Education Business Link Clusters Evaluation

Hillage J, Barry J, Pike G | Research Report RR379 | Department for Education and Skills | Oct 2002

In September 2000, nine clusters (small groups) of schools were invited to work in partnership to develop joint approaches to education business link (EBL) activity, with the support of a specially appointed broker. A pilot cluster was established in each of the nine English regions. The pilots were funded for a total of two years to test the impact of a broker working with a specific cluster of schools - particularly in the areas of developing a progressive experience of the world at work from an early age up to pre-16 work experience and teacher placements.The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) was commissioned in September 2000 to develop a national evaluation framework and to use it to assess the value of the pilots. IES conducted a range of visits to the pilots, interviewing brokers and other intermediaries and representatives from schools and employers and held a series of workshops involving representatives from the pilots.