Barclays, together with the Department for Education, today launches a new proposition, offering business advice and banking support to newly established free schools and academies in England.
UK Education Secretary Michael Gove today welcomed a commitment from Barclays to offer their expertise and support to schools across England.
In particular, Barclays will target much of its support at academies, free schools, university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools. These independent, state-funded schools are free from local authority control, making external expertise on issues like finance and HR invaluable.
Speaking at Westminster Academy, Michael Gove also invited other firms to look at ways of making serious commitments to schools.
Under the scheme, Barclays will:
- Encourage hundreds of senior staff members with transferable business skills to sit on the governing bodies of state-funded schools – including academies and free schools
- Provide local access to free financial advice to help academies and free schools to manage their new financial duties
- Offer structured work experience opportunities at Barclays branches and offices to pupils from academies and free schools
- Widen the Barclays Money Skills programme, which helps young people build the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage money more effectively
- Provide free online access for school staff to ‘self-service’ functional and business skills training materials
- Provide free banking to new free Schools and academies, helping them get off the ground
- Work with the New Schools Network, Baker Dearing Trust and Studio Schools Trust with the aim of offering funding of £5,000, on average, to selected free school, UTC and studio school groups in the pre-application stage.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “I’m delighted that Barclays has read the new educational landscape so clearly and decided to make a real difference. Thanks to this comprehensive and generous package, students, teachers and governors will benefit enormously.
“Our reforms to give schools more independence have created great opportunities for businesses and charities to make a lasting commitment to help.”
Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said: “Barclays is supporting Free Schools and Academies because we want to boost financial skills for young people. By providing financial awareness training and valuable work experience we can help young people to contribute to and share in future prosperity.
“We can also make a positive impact to these schools by encouraging our employees to serve as governors, and by lending our banking expertise to school boards.”
The website with full details of the Barclays package, including the options available and how to apply, goes live today. Schools that want to participate in some or all of these proposals should visit: