Big business urged to give more money to education

The TES is reporting that big business is being urged to do more to support schools as a new study reveals that the world’s top companies spend just 13 per cent of their combined charitable budgets on education…

Of the Global Fortune 500 companies with the largest revenue in the world, fewer than half – 218 – spend any of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) money on education at all, according to research by the Varkey Foundation.

London Mayor Boris Johnson and Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, have backed the foundation’s call for businesses to do more.

The foundation – the philanthropic arm of GEMS, a global private schools chain – is running a Business Backs Education campaign which is challenging companies to commit a fifth of their CSR budgets to education by 2020.

Its report says that 95 of the Fortune 500 companies have already achieved that target. If the other 405 joined them, education CSR spending would increase from $2.6bn to $4bn, which the foundation claims could allow 3 million extra children a year to go to primary school…

Of the corporate education giving that does take place, today’s report found that a third went to higher education, nearly a fifth to vocational education, 16 per cent to primary education and just 14 per cent to secondary education.

Andreas Schleicher, OECD education director, called on companies to be “a lot more creative as sponsors and providers of learning opportunities”. “Making lifelong learning a reality for all is only going to work if education becomes everybody’s business,” he said…

More at: Big business urged to give more money to education

 

What do you think of this campaign? Do you applaud the idea of businesses being encouraged to spend more of their CSR budgets on educational causes? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. Janet2

    Ah, sponsorship.  We’ve been there before.  Under Labour, a few academies got sponsored and received (in theory) more money (sponsors don’t have to pledge money any more).  Unsponsored schools didn’t receive any of this largesse.  This created an imbalance in the amount of money schools receive.

    But the National Audit Office found a significant number of sponsors didn’t honour their pledges.  It would be interesting to know if any of the defaulters were ones where CEOs received knighthoods.

  2. Janet2

    Ah, sponsorship.  We’ve been there before.  Under Labour, a few academies got sponsored and received (in theory) more money (sponsors don’t have to pledge money any more).  Unsponsored schools didn’t receive any of this largesse.  This created an imbalance in the amount of money schools receive.

    But the National Audit Office found a significant number of sponsors didn’t honour their pledges.  It would be interesting to know if any of the defaulters were ones where CEOs received knighthoods.

  3. Bongiovisgirl

    SchoolsImprove How about ppl take responsibility for their kids & contribute towards fees? If everyone contributed £50 a term = big changes

  4. Janet2

    Employers have a role to play in such activities as work experience, mock interviews, job-specific careers advice etc.  But asking them to sponsor schools creates an imbalance in school funding – some schools get it; some don’t.   Education funding needs stability – not tied to company fortunes.

    GEMS is a for-profit organisation which has faced criticism (see below):

    http://gulfbusiness.com/2013/07/full-excusive-interview-gems-chairman-sunny-varkey-talks-profits-and-philanthropy/#.VLeTKNKsXAk

    When companies  get involved in education provision it’s not altruism, it’s an investment.  And, as has happened in Sweden, when it’s no longer profitable, firms will pull out.

  5. Janet2

    @Bongiovisgirl SchoolsImprove Funding education benefits all society not just parents and their children.  Universal free education is a human right.  A cynic might say that if parents contributed £50 per term, the Gov’t would reduce funding in proportion.

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