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Diversity inclusion in schools can lower the need for free school meals – Pathways to Professions is here to show you how.

Diversity inclusion in schools can lower the need for free school meals – Pathways to Professions is here to show you how.

Diversity inclusion in schools can lower the need for free school meals – Pathways to Professions is here to show you how.


Blueprint for All’s Pathways to Professions programmes are built to provide opportunities for your students of diverse ethnic heritage, partnered with our teacher training, we align our programmes with Ofsted’s strategic priorities, to create an inclusive society in which everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity or background can thrive.

The need for free school meals (FSM) is higher than ever with 20.8% of students fitting the criteria – a 3.5% jump from the previous year. With Black and Bangladeshi students having a disproportionately high eligibility, children from diverse ethnic heritages are more likely to come from low-income families or households with unemployment. Blueprint for All found that the main barriers for these children are a lack off access to successful professionals that they can use as role models and an unclear vision of their future.

Growing up in poverty can have negative consequences for children’s well-being and future life prospects, such as employment and earning opportunities. There is a direct correlation to children on FSM’s not achieving high grades, with only 38.7% of Black and 45.2% of Asian students achieving a Grade 5 or above. 

How can Pathways to Professions help reduce future children depending on free school meals?

Our Pathways to Professions programme provides the opportunity for young people to dream big. With no model on how they can nurture their skills, children can often feel unconfident or not worthy of their potential.

That is why our programmes:

  • Support students to understand the link between education and career
  • Teach students about different professional careers available and routes to these careers
  • Provide personal development sessions
  • Give access to inspiring and relatable professionals
  • Educate on CV and interview preparation
  • Deliver tours of workplace’s
  • Create toolkits to support learning

Providing children with the tools from a young age to realise their potential helps them build better futures. Our Creative and Entrepreneurial Programme has seen great success with 74% of students feeling inspired and confident about their future career options. This is mirrored in our work with the Paradigm Project, their workshop enabled children who were reserved to find their feet and feel comfortable to speak up and participate.

“The sessions helped me think more about my future, which I have never really thought about before”

In 2020, 35% of young black people were unemployed, providing them with the tools to think and plan their future enables us to help decrease unemployment rates and the number of future students depending on FSM’s.

Interested? Find out more about our individual Pathways to Professions programmes for primary, secondary and sixth form students here.

Is that all it takes to build and inclusive future for my students? Not quite.

For our programmes to reach their full potential, we need teachers to be educated on the needs of all students. Pearson’s report ‘Diversity and Inclusion in schools’ highlights that 61% of leaders, teachers and assistants believe that the education provided in UK schools today reflects the diversity of pupils and the world around them, which makes sense when 43% of schools have no teachers of diverse ethnic heritage to contribute to the conversation on diversity within schools.

Although, the report also found that 80% of UK teachers believe that more can be done to celebrate diverse cultures, people, and experiences in UK education, which shows teachers are willing to learn how to balance the needs of various children. Our programme allows teachers to have this opportunity, training up to 30 teachers the programmes will:

  • Leave teachers’ feeling confident in delivering careers knowledge and information on the jobs market while delivering high quality careers advice
  • Empower students and help them make informed careers-based decisions
  • Provide ongoing dedication to supporting building an inclusive future for all

How do these programmes fit in with Ofsted’s strategic priorities?

Ofsted’s newly released strategy for 2022-2027 will focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion during inspection and when carrying out their research and evaluations. Which is already highly represented in our Pathways to Professions and teacher training programmes.

The best start in life: With students having an unclear vision of their future, it is important to navigate and nurture their talents, by providing students with skilled teachers that know how to deliver quality careers advice.  

A skilled workforce: Providing students with the tools to navigate their careers by training teachers to deal with the needs of various children curates a skilled workforce now and in the future.

Accessible and engaged: Students of diverse ethnic heritages do not often have access to trained professionals, our programmes are engaging with 83% of students finding our programmes enjoyable, which we obtain by keeping the needs of our young people at the core of what we do.

Keeping pace with sector changes: Helping to keep up with sector changes, we provide continued support to build inclusive futures for your students. We provide a range of workshops, such as our Creative and Entrepreneurial programme, which 83% of attendees agreeing that they had a better understanding than before of how to go down a creative or entrepreneurial pathway.

Investing in your diversity and inclusion helps children of diverse ethnic heritages get the opportunities that can seem out of reach. Curating an environment where everyone can be accepted and celebrated while being supported by their teachers, can enable more children to go out into the world and create the life, they dream of which provides better opportunities for the children of the future.

Do you want to train your teachers to be able to understand the needs of children from diverse backgrounds? Head over here to find out more.

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