Growing Up Together

McDonald's involvement with schools in the past has been primarily through our local restaurants. However, our support for education took a major step forward in 1993 with the creation of McDonald's Education Service.

Recognising the changing nature of education today and the increasing need for schools to prepare young people for the world of work, the McDonald's Education Service aims to offer our restaurants as resources to schools in their communities.

Working closely with Education Business Partnerships to match our resources to the needs of the National Curriculum, the main areas of current activity are:

The McDonald's-funded Education Centre at Ebbw Vale Festival Park in Wales was opened by Glenys Kinnock in October 1993. A permanent classroom staffed by professional educationalists, the Education Centre enables visiting school parties to study local environmental and industrial heritage projects, using resource packs provided by McDonald's.

The McDonald's Education Service provides a greater focus to our educational support. We view every young person not only as a customer, but as a possible employee, manager, supplier or business leader in tomorrow's Britain. With our popularity and our geographical spread, we believe we are in a strong position to provide real support to schools and to teachers all over the country.

People in action "Links between schools and business normally involve only limited numbers of pupils, "says Katrina Burgoyne, deputy head of Berkeley Infant School in Scunthorpe. "But our children were so excited by our project with the local McDonald's that it soon involved the whole school!"

In June 1993, a group of teachers shadowed Steve Howells, manager of the Scunthorpe McDonald's, experiencing every aspect of the restaurant's operation. They also visited McDonald's Regional Office in Salford and the bakery and distribution warehouse of McDonald's supplier Golden West Foods in Heywood, Lancashire.

"It was incredible," says Steve Howells. "The teachers translated every part of our job into something relevant to children aged 4-7."

The school then based its autumn term work on McDonald's. This included maths, history, music, dance and language classes. Three McDonald's 'restaurants' were set up, and children as young as four started to develop an understanding of business.

Every pupil toured the restaurant, gaining first hand experience of computers in every day use, cash handling and the variety of jobs involved.

In May 1994, a resource pack based upon Berkeley's experience will be distributed to all primary schools in Humberside to help other teachers and pupils work with their local McDonald's restaurant. Meanwhile, Steve Howells has become a parent governor of Berkeley School!