Think Commercial, Think Innovation, Think Retail

Yesterday evening (Wednesday 26TH February) - more than 700 students, parents and teachers across 16 London schools attended a presentation by Sir Philip Green outlining the opportunity to take part in a work experience programme at Arcadia.

Hosted by Adam Pettitt, Head Master of Highgate School and with Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education also speaking, Sir Philip unveiled a partnership with Arcadia that was borne out of a joint desire to help young people demonstrate their skills to future employers, whatever career path they choose to follow.

Highgate School, the Chrysalis Partnership and the London Academy of Excellence are all committed to helping students be better prepared for life beyond school, further education or university.

Students will be able to apply via a competitive process for a work experience placement at Arcadia as though it were a job: submitting a CV; undertaking an online video interview, leading to face-to-face interviews and assessment for some; with the final selected group of Year 12 students taking part in a two-week work experience placement at Arcadia this Summer.

There will also be a programme of master classes and workshops open to all Year 12 students to be held during the academic term at school to cover Arcadia’s major business areas, including Finance, Buying, Merchandising & Sourcing, Retail & Property, Digital, Social Media, Marketing and PR, plus CV and interview workshops with Arcadia’s recruitment experts.


Sir Philip Green said: “We want to give young people the chance to learn a range of skills to prepare them for the retail workplace, and to engage with the Arcadia teams to explore the options available to them. Developing and nurturing talent within our industry is something we passionately believe in, and our experience at the Fashion Retail Academy has shown that by business and education working together, students are well prepared to enter the world of work, or indeed go on into further education, with a clearer understanding of how business operates”

He urged the students to: “… follow your passion, be prepared to work hard,  make sacrifices, be part of a team and you will succeed.”

Michael Gove added his support and admiration of this initiative, telling the students:

“Take advantage of the amazing opportunity that Arcadia and Highgate and the partner schools are working together to provide. I want to make sure that everyone here who is a young person with talent has the opportunity to soar.”


Notes to Editors:


Arcadia, the largest privately owed fashion retailer in the UK, is a company that consistently features in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. Arcadia has 43,000 employees and the biggest graduate employment programme in the retail industry. Arcadia’s success as a major global retailer is underpinned by high quality buying and merchandising, and further functions such as digital, finance, law, property, human resources, and many more.

Arcadia’s brands include Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Burton, BHS, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis and Outfit. Arcadia is a founder sponsor of the renowned Fashion Retail Academy, located just off Oxford Street, which now has more than 700 students studying ten different courses.

Highgate School

Highgate School is three schools in one: the Pre-Preparatory School for pupils aged 3-7, the Junior School for pupils aged 7-11 and the Senior School for pupils aged 11-18. Founded by Sir Roger Cholmeley, Lord Chief Justice of England, in 1565, Highgate is an academically selective, co-educational day school which values learning and scholarship, promotes service to others and puts a premium on the extra-curricular life of the school.  Around 80 children receive means-tested bursaries for all or a significant part of the school fees.  Central to the School’s ethos is partnership with other schools in its community.

The Chrysalis Partnership

The Chrysalis Partnership of schools across the boroughs of Haringey, Islington, Camden, Ealing, Newham and Barnet has been built upon a common sense that there is not enough genuine subject–specific extension work for the brightest pupils nor support for, and shared expertise in, applications to selective universities. The partnership has developed considerably over the past two years, not just in its size, but in support for cooperative activity and sharing at many different levels. The initial focus of the partnership remains the Chrysalis Scheme, an ambitious project to bring a university access scheme to gifted and talented pupils from across the London boroughs of Haringey and Camden.

Chrysalis Partner schools taking part in the project:

Crest Academies
Drayton Manor High School
Fortismere School
Hampstead School
Haringey Sixth Form Centre
The Henrietta Barnett School
Highgate Wood School
Hornsey School for Girls
La Sainte Union Catholic School
Parliament Hill School
Regent High School
St Angela’s Ursuline Convent School
St Mary Magdalene Academy
St Thomas More Catholic School, Wood Green

The London Academy of Excellence

The London Academy of Excellence is right at the heart of Newham. LAE is sixth form only, which allows us to employ teachers who specialise in A Levels and know about entry to top universities including Oxford and Cambridge. LAE is a new learning environment. LAE was founded in partnership with several of the UK’s top independent schools and continues to have close links with Brighton College, Eton, King’s College Wimbledon, Roedean, Highgate, Caterham, City of London Boys School, Forest School, James Allen’s Girls School, Westminster School, Lady Eleanor Holles Girls School and University College School. This year, LAE has celebrated many successes, such as 70% A – C AS Level and 5 offers from Oxbridge.

Press Contacts :

Sir Philip Green – Arcadia

Tania Foster-Brown
0207 927 1720

Highgate School

Mini Map