[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Philip Green to sponsor schools
Philip Green
Philip Green is looking to help "potential future employees"
Philip Green, the entrepreneur bidding to take over Marks and Spencer, is using his Arcadia Group to sponsor 50 new specialist schools in England.

The high street fashion retailer is putting up 1.25m.

This will fund half the 50,000 sponsorship each secondary school has to raise to bid for specialist status.

The company is working with the Specialist Schools Trust to support schools wanting to become business and enterprise colleges.

'Potential future employees'

Mr Green attended a fee-paying school but left at the age of 15 to go into the rag trade.

He said: "I really wanted to support the 11-16s age group in encouraging and developing these young people's entrepreneurial talents whilst they are still at school, as well as helping to prepare them for work by teaching them industry-related skills.

"As the retail industry is the largest private sector employer in the UK, it makes perfect sense for Arcadia to support potential future employees within the markets they currently operate in."

Schools which succeed in a bid for specialist status receive about 600,000 in extra government funding over four years - with a capital grant and extra per pupil.

'Exciting'

Arcadia, whose retail chains include Dorothy Perkins and Topshop, made 228m profit last year.

It will also be supplying management expertise and governors to the schools it sponsors and will be offering students work experience placements.

"With over 2,000 people employed in store management positions and another 250 working within the geographical regions, Arcadia has a wealth of experience to draw from and to truly work in partnership with the chosen schools," Mr Green said.

The Education Secretary Charles Clarke said: "This is a very significant and exciting new partnership.

"It's just the sort of relationship between schools and business that is at the heart of much of our five-year plan for education."

That plan, announced on Thursday, expects all schools to be specialising in at least one curriculum area by 2008.

Currently 1,955 of the country's secondary schools have become specialists - other subjects including technology, sports, arts, languages, engineering, science, maths and computing, music, and humanities.

Mr Clarke said he hoped to see many more such partnerships over the coming months and years.


SEE ALSO:
More freedom in school reforms
08 Jul 04  |  Education
Retail students cash in their talent
21 Jun 04  |  Education
M&S considers new Green offer
08 Jul 04  |  Business
More specialist schools announced
01 Jul 04  |  Education
Specialist schools now a majority
29 Jan 04  |  Education


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific