Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) is an essential part of the curriculum at SWCHS.
Its significance for students was emphasised by the recent publication of the following strategy and guidance documents by the Department for Education:
The CEIAG programme at SWCHS aims to inspire students to make informed and appropriate choices and plans for their future career choices, for Further and Higher Education, and ultimately for work.
Mr G Oxborrow, Assistant Headteacher (Director of Curriculum), Careers Leader
Ms S Gilbert, Head of CEIAG and PSHE (Years 7-13)
Mrs H Revell, Independent Careers Guidance Adviser
Mr S Thomas, Link Governor
The CEIAG Programme
The CEIAG programme starts in Year 7 and continues through with support up to and even beyond Year 13 for those who need it. An annual programme of careers–related events is offered, including opportunities to engage with a variety of companies, other employers and apprenticeship providers, work and laboratory experience, university and college talks, careers and apprenticeship fairs, mock interviews and other opportunities. The programme aims to motivate students by encouraging them to think carefully about and to plan for appropriate progression pathways. The planned programme for the 2018-2019 is outlined left, but please note that events involving external provision are subject to change. In any case the CEIAG programme is intended to be flexible and adaptable as further opportunities become available.
SWCHS has a strong commitment to the provision of extra-curricular opportunities for our students. These help students to pursue ‘CV-building’ activities, such as student voice, student-led societies, other leadership and character development activities, and also specific career-linked activities within subject areas. We are also working to embed work-related skills within the formal subject curriculum through offering students opportunities to develop “21st century learning skills”.
The CEIAG programme is viewed as an entitlement for all students. As far as possible we offer individual support and guidance, with the belief that every individual matters equally, and should receive equal access to provision, advice and guidance. Our students are encouraged to have high aspirations, to aim for excellence, and to consider the broadest range of career areas and appropriate educational and personal development routes. For some students this will mean encouragement and mentoring for applications to the most selective universities. For others it will mean similar encouragement and mentoring for a directly career-related or talent-related path. All academic and vocational paths, ranging from university and other course options, to jobs, apprenticeships and entrepreneurship, are covered fairly and impartially.
In line with government policy, our work is now benchmarked against the new national standards for school careers provision.
All students must remain in some form of post-16 education, apprenticeship or formal training.
The vast majority of our Year 11 students choose to progress into the Sixth Form at SWCHS, where the published entry criteria for any of our three post-16 ‘routes of entry’ are achieved. Of those who leave SWCHS, most transfer to other educational institutions. A growing number take apprenticeships. Of those who leave at 18, most proceed to degree and other higher level courses, with many gaining places at the top universities. Again, the proportion of students applying for post-18 apprenticeship opportunities is increasing.
SWCHS provides all pupils in Years 8-13 with access to career guidance sessions on request, and by staff and parent referral. This is provided by our independent Careers Guidance Adviser, who works in school for 2.5 days per week. Guidance is high quality, impartial and independent. Impartial advice is provided by our teaching and other staff.
SWCHS SENCO and his team work with the appropriate organisations to identify and support vulnerable young people and to facilitate optimal transitions for them.
The school Learning Centre and the Sixth Form Study Centre both have well-stocked careers information libraries which contain books, prospectuses, leaflets, supplements, lists, links and other resources. A variety of online resources are made available. Books on all the main career areas, and on university and other options and applications are available.
All students (and parents/carers) from Year 8 have free access to the ‘NewKudos’ on-line careers service which offers a very wide range of careers guidance, diagnostic tools, case studies and much more. All students have a unique personal log-in to this facility.
Current Job and Apprenticeship Vacancy opportunities are increasingly made available electronically to parents/carers
The school continues to develop a timetabled programme of Careers Education covering the full recommended range of topics, including transitions, career areas and labour market information, and employability skills and attitudes. See left for a summary of the 2018-2019 programme for Years 7 to 11, and the separate Sixth Form Careers Programme. Curriculum learning is also increasingly linked to careers through the provision of structured opportunities for students to develop “21st century” work-related skills. The school brings in external speakers, arranges visits, and facilitates some individually-focussed opportunities and placements for Year 9-13 students, tailored to their future educational and career ideas and aspirations. SWCHS is developing strong links with a wide range of employers, and is further developing its employer network using both local employers and alumni.
We are delighted to be working with external organisations such as Enabling Enterprise and Form the Future on a number of projects within our Careers Education programme, employability skills, employer events and mock interviews. We work closely with other local secondary schools through the Uttlesford Secondary School Consortium, including the organisation of the biannual Uttlesford Careers and Apprenticeship Fairs.
Work and Other Experiences and Employability
All students are encouraged to undertake work experience placements in Years 9 and 12. Work, laboratory and other experience is now increasingly used as a criterion for entry both to vocational and other degree courses at university, and also for other courses, scholarships and applications (whether job, apprenticeship, Armed Forces or other). Some courses require students to build up an extensive portfolio of work placements, requiring long term planning and commitment. Parents can help by offering work experience or shorter shadowing opportunities, particularly in Year 9.
Students are also encouraged to undertake a range of CV-building activities through engaging in school-related and/or other enrichment activities, which develop the personal qualities and skills required to have successful future working lives. They are also encouraged to apply for schemes, awards, masterclasses which develop their subject/career-linked portfolios (e.g. Arkwright Scholarships).
We are working with Enabling Education to provide formal opportunities in subject lessons for students to identify, develop and to record achievement in eight work-related learning skills. While these have often been developed implicitly within subject courses, we want our students to be able to articulate work-related skills, to record achievement and to develop these skills as they progress through school.
Following publication of the DfE’s statutory guidance for schools in January 2018, the school’s CEIAG provision is now benchmarked against current best practice and legislation. We plan to use student/parent and other feedback to inform development of our programme, along with our destinations data. We are using eight ‘benchmarks’ in the Gatsby Foundation Report on Good Career Guidance for our benchmarking and in the future to validate our provision with a national quality award.
We aim to do everything we can to inspire and encourage each of our students to realise their full potential, and have happy and successful working lives.
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