Understanding how the CL and BA roles work together

As a Centre Lead (CL) you will provide the environment and facilities for the students to learn

From the outset, the students should see the BA as the primary facilitator of their Programme experience.

It is not essential for Centre Leads to be present for all of the company meetings, however, we strongly recommend that you are involved in the team’s first few meetings, to help with the early discussions and to build the students’ relationship with their BA.

We strongly suggest that you should at least make yourself available to the BA for consultation or issue resolution if necessary. Many CLs enjoy an extensive involvement with the company but we know that there are times when other commitments must take priority.

There are a series of expectations which the CL and BA should have when they are working together:

  • BAs endeavour to turn up regularly to meetings, or communicate in advance if they are unable to attend; if a recurring commitment means that the BA is no longer able to support the team adequately then this should be discussed and YE notified so that a replacement BA can be identified
  • CLs should try to be flexible in accommodating the needs of the BA in making meeting arrangements; most student companies meet at the same time each week and this needs to match the availability of the BA
  • CLs should help to set meeting standards during the first few sessions and address any poor behaviours by the students; it should not be expected that the BA will do this
  • CLs and BAs should feel able to raise issues about their working relationship or contributions and how things could be improved

The table below sets out the distinct responsibilities of the CL and BA

Role/Responsibility

Centre Lead

Business Adviser

Returning the SLA to YE, recruiting and signing students up and registering the student company onto the Programme
Ensuring students have access to school resources, e.g. room for meetings with access to digital projection. Promoting the Centre’s participation in the Programme with staff colleagues and Senior Team
Welcoming the BA at reception and being available as the ongoing point of contact for BA, as required. Ensuring that the BA is made aware of centre-specific safeguarding policies and procedures
Regularly attending weekly board meetings
Ensuring that the teams operate within necessary legal parameters, the Programme rules and sound practices
Ensuring that the team understand and follow sensible financial management practices and maintain an appropriate level of financial control
Facilitating the experiential learning opportunity
Observing the team in action and helping all team members to make an appropriate contribution
Helping the team to establish appropriate communication mechanisms, (which can include the CL and BA in a suitable, safe fashion)
Encouraging the students, fostering their enthusiasm and focus, and helping them recover from setbacks as necessary
Sharing lessons and experiences to enhance the realism of the Programme experience and reinforce learning
Securing permissions in line with school policy for students to attend events e.g. local Trade Fairs and the competition events
Helping the teams make the necessary preparations for key events such as local Trade Fairs, other sales events and the competition

As well as forming an effective relationship themselves, the BA and CL can enhance the Programme experience by working closely with the student company’s MD:

  • The CL by sharing some of the administration tasks, e.g. liaising with the local YE team regarding events, acting as a figurehead for the Programme within the centre
  • The BA by helping them develop the necessary leadership and management skills, e.g. in running effective meetings and encouraging their peers to make decisions and complete the actions assigned to them.

New combinations of CL and BA may take some time to develop a productive working relationship and make this work in front of the students. Being up-front about the challenges and sharing expectations can help significantly to make the relationship work.

BAs are very valuable volunteers who give up their time to help the students and should be thanked and recognised appropriately. Introducing them to the Senior Management of the school/college is a positive way of making them feel valued.

BAs should be aware the CLs also volunteer a great deal of their personal time to support the students. They often take on the CL role in addition to their already busy work schedules and BAs should recognise and appreciate this.