At AlphaPlus, responsible and ethical practices form a key part of our business strategy, which is why we have decided to join the United Nations Global Compact. In an increasingly globalised marketplace, we are all aware of the importance of good corporate citizenship and of the role that companies of all sizes play in building a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.
Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative, with over 9,000 signatories based in more than 135 countries. It supports the idea that business practices rooted in universal principles contribute to a more stable and inclusive global market and help build prosperous and thriving societies.
The Compact’s members align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Participation in the UN Global Compact is a visible commitment to the implementation, disclosure, and promotion of these principles, working toward a globally coherent approach to corporate responsibility.
As a participant, AlphaPlus has committed to incorporating these principles into our business strategy, culture and day-to-day operations. The UN Global Compact is a natural fit with our company ethos, and we welcome the challenge to push ourselves further to promote sustainable development and good corporate citizenship.
AlphaPlus operates a range of policies which enshrine the role of ethical behaviour in the execution of our work. Although some of the principles are less relevant to our work, we are deeply committed to eliminating discrimination in employment, both within AlphaPlus through our robust policies and in our project work.
Working with the World Bank and the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) on the implementation of School Value Added Measures.
AlphaPlus is working with the World Bank and the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) to reduce the extreme disparities in Bulgaria between the educational outcomes obtained by students from the strongest schools (typically inner-city grammar schools) and the weakest schools (typically smaller rural schools with comprehensive intakes). According to PISA 2012 results, the gap between the top and bottom 20% of students in terms of their socio-economic status reaches the equivalent of 3 years of schooling. This is amongst the highest disparities seen in Europe.
AlphaPlus is helping to reduce this inequality by developing value-added measures (VAM), which ascertain what component of student achievement is due to the efforts of the school or teacher and what component is due to the student’s household or background. Value-added analysis is designed to evaluate schools based on their students’ learning whilst at the school (their “progress” or “distance travelled” since they arrived), rather than their achievement in absolute terms. The value-added measures (VAM) of school performance try to isolate the contribution of the schools to the academic growth of the students from the factors that are beyond the control of schools, teachers and management. As such, the VAMs are arguably among the most precise and equitable test-based measures of school performance, as long as their estimation is based on valid and reliable student assessments and appropriate statistical models.
By using VAM, the MoES can ascertain which education policies have raise the quality of teaching and learning, and ensure that all students receive quality education, regardless of socio-economic background.
Improving accessibility to the Bar
AlphaPlus is assisting the Bar Standards Board to make training for a career in the law, and especially being called to the Bar, more accessible, whilst sustaining the high standards expected in such a competitive profession. AlphaPlus will design and deliver a process and impact evaluation of the Future Bar Training (FBT) reforms, to ensure that that the process better meets the four key principles:
- encouraging greater flexibility – so that the training system enables innovation in how education and training is delivered;
- improving accessibility – so that the best candidates are able to train as barristers and that the Bar as a whole better reflects the communities it serves;
- improving upon affordability – to bring down the cost of studying to prospective barristers; and
- maintaining high standards – to ensure that any new training pathway sustains and enhances current standards.
The findings of this evaluation will help the BSB to understand any issues, concerns or unintended consequences in the FBT reforms. Our evaluation will involve of gathering the views of male and female students, BME and white students, disabled students, as well as those from poorer socio-economic backgrounds and those from wealthier backgrounds, to ensure that our results to consider the perceptions and experiences of all students. It promises to be a complex and rewarding project.
Reducing gender inequality in education
AlphaPlus has worked on a number of projects in the UK and internationally which seek to reduce the education gap between boys and girls.
- We recently worked on the Girls’ Education Challenge in Ghana, Nigeria & Kenya, sponsored by Discovery Learning Alliance and DFID, in which we developed tools to aid girls’ participation in learning.
- We undertook an evaluation on behalf of the Institute of Physics of Stage 5 of the Stimulating Physics Network (SPN) Project. The overall aim of the SPN project is to improve take-up of A-level physics, and the progression of girls in particular. In Phase 5, the underlying theme of all project activity is to address gender balance in physics.
Reducing digital and social exclusion
Find out more about how AlphaPlus is working with the Department for Education to reduce digital and social exclusion in the UK here.
For more information on AlphaPlus’ values, visit our Who We Are page.
To find out more about the UN Global Compact, or to learn how your company can join, visit the UN Global Compact website.