Let staff become science and maths mentors for seven-year-olds, Balls urges

Businesses should encourage staff to volunteer as mentors for children who are struggling with science and maths, ministers have said.

Speaking to an audience of businesses last week, children’s secretary Ed Balls said banks and other financial institutions should encourage their employees to provide one-to-one tuition for children to help ensure a higher calibre of school leavers.

Balls said he hoped to see a larger number of firms become involved with the Every Child Counts programme, to provide businesses with the skilled workforce they need.

The project aims to provide specialist tuition to help 30,000 children aged seven who are having the greatest difficulties in maths by 2010-11.

Balls said: “We ask employers around the country to encourage, to enable, to allow us to offer to some of your staff, in intermediate positions or perhaps towards retirement, a transition to science or stem teaching.

“The combination of passion and wider life experience could have a real impact, not just on teaching within a school, but also on the wider ethos of a school, and the wider expectations of the pupils,” he said.

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