TeachFirst wants to boost careers education

Middle leaders in schools can take part in an unusual pilot TeachFirst is launching later this year to improve careers education.

Starting from July, the government funded teacher training scheme TeachFirst will select 15 of its alumni to become “careers leaders” in schools – offering training in leading teams, knowledge of the national and local labour markets and specialist pedagogy.

The new careers leaders will be taught how to develop pupils’ work readiness and to create sustainable links with organisations that could employ the children in their schools.

Jude Heaton, head of employability and higher education access at TeachFirst, is responsible for the programme.

Speaking about the pilot, he said: “We are looking for are people who are passionate about this issue and really want to do something about it.

“We also want to work with schools for whom this is already an identified priority as we think it is essential for the success of the programme that we have the senior leadership team and headteacher support combined so that the middle leader has that foundation in the school.”

He said that TeachFirst was looking for areas with a combination of particular need and opportunity.

“It is very important for us that we do this work in some places that are outside London and that are outside urban centres as well.”

A total of £350,000 funding has been secured for the programme’s first year, from the KPMG Foundation and Goldman Sachs.

Mr Heaton added: “What I’m most excited about is that by the end of this year we can be in a position where we can say, this is what we have found, here are some of the key principles of what we think can be relevant to all schools.

“That then becomes part of the national policy debate around how we do careers education, not based on examples from other countries, but concrete examples from this country.”

In addition to the training, a “school toolkit” for a school-wide approach to careers education will also be developed.

It will include a blueprint aimed to develop a whole school work readiness strategy, ways of evaluating employability interventions and whole school careers provision, and a set of resources that teachers can use to embed careers and employability education within their classroom practice.


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