Why a code?

Contact between schools and industry is becoming an increasingly common practice. Education professionals are interested in having pupils see what business, research and manufacturing are like in the real world, and learn why STEM subjects are important for their future. Business professionals would also like a closer relationship with schools, as part of their own corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments, and also to help foster the acquisition of job-oriented skills and knowledge at school level.

All sides stand to gain from a closer relationship; but collaboration between schools and industry is not always straightforward. Both teachers and business people may have concerns about ethical, legal and practical issues around health and safety, mutual respect, branding, data protection and privacy, conduct and background checks. These issues can act as barriers to developing contacts.

How the code can help

Until now, there have been few documents available that provide specific guidelines for collaboration between schools and industry. This code attempts to address the issues that anyone involved in such collaboration may face, in order to overcome many of the barriers to a mutually beneficial relationship.

It provides a set of principles, guidelines and checklists that should allow anyone involved in setting up school-industry collaboration to do so as safely, smoothly and securely as possible.

The code is a starting point to help prepare such visits; but it should not be your sole reference. There are many local cultural and legal differences that should be considered and sought through professional help and guidance.

The code is not a binding, legal or formal document, but it offers a solid basis for cooperation between schools and industry, giving both sides a shared set of principles and guidelines to put in practice