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School Governor initiative earns Big Tick in BITC's Responsible Business Awards

10 Jun 2014

The University’s School Governor Initiative has been recognised with a ‘Big Tick’ as part of the prestigious Responsible Business Awards 2014, which are run by the charity Business in the Community (BITC)

School Governor Initiative

As well as this recognition, the University is one of 18 organisations that have been shortlisted to present their programme to a select group of senior business peers with a chance to be named overall winner in the Education category.  60 organisations have been shortlisted in total across all the categories. Winners will be announced on 8 July 2014 in London at Business in the Community’s National Awards Gala Dinner, in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales and in partnership with the 2013 Responsible Business of the Year, Jaguar Land Rover.

The Big Tick is the first level of accolade in the Responsible Business Awards, the UK’s longest-running and most respected awards scheme recognising businesses that are making a positive difference to society and to the environment. 

A Big Tick is a leading endorsement of responsible business, and companies are awarded for initiatives tackling a range of issues: from stimulating local or rural communities, building long-term partnerships with schools, inspiring young talent, to embedding environmental sustainability into how products and services are used by customers. 

The School Governor Initiative achieved the Big Tick in the education category, which aims to recognise organisations that are building sustainable partnerships with schools in the UK, to raise aspirations of young people to enable them to build successful working lives.

Commenting, Associate Vice-President for Social Responsibility at the University of Manchester, Aneez Esmail, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for a BITC award that recognizes the important work of the School Governors initiative at the University of Manchester. The scheme is a signature programme within our social responsibility strategy and is a real example of how our staff are making a positive impact on our local community.”

Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach at the University of Manchester, added: “The University’s School Governor Initiative continues to go from strength to strength. We have achieved the largest and fastest growth in governors in the UK and have already surpassed our target to double the number of staff volunteering as governors. We currently have around 250 staff and alumni in our School Governor Network. We have received extremely positive feedback from senior Council Leaders, Head Teachers and Chairs of boards of governors about the impact having someone from The University of Manchester has had on their school or college. We also know from staff who are governors, that this role has had a positive impact on their own skills development. The University is now taking a lead on supporting other universities who are thinking about setting up a similar initiative and we are delighted to be able to make a sector-wide contribution.”

The University will be presented with their Big Tick trophy at the North West Responsible Business Awards Gala Dinner on 25 June at Aintree Racecourse.

Commenting, Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “All year round, responsible businesses across the UK are contributing towards more resilient communities, stimulating local economies, creating diverse, skilled and healthy workforces and addressing skills shortages - yet these activities rarely get attention. The Responsible Business Awards shine a much needed spotlight on the powerful impact of business. Each of the companies recognised are playing their part to build a new contract between business and society and a more sustainable future for us all.  I congratulate The University of Manchester for its Big Tick, which is a powerful symbol of business doing more to bring about change.”

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