Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Tech Giants Are the Smart Choice for School Team-Ups

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Tech Giants Are the Smart Choice for School Team-Ups

Article excerpt

Teachers want to collaborate with technology firms - and most doubt the quality of their careers service

Technology giants top the list of firms that teachers would most like their schools to work with, according to new research.

Apple, Google and Microsoft were the three most popular choices among teachers, according to research by TES, the CBI and education charity the Varkey Foundation.

Presented with a list of the 20 most valuable businesses in the world and asked which one they would choose to work with their school, 31 per cent of more than 1,100 teachers polled chose iPhone manufacturer Apple. Google was in second place, with 21 per cent, followed by Microsoft, with 13 per cent.

Disney, the maker of huge film hits including Frozen and Wreck-it Ralph, was preferred by 82 teachers - or 7.1 per cent - overall, although nearly 13 per cent of primary staff said it was their top choice.

Companies producing treats and junk food fared less well in the poll. Only 16 teachers chose Coca Cola (1.8 per cent) and just 0.8 per cent, or nine teachers, opted for the fast-food firm McDonald's. And in a move that bucks the trend of technology giants finding favour, only 2.2 per cent - or 25 teachers - picked Facebook as their preferred partner.

Fashion brands also struggled to gain traction with just 4 per cent of teachers choosing sportswear brand Nike and 0.3 per cent, or three teachers, citing Louis Vuitton.

Geraldine Davies, the principal of the UCL Academy, a secondary school in Camden, north London, said that the results were likely to be "more to do with where they saw the possibility for children in the future, rather than the popularity of the brand itself".

She added: "They're thinking about how technology will change people's lives and the value of what they can do to enhance a child's chances of success."

Denis Oliver, executive headteacher of Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School in Cheshire, told TES that he would be likely to choose businesses with "ethical drivers" to partner with his school.

"If there's a company that exemplifies the traits you want to bring out in children, that's what I'd go for," he said.

Careers advice falling short

The survey also revealed that more than half of teachers believe that their own school's careers service was inadequate at helping pupils to make well-informed career choices. Fifty-five per cent did not think that their school was doing enough in this field.

Almost three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) said that they would like businesses to play a "much greater" role in their school's careers service and 87 per cent said that business had a role to play in supporting schools. …

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