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12/01/05 . by Mark Sweeney . Marketing Magazine . UK
McDonald's To Pull Out Of UK Primary Schools
McDonald's is to curtail its presence in UK primary schools as part of a radical overhaul of its national education programme.
Under the three-year strategy, which comes into force this year, it will provide curriculum support and material only to children over the age of 13. McDonald's denied the shift had been prompted by widespread criticism of its role as one of the UK's biggest marketers to children.
The fast-food retailer had been providing educational material and teaching assistants to primary schools. However, McDonald's is now axing this initiative, which was based on boosting primary-level numeracy and literacy, in favour of offering tools and information in areas where it has expertise, such as food technology. By doing so, it aims to develop a defence against critics who have questioned the rationale behind its involvement at primary-school level.
McDonald's claimed its decision matched a shift in the government's agenda for education, with a focus on enterprise, employability and work-related learning.
The programme will include McDonald's case studies, work experience and
restaurant tours, to support A-level business students.