Preston teens encouraged to consider university despite school lockdown

Posted on - 4th May, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Schools
Pupils working on an iPad
Future U is continuing to give advice despite the lockdown

An outreach programme helping more Preston teenagers start higher education is finding new ways to offer advice despite the school lockdown.


Future U, which aims to increase the numbers of young people considering university, has been supplying remote challenges for students who should be studying at school.

The challenges involve students exploring topics such as health and social care, business studies, marketing and games development – all designed to get the students thinking about potential future careers.

The challenges are aimed at young people aged between 13 and 18 who live in areas with lower than average rates of progressing into higher education.

Each task involves a different employability skill, from designing a creative project that can be marketed into a profitable business product with projected costs and profits, through to planning how to spend £1,500 on improving the health and wellbeing of young people in their local area.

A third challenge also encourages the students to take on the role of a quality assurance tester when playing video games, redesigning elements that could make their favourite games even better.

Read more: Fulwood school producing 3D printed valves that could turn snorkel masks into ventilators

Year 12 and 13 students are also learning to write CVs, preparing for interviews and completing personal statements.

Jessica Richmond, senior coordinator at Future U, said: “We understand that this is a particularly difficult time for both teachers and students and we want to help in the best way we can. While some classes can be engaged with or learnt online, progression advice is more individual.

“We don’t want students to miss out. Planning for the future is still as important as ever and lots of the young people we work with rely on our resources to help them do this.”

Emma Deeks, senior coordinator at Future U, added: “We wanted to provide schools and learners with a collection of resources that were interactive and reflected some of our key messages about careers, employability and sector skills. The activities all provide students with tasks which relate to a particular theme and encourage students to be creative and produce something that reflects their own unique perspective on the knowledge they have gained.”

In addition, Future U is expanding its offer with a new online signposting service for all Preston secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges.

The expanded offer includes a database of activities that schools can access from the Future U website. Activities in the expanded service signpost to activities that are offered by higher and further education providers in Lancashire including introductions to student life, guides to student finance, interview skills and personal statement support, through to revision skills and mentoring.

Read more: Preston schools unite to donate PPE to Royal Preston Hospital

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What do you think of Future U’s work? Do you know a young person who could benefit from the programme? Let us know in the comments.

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