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Educators and learners: why bother?
There are so many types of opportunities, whether measured in terms
of range of subjects, types of activity or scale of relationship, that
it is quite impossible to list all. The range of potential learners
is so broad that it embraces the whole community. The following is intended
as an initial summary, which is elaborated in later sections and the
- No other industry can offer such a wide range of learning opportunities
in science, maths, geography, ICT, citizenship, PSHE, history, art,
- Work placements and career opportunities - again few industries
could offer such a variety of work experiences from explosives engineers
to ecologists, from ships captains to systems analysts.
- Donating materials, equipment, land and services - companies
may be able to help schools and colleges with materials free or at
reduced rates (to cover costs and taxes) e.g. for 'geo-gardens' showing
different rock types, or the services of a machine and driver to make
a nature pond, provide saplings for planting, items for school fund
raising events. Sometimes companies have land which they would be
willing to donate or lease at a peppercorn rent to a community school
or say a wildlife trust for a particular purpose.
- Provide real life examples for projects - maps, data, loan
measuring equipment, test materials.
- Company staff could support - e.g. as school or college
governors or involvement through business partnership schemes.
- Out of school visits - e.g. if insurance and rules allow
(see separate cautionary notes) help with transport or contributing
to the costs e.g. of hiring transport, and where relevant, entry charges)
of visiting their site or other places offering related themes e.g.
industrial museums, natural history centres, special courses.
- Participation in local or national events - at school, in
the community, in the countryside at the quarry plant, wharf or depot,
in museums, parks, etc. Companies may wish to take part in local church
or community fairs/fetes/ carnivals, vintage vehicle rallies, arts
festivals, agricultural shows.
Apart from support in the report already noted, companies may be prepared
to allow such events to be staged on their property.
Some of these forms of help, whether financial or in-kind, may be able
to be counted as matched funding for other community, school
or interest group projects when bidding for grants. In return, depending
on the scale of the assistance given, the company will normally wish
to receive some public acknowledgement of their contribution and would
hope that thereby the community would become more aware of the essential
nature of its activities and its role in the environment.
For reasons why industry become involved, see 'Industry
- Why Bother?'.
Whereas most companies and their staff are willing to help where they
can, there have been some significant changes in the last decade, which
may genuinely restrict their ability to assist, e.g.:
- Almost all road transport and increasingly mobile quarry machinery
is operated not by the company but either by owner-drivers or under
contract to others. The company may therefore be willing to donate
materials, but unable to transport it (costs delivered materials can
double over about 25 miles).
- Most of the company staff remaining at quarries have tightly controlled
work schedules; some carry responsibility for a number of sites, so
may not necessarily be readily available during a 'normal' working
- On all aggregates materials leaving a quarry, in addition to VAT,
an extra 'tax' - the Aggregates Levy is charged, which has to be paid
by the company even if they are giving away the material.
- There may be health, safety, planning, legal, insurance and logistical
reasons why a company judges that it is unable to help in a particular
way. These are very real constraints. (some of these are covered the
Logistics section of this report).
- However, even if the company cannot assist directly, it may be
able to ask a sub-contractor or supplier to do so, or to support an
application e.g. to one of the Aggregate Levy Sustainable Funds for