On Monday 2nd March, I asked the Secretary of State for Education about the benefits of local business involvement in schools. I welcome these developments as I believe local businesses can have a tremendously positive impact on schools they sponsor. I am aware that David Nieper Ltd, a well-renowned and successful company in our constituency have shown interest in sponsoring Alfreton Grange Arts College.
Such a partnership could be extremely beneficial for Alfreton Grange especially with the college currently in special measures. I believe that David Nieper Ltd’s sponsorship could provide much needed leadership and expertise that the school needs to make the required improvements. I believe considered the options, becoming an academy with the support of a strong sponsor like David Nieper would be the best solution to bring about rapid and sustained improvement for our young people to get the best education.
Nigel Mills MP: On that subject, does the Secretary of State agree that improving the links with local businesses and schools is key? Will she therefore welcome the interest that David Nieper Ltd has shown in sponsoring Alfreton Grange Arts College?
The Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP: I entirely agree with my hon. Friend’s points, and I would like to congratulate the company he mentioned on its sponsorship. Professional standards of governance in schools are vital, and we want to make sure that governing boards are focused on recruiting people with the skills for the role. People from business have valuable transferable skills and benefit from board-level experience. I want to see more employers encouraging and supporting their staff to volunteer as governors. This is something I have discussed with the CBI.