Educational Diversity offer a wide range of careers learning opportunities across year groups. We are developing a Careers programme that supports our young people to recognise their own skills and qualities so they can build resilience and self confidence. This holistic approach will allow them to prepare for the future and make their career journey more meaningful and ensuring it is embedded in educational life and involves opportunities for parent/carer support.
In line with the National Careers Strategy we are members of the Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network and work closely with our Enterprise Coordinator and our Enterprise Advisor form Hays Recruitment. They support our progress towards meeting all of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance across all sites in Educational Diversity.
Our current and planned Careers and Enterprise related activities are detailed below and are cross referenced to the eight benchmarks of good practice in Careers Guidance.
A stable careers programme
At Key Stage 4 this is planned and delivered through a variety of activities. This includes group based sessions in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). This also includes individually based careers action planning focussing on developing practical skills such as curriculum vitae (CV) writing. In Year 11 pupils take part in mock interviews with employers giving them invaluable feedback for future job applications.
In Year 10 a one week work placement is timetabled for pupils across centres with some preparation and prior learning in school beforehand.
We are currently developing a Careers programme for our Key Stage 3 pupils which allows individuals to identify their own abilities and personal attributes. This can be linked to their learning, the development of employability skills and future progression.
Learning from career and labour market information
This academic year we will be creating careers information boards and designated areas for career materials across all centres. This will be easily accessible for all our pupils. Materials will be both related to progression routes and employers. We will ensure our young people are made aware of current and local labour market trends.
Raising awareness of what Blackpool, Lancashire and the North West has to offer alongside national career opportunities and trends will demonstrate to our pupils the numerous and wide ranging careers opportunities available to them.
Addressing the needs of each pupil
This will include the development of individual action plans for all pupils.
There will be a specific focus on this activity in the Autumn Term of Year 11 to encourage ownership and responsibility for the actions needed to move them on to further learning, training, apprenticeships and employment. To support this the Careers Leader will ensure information relating to local events such as open days and the methods of application for different career pathways such as apprenticeships are all readily available.
All of our pupils have Individual Education Plans and One Page Profiles which helps to identify the support needs of each pupil. This helps to inform the planning and implementation of our Careers programme and helps to ensure the involvement and positive engagement of each pupil.
Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are also taken into account. This involves liaising with learning support services in colleges and sixth forms and informing employers of support needs prior to any work placements. Parental involvement is vital in these situations.
The Careers Leader records the intended destinations of Year 11 pupils and supports transition into their next steps with follow up in the Autumn Term of the following year to ensure pupils have progressed into suitable education, employment or training. Destinations data is always recorded and compared to previous cohorts to allow scrutiny which helps to inform any changes considered necessary for our careers programme.
Linking curriculum learning to careers
To help inform the integration of curriculum learning to careers related activities we always welcome a wide range of educational providers and employers into school to engage with our young people supported by the involvement of teachers and support staff.
Through engagement with local employers pupils learn, for example, about the manufacturing processes involved in the mass production of different products. Year 10 and Year 11 pupils are given the opportunity to be involved in employer-led activities such as Construction Skills and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) projects.
We are planning to strengthen the links between all of our staff and employers to encourage awareness and increase knowledge and understanding of the link between school based subjects and career paths for staff, pupils and parents/carers.
Encounters with employers and employees
As a school we have excellent and positive relationships with a number of local employers, notably through successful work experience placements.
During National Careers Week in March each year professionals from organisations such as the NHS, McDonald’s and The Grundy Art Gallery visit our centres. They talk about their career journeys, their expectations of young people when they recruit and the employability skills they are looking for. Pupils always engage positively with these external visitors. By building up and continually developing our employer contacts we allow all year groups to experience this direct and invaluable contact with employers.
Experiences of workplaces
In the Summer Term of Year 10 all students will take part in a one week work experience placement. All pupils are supported in preparation for this and their pre-placement interview and are visited regularly at the workplace during the placement. Pupils invariably find this an enjoyable, rewarding and worthwhile part of their learning. The outcomes of completing the work placement vary from gaining an insight into a potential career path to gaining part-time employment. Pupils in Key Stage 3 have also made a visit to Pizza Hut to tour the kitchen, learn about career pathways and enjoy the food.
We have a good working relationship with the Child Employment and Entertainment Licensing Officer at Blackpool Council who carries out sessions in our centres to make sure our young people are fully aware pupils are aware of the legal requirements relating to employment whilst still at school.
Encounters with further and higher education
We liaise with all local post 16 providers of education, training and apprenticeships. We hold an annual Careers Convention which is attended by pupils from Year 7 to Year 11. We invite numerous local providers alongside employers such as the NHS, Lancashire Constabulary and the Armed Forces. In addition we also welcome higher education institutions such as the University of Central Lancashire. Parents/Carers are also invited to attend. Blackpool and the Fylde College and Blackpool Sixth Form College additionally deliver sessions to Year 11 to increase their knowledge and understanding of both the college environment and the course options available to them.
The Lancashire Work Based Learning Forum deliver sessions about Apprenticeships and Traineeships, including how to search and apply for locally available apprenticeship vacancies.
Our pupils attend Careers events alongside pupils from other schools in Blackpool providing them with ongoing and multiple contacts with local providers throughout the school year allowing them to build an informed knowledge and understanding of the different careers routes available to them.
All pupils have access to our Careers Leader who holds the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development. Each Year 11 pupil receives a 1:1 interview with the Careers Leader to support their individual careers action planning and to provide impartial information, advice and guidance. Follow up contact and support can involve further exploration of career materials, visits to local providers (ideally with a parent/carer), help with apprenticeship, college and job applications and briefings on the application process for the different options available, together with links to additional learning/pastoral support. This support continues during the early stages of their chosen progression destination.
Educational Diversity is committed to providing our young people with access to a careers programme that allows them to develop their potential and promote an aspirational curriculum. We also adhere to the legal requirements of pupil entitlement:
All pupils in year 8 - 13 are entitled:
Opportunities for access
Annually we hold a Careers Convention and welcome a number of local providers of education, training, traineeships and apprenticeships. We also value involvement through group sessions, drop-in and 1:1 sessions. We want our young people to have a breadth of knowledge and understanding of what is available after Year 11. We also have links to employers through work experience and through delivery in our centres. We would like to increase employer engagement and allow our young people to visit workplaces in the local area. We would also like our young people to have access to careers materials in school to raise the profile of careers and allow for aspirational exploration of their future goals.If you are an employer and can support us in any of the above please contact our Careers Leader.
The Careers Leader would also like to encourage parents and carers in the careers journeys of the young people. There will be opportunities for parents to engage in school activities, but if you would like to ask any questions please contact the Careers Leader.
An parent, employer or provider wishing to request access should contact
Vivien Counsell-Thomas, Careers Leader
Telephone: 01253 476661 or 07827983387