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Benchmark Four case study: Teacher work experience CPD

Teachers from St Thomas More Academy in North Shields took part in a series of Teacher Work Experience CPD sessions.

Most teachers have a very limited awareness of the career opportunities available to our young people having only ever been in the education system, or for those that have worked in another sector, having an outdated understanding. To raise awareness of the opportunities available to students and to increase staff knowledge and confidence so that they can talk to students about them.
 

Focus/Aim: Most teachers have a very limited awareness of the career opportunities available to our young people having only ever been in the education system, or for those that have worked in another sector, having an outdated understanding.

Intended Outcomes: To raise awareness of the opportunities available to students and to increase staff knowledge and confidence so that they can talk to students about them. Addresses benchmark 4

All teaching staff and some support staff, participated in a short work experience visit during a twilight CPD session. They completed an evaluation that will form the basis of an assembly for students in the spring term.

Who benefitted from the activity? Teaching staff

Which partners, if any, were involved in delivering the activity? Cobalt management team, Siemens, McDonalds, Marks & Spencer, Catapult, The Cabinet Office, Esh Group, Cramlington Hospital Pharmacy department, Northern Stage, the Civil Service, and Accenture.

Associated Costs: None

Two twilight sessions were organized in October 2019. Staff were expected to attend one of these, and the other was then a departmental CPD session. This was introduced to staff via a PowerPoint presentation in the weekly briefing.

During the twilight session, a number of employers agreed to take staff on a visit or, in some cases, come into school to deliver a presentation. These were sourced with the Enterprise Advisor, through a Business Breakfast, via the Chamber of Commerce, and from stakeholders in the school.

Staff selected their chosen visit via a google spreadsheet.

After the visit, staff were asked to complete an evaluation form. The questions were:

  • Would you recommend this visit to other staff?
  • Where did you visit?
  • Please explain your answer.
  • What did you learn? (E.g. entry requirements / career pathways / opportunities for our students etc.)
  • What further Careers CPD would you find helpful?
  • Anything else?

A total of 89 staff participated in a visit and there were 52 responses to the questionnaire. Of these, 78.8% (41) would recommend the visit to other staff. One employer had been notably less successful than the others.

A range of comments included a number of facts that will be passed on to students via an assembly at the beginning of the spring term. In some cases, further links are being made between staff and the employers to develop curriculum projects. Photographs were also taken.

Three vital ingredients that would make this activity successful if replicated by others: Get a wide range of placements, and try to get them as easy to get to as possible. Explain the purpose clearly to staff beforehand. Spend a lot of time well beforehand setting up placements, and be prepared to have

Three biggest threats: 1.Some staff did find it difficult to travel to places, so it did work well having some visitors come into school. 2. Staff tended to go to places with friends – for example, the English department attended the same placement, which wasn’t that good in terms of sharing information. Next time I would actively discourage this. 3. Time, as one and a half hours is quite tight, but it did work.

How this will become embedded / further developed in the future: The information that staff found out will be used in an assembly. Many staff also have contacted the people who delivered the sessions to develop curriculum links.