Focus Schools take their responsibility in Careers guidance seriously in view of providing effectively for every student regardless of ability. Every school works under a common framework, but the detail of how this is worked out varies according to local requirements and to meet the needs of the students enrolled at each particular school.

 

National Framework – The Academic Care Team

 

Each school has a team of people surrounding the students which is designed to tie together the elements of support from the school, the community and the business world; it is recognised that regardless of the route pursued by the student in their personal development, these three elements are crucial in meeting the current demands of the world today. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has been clear in its demands for ‘work-readiness’ and the Academic Care Team is designed to do just this.

 

Each school has an Academic Care Team which is made up of:

  • A Post 16 Teacher with particular responsibility for careers
  • A Member of the Campus Management Team (with delegated responsibility from the Board of Trustees)
  • A coordinator of the Academic Care Team
  • A key contact in the Business world with links to recruitment channels
  • A coordinator of Post Graduate Studies who supports the students in their exit from school and continuation in studies that support the career of their choiceThe Academic Care Team also take responsibility for the following initiatives:
  • Essential Skills courses which provide students with training in school in business fundamentals such as time and task management
  • Career Advantage Programme; a highly successful and motivating initiative which:
    • The basic concept of the Career Advantage Program (CAP) is for Year 12 & 13 students to partner with local businesses.
    • The business would partner with the student as a sponsorship and thus provide the following benefits to the students:
    • Provide the funding for the student to take part in short, multiple course modules over 2 years which are specifically workplace orientated such as:
      • Sales
      • Business
      • Legal
      • Accountancy
      • Marketing
      • Operations
    • Set aside a monetary reward for all participating students.
    • Provide opportunities for live workplace experience during school holidays.
    • Make students more valuable to employers – quicker Return on Investment (ROI)
  • The primary aim of the CAP Program is to engage the student in a degree of self-directed learning which would enhance their research skills, develop effective study methods and on completion of the courses, ensure they are workplace ready from day one.
  • The success of this framework is such that the figures for those between the age of 18 and 25 not in education, employment or training (NEET) is virtually zeroSchool based careers guidance for studentsAt the local school there is an additional support for students that sits within the national framework, this is decided at school level and takes a variety of forms. Typically school would provide initiatives such as:
  •  
  • Young Enterprise supporting the ethos of ‘learning to learn’ and enabling students to ‘hit the ground running’ when they enter the business world. Working closely with business advisors from the community and centre leads, students take on practical management roles in running their own business.
  • Business fairs where local businesses that are actively recruiting come into school for a day in an exhibition style environment for students and their parents to discuss opportunities and training, these days would often involve students making a presentation themselves to these businesses.
  • Students are made aware made aware of employment opportunities, further training including degree courses and opportunities beyond school
  • Mock interviews and mentoring by employers
  • Visiting speakers brought in to speak to students about various careers or career opportunities, typically these would be persons who have experience themselves in the particular careerGuidance into education beyond schoolStudents are actively encouraged to pursue education beyond school; this takes a variety of forms but is coordinated at school level by a Post Graduate Studies (PGS) Coordinator. Typically the PGS Coordinator will work with the students in enrolling in the course of their choice that supplements their preferred career, such as:
  •  
  • Accountancy
  • Taxation services
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Law
  • Customer Service
  • Interior Design  
  • Further developments
  • There are many other routes available and these vary from apprenticeships to courses at level 3 and beyond which are mostly studied in conjunction with in-service employment to contextualise the studies. There are opportunities for students to study for professional qualifications if they wish and are encouraged to do so through the Open University and a range of other online providers.
  • Building on the success of the support currently given to students Focus Learning Trust are also exploring further possibilities and are currently in discussion with CASCAID who are one of the leading producers of careers information and guidance solutions, this is in view of introducing their products ‘Kudos’ and ‘Paws in Jobland’ into Focus schools at age appropriate stages of their school life.
  • Students in year 13 as from the summer of 2017 will be issued with a Student Aspirational Portfolio (SAP). This will bring student achievement (pre & post 16), CAP, Post 16 targets and employer offers together. This will sit alongside school based careers programmes and bring together all of the elements of the student academic and pastoral education – while enabling employers to make offers related to school academic targets, OneSchool skills and extra-curricular activities.