General principles

Before dealing with specific issues, it’s a good idea to set-up a basic framework for collaboration between schools and industry. These general principles are rooted in simple standards of common sense, common courtesy and mutual respect.

Be fair and responsible

Everyone involved in a collaborative project should do their best to act fairly and responsibly towards each other, in order to create a positive atmosphere to increase the success of the project. Both sides need to understand that the other has a distinct role in the project and that they should not deliberately act in any way that may be harmful to one another.

Follow existing laws and regulations

Those involved should agree to comply with any applicable laws and regulations, and obtain consents or authorisations where necessary. By doing so, they guarantee a safe, effective, and legal collaboration. It is especially important that any health and safety issues connected with an activity are properly addressed and resolved. Bear in mind that compliance with more than one set of laws and/or local regulations may apply where cross-border activities are involved (e.g. a visit from a school in Belgium to a company in Luxembourg).

Communicate effectively

Establishing a good communication system is the key to success for any project. Everyone should do their best to communicate with each other in a clear, open and effective way, whichever methods (email, telephone or letter) are used. Wherever possible, a contact person should be appointed from each side –ideally a person directly involved in the activity or collaboration.

Report issues immediately

It’s essential to inform each other of any issue that might affect the success of the activity or collaboration – without delay. Preferably such issues should be communicated by the nominated contact.

Respect each other's work schedule

Both schools and business organisations have many other priorities outside of collaboration projects. For that reason, approaches to an activity should be mutually beneficial - not a burden.

Ensure adequate briefing

Make sure anyone taking part in or organising activities are properly briefed and prepared. They need to be fully aware of any operating constraints or internal regulations of either party (e.g. health and safety issues or the need to have criminal record background checks for adults).

Prepare for any special needs and requirements

Both sides involved should inform each other in advance of any unusual requirements. Members of a group taking part in an activity or collaboration may have special needs, requiring extra help because of a medical, emotional, or learning problem. As far as possible, participants should take into account these special requirements or needs.