Case study: Business and school partnerships

Author: Miranda Green, Financial Times, Published on: 4 October 2010

Alongside a package of professional work for 150 further education colleges, 100 universities and some schools, which includes auditing and advice on everything from tax and pensions, HR, regulatory issues, risk and compliance or cost optimisation, KPMG makes many pro bono contributions to education. These include linking up its offices across the country with nearby schools. Staff who devote half of one working day every month to their volunteering, build a lasting relationship with teachers and pupils. KPMG also provide more than 130 school governors; sponsor Hackney’s City Academy; and fund, via the KPMG Foundation, the successful one-to-one tutoring programmes for literacy and numeracy catch-up, Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts...This nationwide programme was followed by others concentrating on finance and by a push to develop relationships with individual schools, so that KPMG staff contributions are always be part of a long-term assessment of what a school needs rather than, as [Mike] Kelly [KPMG’s head of corporate social responsibility] puts it, “industrial tourism or random acts of kindness.” The work with schools increasingly influenced KPMG’s own corporate culture. Since the turn of the millennium, [KPMG has made its] corporate social responsibility policy more generous and explicit in terms of staff time, resources and expectations. ...“It’s enlightened self interest,” he says, arguing that taking employees and pupils alike out of their comfort zone has benefits for both: “You get back more rounded individuals who are more deeply part of our society and that can only benefit our clients.”

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Related companies: KPMG