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EA Meeting Notes 24th June 2021 – Network DROP IN

Thank you to those able to make it to our last EA Network Drop-in. We all appreciated the time and space to talk openly and had some really interesting and overwhelmingly positive discussions. For reference and those not able to make it, below are an overview of the discussions and any resulting actions.

As a reminder, we do not have a fixed agenda for the Network DROP-IN meetings. The meetings are for:

  • Open Discussion
  • Bring a challenge or question
  • Ask for inspiration
  • Share Experiences
  • General catch-up

Meetings are bi-monthly (EA Network Focus one month and EA Network Drop-In the month after) and the next meeting is on the 29th of July at 10 am for the Network Focus Meeting (Agenda below). Please do let us know if you need us to send you the invite again in case you didn’t save it into your diaries.

We welcomed new EA Stuart Reid, Stuart is the CEO of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group and linked to Five Islands School.

Some challenges that were brought to the table
  • Some EAs who had never been to the school or met the Careers Lead in-person – EAs that started during the pandemic, have felt that although progress has been made, cementing relationships and in-depth discussions are still waiting to happen.
  • Sometimes messages are not transferring horizontally – not communicating with other senior managers. There are lots of work pressures in schools and internal comms are compromised as a result.
  • EAs expressed concern that careers are a ‘fluffy extra’ instead of a crucial and core part of education and school.

Trying to pre-empt the conversations, e.g. careers are being put on the back burner and prepare with evidence to back a case for careers

Meeting headteachers once a year is a good opportunity to raise careers profile, deliver understanding around what’s happening in the working world and cement the strategic role of the EA.

A link with the careers governor is critical

We need to ask the right questions – what, where, how and when questions.

A worry is that CLs could be painting a better picture without necessarily challenging the problems or asking for the right level of help and support, and that’s where EAs can try and support/influence.

ECs are working with CLs on the importance of the review process – we undertook a SWOT analysis with them. Simple tool to look at priorities that EAs can use also.

Notes and comments

Schools are complex and slow beasts to work with.

Opportunities for more forward planning are welcomed. The extent to which to be more directly involved or to quietly take on board challenges depends on EA style and relationship with CL.

EAs like to be the person the CL can approach. A three-way relationship between EC/CL/EA works well – gives a structure to contact, then more informal contact between EA and CL.

Feels like a re-launch is necessary to keep the profile of the EA high in the county and in the individual schools

Business of networking – EA network fairly clear in the education sector but sideways connections with business/tech/voluntary – they know nothing or little about it. Careers Hub need a great communications person for horizontal and targeted comms, by engaging business Cornwall, Chambers in a wider communication piece.

How can we have the most impact when businesses are struggling to keep open and schools struggling to recover.

New CEC EA induction sent to all existing EAs

All EAs will be sent the new CEC EA induction emails – these may have already been sent to some existing EAs. They include a short video, no more than 10/15 minutes including a welcome from CEC CEO Oli de Botton, best practice, statutory guidance, resource, the landscape and inclusion.


Hub will create a resource pool, a bank of evidence to support EAs in backing up conversations around understanding the importance of careers education in a whole-school approach. This will include key pieces of research and relevant articles from leading voices.

Hub will share a new strategic plan for comment and feedback, it is important that we have a full and frank discussion on the needs of EAs and join up in fulfilling potential and driving change.

Hub will build into the new strategic plan actions to raise the profile of the EA network regionally.