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Understanding the nature of school partnerships with business in delivery of vocational programmes in schools in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Polesel, M Klatt, Damian BlakeDamian Blake, Karen StarrKaren Starr
This article seeks to provide a school perspective on the nature and quality of the partnerships which schools form with businesses in order to deliver work placements and workplace learning in Australia. It found that the ability of schools to engage with external partners depended on the ability of school leaders to define and communicate the role of VET within the school and its broader community. This dependence on individuals and leadership is vulnerable to changes in key personnel and the informality of some of the processes and relationships can lead to problems in monitoring, evaluating and replicating programmes. Our study shows that a balance is required between carefully documented processes and the flexibility required to operate programmes successfully. The study also noted the tension between the perceived needs of the school and those of industry. A successful partnership necessarily requires school flexibility – in the decisions as to what programmes should be offered and how work placements and timetabling should be organised.