Clare Trice, Enterprise Adviser and Cris Heartford, Deputy Head and Careers Leader for Pool Academy has brought together local businesses, staff and students to create an environment in which the links between business and education are driving significant impact at all levels.
In the last Your Partnerships networking event of the academic year yesterday, 29th June, Cris shared the impact on ‘The Power of a Bacon Sandwich’.
Since becoming Pool Academy’s Enterprise Adviser, Clare has worked tirelessly with Cris to develop the careers programme at the academy. The impact is obvious with 100% of students having been offered a place in further education or employment for the last two years and a range of new initiatives in place to support KS3 and KS4 students.
Central to the success of the new look careers programme has been Clare’s breakfast ‘networking’ sessions. Hosted by the academy six times a year, they bring together local businesses, staff and students and create an environment in which the links between business and education can be developed. Like most great initiatives, it seems obvious in retrospect – make schools a part of the local business networking calendar – but its impact has been huge. Each meeting starts with breakfast and an opportunity for networking before moving to a session focused on a particular topic. Examples of these have included ‘Careers within the Curriculum’ and ‘My Next Steps’.
The immediate impact of the initiative:
· Building business connections. The breakfast meetings have brought faculty leads and business owners together, building opportunities and developing the curriculum to include a range of real-world examples of careers across subjects.
· Individual support for students. As an example, a freelance journalist offered to work with a student who wanted a career in journalism but was lacking motivation. The student was left enthused, attending revision sessions and applying for college following the meeting.
· Opportunities to host other events and add to Pool Academy’s careers programme. Examples include the hosting of an upcoming NHS apprenticeship event which grew out of a conversation around apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers and a networking event for year 8 students.
· Offers of work experience placements for students have increased. Both in number and in range of opportunity.
· Students have had the chance to speak directly to business leaders, discussing their careers programme and their future aspirations. A student voice survey has highlighted the impact of this, listing increased confidence, a greater understanding of potential career choices and a feeling of being listened to as positive outcomes from the meetings.
The wider impact:
· A cultural change at the academy. The principal attended breakfast meetings and has seen first-hand the power of the engagement between students, staff and the business community. This has increased the profile of careers throughout the academy as seen on the website, in lessons and around the academy.
· The change in staff mindset. Staff are now asking to attend breakfast meetings and after the last meeting, attended by faculty leads, and the follow up CPD, the results of a staff voice survey show that 85% of the teaching staff feel more confident when delivering explicit careers information as part of lessons.
· Following a presentation by Pool Academy’s youth ambassadors at the Careers Hub conference, a number of other schools are looking to deliver breakfast networking sessions, building a county wide networking web which will make a huge difference to students across Cornwall.
Careers Champion Award Nomination:
The Careers Hub Cornwall & Isles of Scilly earlier this May nominated Clare for a Careers Champion Award for the Careers and Enterprise Company. We are delighted and thrilled to announce that Clare has been shortlisted! Keep an eye out for a case study to be published by the CEC and soon to hit the national social media channels.
UPDATE 7th July 2023
Clare Trice was awarded and recognised for the Careers Champion Award and the full story can be found on the Careers and Enterprise Company’s website