Business Action on Education

Business action on education

Partnering schools with businesses

Business in the Community Ireland

Our Education Programmes succeed due to the wonderful support of primary and post primary schools around the country. We have a network of matched schools all over Ireland and many have been with their local companies beyond ten year milestones. It is our aim to create mutually beneficial relationships.

Our Education Programmes are delivered to schools under the name, The Schools’ Business Partnership. We have two primary school initiatives and four post primary programmes. Once a school is matched with a local company, a dedicated BITC programme coordinator works with both parties to ensure an efficient and impactful programme.

Primary Schools - Time to Read

One in ten children in Irish primary schools have serious difficulty with reading and writing – this rises to 30% in some disadvantaged schools. This means that 50,000 Irish children are not reaching their potential.

Our Time to Read programme provides children in second class with reading support from a business volunteer over a 20 week programme.

The programme aims to increase the enjoyment of, and confidence in reading whilst encouraging self-discovery for the participating children. Our programme was piloted in 2010/11 and evaluated by renowned expert Dr. Eithne Kennedy of St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.

Teachers and participants report significant impacts on the children.  All business volunteers who partake in this programme receive training in advance which provides volunteers with the desired outcomes, programme details, feedback and support elements, best practice information in terms of reading strategies and child protection guidelines.

Each weekly session consists of the business volunteer reading one to one for 30 minutes each with two children. The children, their volunteers and parents have a visit to their local public library.  The business also hosts a workplace visit for the participating children and their teachers.

The business and child impact is measured and a report provided to each participating business at the conclusion of the programme.

Download our most recent Time to Read Evaluation Report

Download our Time to Read infographic

View our Time to Read Overview

Post Primary Schools - World of Work

The World of Work programme provides 2nd year post-primary school students with an opportunity to meet employees from a local company in order to learn about the world of work. It facilitates conversations and insights to the many roles in the workplace and inspires and encourages young minds to look towards the future.

The programme dovetails with the Junior Cycle curriculum and it takes place at a time that suits the business during the school year. It comprises of 5 sessions and there is local flexibility with the content.

Sessions include:

  • Meet & Greet
  • Day in the Life
  • Company site visit
  • Choice of: Presentation Skills, Communication Skills, Teamwork Skills
  • Optional Session: Personal Branding, Customer Service, Social Media, etc.
  • Wrap Up

Mock interviews offered to 5th year students as an option.

92% of students enjoyed all parts of the programme while 93% of teachers felt that the programme helped students to think about the world of work and life after school.

Download a copy of the World of Work National Evaluation Report 2020-21

View our World of Work overview

“It was a really positive experience for all involved. As a team of employees, we came together to be a part of something bigger and make an impact of the students’ lives which we hope will help them as they progress through school and into the world of work. It is something we are proud of and each year we can see more people wanting to get involved” – Company volunteer

“It’s a really good experience to get you thinking about your future and feel more prepared to go into the workplace.” – Student

Click here to learn about the World of Work partnership between Coillte and Duiske College, Co. Kilkenny

Management Excellence for Principals

Management Excellence for Principals provides business leaders and principals an opportunity to network. The workshops held over the school year involve business leaders sharing their expertise and experience with educational leaders.

Workshop topics include: Leadership, Time Management, Performance Management, and PR and Marketing. Over 1,300 post-primary principals have participated to date.

Management Excellence for Principals programme is made possible through the generous funding of our strategic partner and sponsor since 2009, Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. Cornmarket share our vision to maximize the interaction between the leaders of the business and education sectors for the mutual benefit of both.

Download a copy of our MEP Overview

We are a nationwide initiative that aims to develop mutually beneficial partnerships between schools and businesses in Ireland which support the Government’s overall strategy on Educational Inclusion.

We operate by matching individual schools that are targeted through the School Completion Programme with a local company.

We are the only business-education programme in Ireland that receives matching Government funds under the National Development Plan.  Our suite of six programmes supports students, principals, teachers, the STEM agenda and children’s literacy & numeracy in primary schools.

To date over 400 partnerships have been established nationally, impacting over  43,000 students nationwide.

Our primary school programme, Time to Read was first piloted in 2010 and has since involved almost 2,000 children

Companies who join the Network for Responsible Business can access our Business Action on Education Programmes.

The benefits to companies are significant:

  • Access to ‘off the shelf’ employee engagement opportunities
  • Opportunity to be a positive influence in a young person’s life
  • Training opportunity for staff when it comes to leadership and mentoring
  • Improved reputation and trust with local communities
  • A clear signal to employees of commitment to a key national issue
  • Measurable impacts and detailed reports

Our ‘Time to Read’ programme provides an employee engagement opportunity for companies to engage in one to one reading sessions with local primary school children. Company volunteers are trained to use a variety of reading strategies to help the child develop their fluency and comprehension and therefore their confidence, in reading.

100% of company volunteers found the programme ‘very enjoyable’ or ‘enjoyable’.

Company volunteer comment: “Time to read was one of the highlights of my year, I loved getting to know the children and seeing them every Tuesday brightened my day!”

Principal comment: The positive attitude and approach towards the children was hugely beneficial.  Having other people sit down and read with the boys made them realise that it’s not just for school with your teacher and that it can be fun to do together with others!  I couldn’t recommend this initiative highly enough!”

Nationally some schools experience a higher than average rate of students leaving before completing their Leaving Certificate. Our aim has been to increase the student retention rates in these schools. By matching companies with these schools we provide numerous opportunities for students to gain insights into some of Ireland’s largest companies, their career opportunities and to help them broaden their horizons. Employees can provide one to one mentoring to students at risk and the impacts on both students and employees is significant.

Since our inception in 2000, Ireland’s retention rate have increased from 80% to 90.4% and Ireland is one of the top EU member states in terms of student retention.

Many companies tell us about their concerns around future talent entering their industry sectors. We work with government, schools and businesses to facilitate the knowledge transfer, insight into industry and career/skills information between Ireland’s top STEM companies and STEM teachers. This means they are informed on the pipeline needs of our economy and can advise students about the STEM options open to them.

Our Management Excellence for Principals & Teachers and STEM Seeing is Believing programmes aim to harvest the knowledge, skills and expertise of Ireland’s visionary business leaders by facilitating them in sharing business approaches to leadership, management and personal development.

Click here for further information http://www.bitc.ie/business-action-programmes/business-action-on-education/are-you-a-school/ 


Wexford Education Support Centre

Ionad Oídeachais Tacaiochta Loch Gorman

Location. Suíomh

Milehouse Road, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford



Local Buses and ample carparking available

Contact us. Dean Teagmháil

Tel: (053) 92 39100
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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