26 Mar, 2020

We caught up with our Chair about what COVID-19 means for Boards in education


On the back of our Chair Patrick Dunne winning the Business Book Awards for his book ‘Boards’ (a practical guide to life as a board member), we took the opportunity to ask Patrick what the COIVD-19 pandemic means for education and the role of Boards. 

How will this affect education and jobs? 

Most countries in the world have closed their schools and all of those completing their education are entering the job market. 

In countries already struggling with high youth and graduate unemployment, the long term social and economic consequences of a year of significantly lower employment opportunities for the young could be profound.  

Smart investment in distance learning and Education Tech, as China and Korea have shown, can mitigate these effects but you need the capital to invest and the underlying infrastructure to enable it to work. 

Employers will also have to step up, innovate and recognise that it is in their long-term interests to ensure that young people are well educated and have fulfilling jobs. Hard at a time when business is tough but investment in apprenticeships, scholarships and properly structured work experience can also deliver value today as well as drive innovation, brand loyalty, and productivity. 

How is ESSA’s board responding at this time?

At ESSA, we continue to grow the team and board. We need to keep the pace, the mutual respect and the diversity of thought that has enabled us to make such swift progress since we started. Everyone we add, whether executive or trustee, needs to be part of the culture, bring something that will increase the chance of achieving our vision, and be able to adapt to the changing nature of the Board's work as we grow our impact and team. 

You can find ESSA's full statement on the COVID-19 outbreak here

Read Patrick’s blog for his in-depth view on this important topic. 

'Boards' won the HR & Management award in the 2020 Business Book Awards. Patrick is donating a proportion of his book sales to ESSA. 


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