Back to the classroom for BT's East Midlands board

​Senior leaders from BT are hoping for top marks after they dialled back the years to return to the classroom.

Senior leaders from BT are hoping for top marks after they dialled back the years to return to the classroom.

BT’s decision makers in the East Midlands moved their regular board meeting to Fullhurst Community College in Leicester so they could meet with students, take part in a Dragon’s Den type business event, as well as offer some reading support to 11-14 year olds.

The link-up is part of ongoing work between the college and BT’s Kasam Hussain, who acts as an Enterprise Advisor as part of a government-led scheme that links volunteers from the business world with local schools and colleges.

Kasam, who is BT’s programme manager for the Superfast Leicestershire fibre broadband programme, said: “We meet regularly as a board and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to hold our meeting outside of BT premises. As far as I’m aware this is the first time we’ve ever done this. I work really closely with Fullhurst and we’re always looking for opportunities to link learning with real-life business experience.

“The business event was really enjoyable and a great opportunity for the students to showcase their skills and business intuition. I’m sure the experience of putting ideas forward will serve them well in the future. We were all incredibly impressed by the quality of the work put before us.”

BT’s team were welcomed to the college by Principal Steve Piggot. After holding the first half of their board meeting, students from Year 10 made their business presentations to the BT board.

As part of their coursework, students were challenged to imagine they were setting up their own business. They were tasked with demonstrating an understanding of the current business environment and trends, including things like the potential impact of Brexit.

They were also asked to put together a cashflow forecast and break-even table to show proper financial planning with the aim of securing a bank loan to fund their idea.

Some of the ideas that were put forward included a catering service, a comic book shop, a painting and decorating business, and a gaming accessories company.

Later in the day, BT’s team spent time with students from Key Stage 3 for some paired reading.

Steve Piggot, Principal at Fullhurst Community College, said: “It was great to be able to welcome the team from BT into school. Being able to offer students the opportunity to do something different, and interact with business leaders, should not be underestimated. It’s an important part of their development and helps prepare them for life after Fullhurst.

“A huge amount of effort went in to the business session and I’d like to congratulate everyone that took part. It was also good for some of the younger members of the school to share some time with BT during the reading sessions in the afternoon.”

BT’s regional board meets regularly and is made up of people from different parts of the business from across the East Midlands. It’s chaired by Owen Moody.

Kasam, also a member of the board, signed up to join Fullhurst as an Enterprise Advisor during 2016. He volunteers his own time, with the full support of BT, to help students by working closely with senior teaching staff to develop advice and guidance around careers, employment and enterprise.