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Barclays commits to assist free schools and academies

18/01/2012 Kelly
Secretary of state for education Michael Gove has urged more firms to consider how they can contribute to schools after Barclays committed to support schools throughout England.

The bank is to provide a range of free services and assistance to schools while also encouraging members of its staff with particular expertise to sit on school boards of governors.

Most of the schools that Barclays will work with will be academies and free schools.

Key commitments made by the bank will see it offer free financial advice to the institutions and provide work experience placements to students.

As part of the scheme, the Barclays Money Skills programme will also be expanded, helping more pupils learn the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively manage their finances.

Free schools and academies that are starting out will also be offered free banking facilities by Barclays while teachers will be offered free online business education resources.

Welcoming the bank's decision, Mr Gove said that he was "delighted" that Barclays had committed to contribute to the "new educational landscape".

"Since the sixteenth century, when the first City livery companies opened schools, we have seen huge benefits when schools and businesses work together," he said.

"Our reforms to give schools more independence have created great opportunities for businesses and charities to make a lasting commitment to help."

Everyone at the schools, including teachers, governors and pupils would benefit greatly from their involvement, he added.

Following the passing of the Academies Act in 2010, government figures show that more than 1,500 schools have applied for academy status. About 45 per cent of England's secondary schools are now academies.

Barclays' Retail and Business Banking chief executive Antony Jenkins said that the company had decided to get involved because it wanted to help improve young people's financial skills.

"By providing financial awareness training and valuable work experience we can help young people to contribute to and share in future prosperity," he said.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801268145-ADNFCR
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