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Partnership the secret to GCSE success?

With millions of school children set to receive their GCSE results across England on Thursday 23rd August, following last week’s news that top A Level results are down for the first time in 20 years, the country is anticipating whether GCSEs will feel the same effect…

One school that is expecting an improvement in GCSE performance is Chiswick School in West London – and part of this confidence in the success of its students is down to the school’s enriching partnership with ground breaking international business hub Chiswick Park.

Chiswick Park’s estate management team, Enjoy-Work has masterminded a network of its international businesses, including Starbucks, Discovery and Paramount, to support pupils from Chiswick School as part of a year-long comprehensive work experience programme that for the first time will see over 200 pupils gain an extra GCSE in Employability and Personal Development. Chiswick Park and the school also worked closely with Spark!, a Hounslow based charity that supports businesses and schools to work together,to design a bespoke syllabus and ensure national accreditation for the pupils taking part.

The programme is a culmination of a relationship going back over 10 years between Chiswick School and Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work, and is designed to support young people as they make the transition from school to the work place, inspiring students, encouraging bright ideas and aspirations and developing employability skills.

Chiswick School has seen a huge improvement in GCSE results since 2008, and last year showed an improvement of 23% percentage points – ranking the school within the top 10% of improving schools in England.

Tony Ryan, Head of Chiswick School, comments: “In an increasingly complex society, we need to concentrate on much more than exam results – the aim of the partnership with Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work has been to give our pupils a more detailed and practical understanding of the requirements of modern day employers, and how best to prepare themselves for an increasingly competitive job market. Following exposure to such dynamic and forward-thinking businesses, students are now able to relate key aspects of their learning to the job market they aspire to, raising motivation and improving overall performance at GCSE level.”