learning have already been completed and an astounding 60 million questions have been answered.
Going forward the figures are even more ambitious and we are on track to be in 1,000 schools helping one million children.
Impressed? Well, I haven’t done it on my own.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people all across the UK walk with some trepidation into their first interviews. Every year, the same demographics tend to get chosen: university educated, attendees of selective schools, articulate and well presented. But does this mean that the best candidates are getting the jobs? Or are we failing to spot a huge pool of talent that hasn’t had a chance to hone their interpersonal skills?
The charity City Gateway thinks so. They run courses offering young people aged 16-25 skills workshops, work experience, CV and interview skills preparation. Last year the charity was selected to be a Deloitte society partner as part of One Million Futures. Their aim is to bring hope to communities by developing the skills and confidence needed to secure long-term education and employment outcomes that will transform futures.
Deloitte has been a supporter of Teach First since 2005, playing a hugely influential role in our work to give more young people access to higher education and careers. We were delighted to recently recognise Deloitte as one of the charities first Transformation Partners – a select dedicated group of businesses that have worked with us for over ten years and individually donated over £1,000,000 to our work. This group’s unique and invaluable support has had a huge impact on our ability to reach over a million pupils from low-income communities across England and Wales.
20 March 2017. The Grand Final of the TMT Predictions Schools Challenge 2017; an initiative created to ‘plug the skills gap’ for clients who report challenges in engaging young people with the skills and interest to pursue careers in the Technology, Media or Telecommunications (TMT) sectors. Milton Keynes Academy had been given the topic of Biometrics and were tasked with presenting a relevant, innovative use for the technology. Myself, along with two colleagues, Deane Copson and Michael Garz, were first time coaches for the school, who had now reached the finals for the third year in succession. The competition was tough, but we were confident that our and MK Academy’s revolutionary concept, “BioBuddi”, would catch the attention of the judges.
When former BP Chief Executive Lord Browne, one of the earliest proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR), declared last year that the movement was “dead”, he was not alone in his cynicism. Such has been the worrying regularity of corporate scandals that the idea of business putting purpose or society before profit had for some time been attracting a large dose of suspicion. It is somewhat surprising, therefore, that it is the emergence of more controversy – this time in the charitable sector – that has prompted a reassessment of how important the contribution of business can be to society.
Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions Schools Challenge 2016: An exciting vision for the future!
There is a rich and fascinating history that stems from Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM); one that has been pioneered by some of the greatest and most creative minds, including Stephen Hawkins, Tim Berners-Lee and Ada Lovelace.
But despite the feats accomplished in these fields, we know that too few young people are pursuing an active interest in these subjects, with massive implications on their attainment and the opportunities available to them in the future. This is especially true amongst pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, with fifty eight per cent of those eligible for free school meals in 2011 failing to achieve a maths GCSE grade at A*-C (Skills Commission, 2011).
Deloitte are long-standing supporters of disability sport. Since 2007, through our partnership with the British Paralympic Association (BPA), we have helped prepare hundreds of athletes for four Paralympic Games, each one inspiring young disabled people to find a sport that suits them through our Deloitte Parasport portal.