Taking Teaching Further – Social Value Toolkit

Delivering social value is a significant part of our culture at the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). We take a holistic approach to the challenges and opportunities of providing true value to teachers and learners, considering the social, cultural, health, environmental and economic impacts.

At the ETF, we believe that high quality teaching can have a transformational effect on society and the economy, by delivering learning outcomes which increase social mobility, improve productivity, and deliver a whole range of knock-on benefits.

Our values at the ETF underpin this approach, namely:

  • Responsive: We listen and provide effective solutions
  • Striving for Excellence: We aim for the highest standards in everything we do
  • Inclusive: We reflect your views in our thinking and in our actions
  • Expert: We base our decisions on evidence and expertise
  • Trustworthy: We are open, honest and act with integrity

These values feed through our activity, including our approach to equity, diversity and inclusion; our volunteering scheme for staff; our efforts to embed sustainability in our work; and our kickstarter apprenticeship programme.

A key part of this is our approach to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). We aim to embed and promote EDI in the following ways:

  • As a commissioning body: ensuring any contracts we award are to suppliers that can prove their work is accessible and encourage a more inclusive and diverse workforce;
  • As a collaborative player: working with the sector to create a more diverse teaching workforce;
  • As an employer: undertaking an open and fair recruitment and retention practices to ensure all staff have equal opportunities to develop and excel.

We believe that if all individuals, teams, and organisations in the education sphere play their part, then our sector can be at the forefront of the social value agenda.

Social value

Social value can be considered an overarching term for capturing the full net value an organisation provides to society. This can include how an organisation supports the local economy, for example by helping local people into employment or buying from other local businesses; or activities that provide other benefits, such as promoting opportunities for disadvantaged groups or reducing waste.

This social value toolkit focuses on four themes:

  • the importance of diversity in recruitment;
  • tackling economic inequality by creating new jobs/training/volunteering opportunities;
  • promoting health/wellbeing;
  • enhancing environmental sustainability.

We hope this social value toolkit will enable providers to think outside the box, engage with teachers, leaders and learners, and ultimately deliver a wide range of benefits.

How the ETF will support providers

  • We are providing below a range of suggested metrics to help your organisation deliver on our three key themes;
  • We will be running quarterly webinars, on topics including diversity and sustainability, to provide support and guidance;
  • TTF lead Clive Berry will endeavour to discuss any queries you may have;
  • We will be holding an annual social value survey, which providers will be expected to engage with and respond to.

The importance of diversity in recruitment

Organisations should be prioritising diversity because it’s the right thing to do, but it also has a tangible positive impact on productivity, innovation and staff wellbeing and retention. A diversity recruitment strategy helps organisations prioritise, track, and deliver on their goals. Part of this involves developing metrics to measure impact and success, which could include:

  • Increase by x percentage the number of full-time staff from under-represented groups in the workforce.
  • Increase by x percentage the number of part-time staff from under-represented groups in the workforce.
  • Increase by x percentage the number of people from under-represented groups in the workforce on apprenticeship schemes (Level 2, 3, and 4+).
  • Increase by x percentage the number of people from under-represented groups in the workforce on other training schemes (Level 2, 3, and 4+).
  • Train x number of hiring managers to enhance their interview approach and style.
  • Increase by x the number of recruitment panels which are diverse and gender-balanced.
  • Ask x number of unsuccessful interviewees for feedback on the recruitment process.
  • Increase percentage of all companies in your supply chain to have committed to the five foundational principles of good work – satisfaction; fair pay; participation and progression; wellbeing, safety and security; voice and autonomy.

Tackling economic inequality by creating new jobs/training/volunteering opportunities

Colleges, ITPs and other educational institutions are ideally placed to help reduce economic inequality within their local areas. This can be approached by undertaking specific social purpose activities to benefit disadvantaged residents and struggling local businesses. Metrics to measure progress could include:

  • Work towards paying staff the Real Living Wage
  • Deliver x number of targeted local recruitment campaigns
  • Support x number of people back to work by providing career mentoring
  • Improve the skills levels of existing staff by training x% of the workforce to Level 2/3/4
  • Create x number of work-based learning placements (including apprenticeships) for local residents
  • Increase rates of pay for lowest-paid staff by x%
  • Work towards Disability Confident status and Time-wise practices
  • Support the local economy by targeting x% of total expenditure in the local supply chain and using local contractors (subject to Procurement Regulations)
  • Promote subcontractor tendering opportunities locally
  • Embed social value and community wealth building principles throughout subcontractor agreements (like this page!)
  • Share and promote x number of positive news stories to help raise the profile of the local area
  • Provide facilities for use by community and voluntary organisations for x number of hours per year

Promoting health/wellbeing

Organisations should look to prioritise and embed environmental, social and governance (ESG) in everything they do. Doing so will help improve not only the working environment, but also the wellbeing of the local community. Metrics could include:

  • Support prevention by working with local partners on education and publicity campaigns with specific targets (e.g. support x number of staff or learners increase their physical activity)
  • Opportunities targeted at the most disadvantaged areas or groups
  • Sign up to the Healthy Workplace Charter
  • Train x number of staff as Mental Health First Aiders
  • Identify all staff who are carers and ensure flexible working practices are implemented to support these responsibilities within x weeks of contract start date
  • Grow percentage of all companies in your supply chain to have implemented the six standards in the Mental Health at Work commitment.
  • Reduce average sickness absence by x% through an improved health, wellbeing and support package for staff

Enhancing environmental sustainability

  • Reduce the amount of waste generated and also sent to landfill by x%
  • Reduce carbon emissions by x% per year
  • Reduce overall energy consumption / water consumption by x% per year
  • Procure materials from sustainable sources
  • Increase the use of renewable energy / community generated renewable energy as a proportion of total energy consumption by x% (without increasing overall energy consumption)