Penwortham Girls’ High School is recognising that apprenticeships should be offered as openly as academic routes for young people.Advertisement
John Ramsdale, Senior Assistant Head at the school leads the careers programme.
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He said: “The problem we have at Penwortham is we’re surrounded by exceptional sixth form colleges. Some of the best sixth forms in the country are on our doorstep, providing genuinely incredible academic courses for our young people. For many years that meant young people would go down that pathway as standard.”
“Apprenticeships at our school have moved from something people are dimly aware of to having complete parity of esteem.
“We’ve moved from 3% of our students going down an apprenticeship route in 2019 to 10% in 2020. But more than that, 100% of our students now go on to a positive, sustained destination after they leave us.
“We carpet bombed Year 10 and Year 11 students with information about what apprenticeships were, how they apply, stories of ex-students, and information about employers who offered them. All year groups had assemblies focused on them.
“We had careers days where the whole school downed tools and focused on future careers, which included hearing directly from former students who were now apprentices, as well as other businesses who might recruit them.”
“We didn’t just want to talk about apprenticeships and then leave it at that. Whenever a local employer is recruiting an apprentice, we contact the target year group, inform their parents, and invite them to come in and discuss it with us.
“We help them with the application, answer questions about what it means for their education and provide as much guidance as possible.
“I regularly meet our Heads of Year, our pupil premium coordinator and our Careers Adviser to identify which students might need additional careers support.
“They might need more of a hand to hold, more tailored advice and support, or more one-to-one work with their parents. Ultimately we want every one of our young people to go down the right path for them, whatever it might be.”
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