Doctors to enter the classroom to inspire primary school pupils

The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) and the Medical Schools Council (MSC) have joined forces in an attempt to inspire primary school pupils to enter the medical profession.

As part of the union’s Primary Futures project, which gets people from the world of work to speak to children, volunteers from the medical profession will visit all 18,000 primary schools in the country.

Medics Month will take place in October and in the summer term primary schools will be encouraged to sign up.

At the same time, the MSC is running a competition for medical students to develop activities to help them realise the importance of maths, English and science.

Just two fifths of doctors attended non-selective state schools, a report by the MSC’s Selecting for Excellence group found last autumn.

NAHT deputy general secretary Kathy James said: “We want to get rid of the feeling that these types of careers aren’t open to everyone.

“Children can learn about work and how their education can help them to get there. It is all about inspiring them for their future.

“We have already had volunteers go into schools and we have been finding that so many children were literally unaware that some of these jobs existed. This can open their eyes.”

Professor Tony Weetman, Chair, Medical Schools Council Assessment said: “Primary school is an important stage of education because it is where young people might first gain a sense of their potential and self-worth.

“Primary Futures has done an excellent job of linking primary school children to the professions, and now it’s time for a focus on medicine.

“This is significant because becoming a doctor is seen by many young people as a symbol of the highest attainment. If we can show them early on that their background need not be a factor in studying medicine, and that only their ability and desire are critical, then we can show them that medicine and indeed any profession are real possibilities for them.

“This is good for social mobility, for the continued quality of the medical profession, and for the health of the UK.”

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