Wallsend school benefits from pilot programme cash boost

Ryan Gibson, National Facilitator for the Career Benchmarks Pilot at the North East LEP.
Ryan Gibson, National Facilitator for the Career Benchmarks Pilot at the North East LEP.

A pilot programme has issued the first batch of funding to help improve careers education.

More than £50,000 has been given to the first schools in the programme to fund their ideas, which could be used across the country if they prove to be successful.

The proposals are part of the Gatsby Foundation National Career Benchmarks Pilot led by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP).

North east schools and colleges were selected to test how the benchmarks can be implemented, identify any barriers to helping young people make more informed decisions about their future study and employment, and ensure that young people are better equipped with the skills employers need.

Sixteen schools and colleges in the North East LEP area are taking part in the national pilot and the findings will be rolled out across the country at the end of the project.

A total of £53,100 was approved in the first round of awards from the Innovation and Activity Fund.

Ryan Gibson, National Facilitator for the Career Benchmarks Pilot at the North East LEP, said: “There is a real buzz around careers education in the North East LEP area.

“Lots of schools and colleges are using the benchmarks and making an impact on good practice at a national level.

“The Innovation and Activity Fund is supporting schools and colleges that are already participating in the pilot to develop innovative practices, systems and processes that help schools and colleges to make measurable and rapid progress towards achieving the benchmarks.

“We’re looking for projects that use an innovative approach to address particularly challenging issues, identified by initial audits against the benchmarks. Solutions can then be tested and potentially rolled out across the country.”

The first three grants will fund projects from St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Hebburn, Churchill Community College in Wallsend, and six schools and colleges in the newly-formed Labour Market Information working group.

Churchill Community College will work with Northumbria University’s Multidisciplinary Innovation Unit to explore creative ways of schools and colleges providing high quality work related experiences in challenging financial environments

A series of recommendations will be made, with the most appropriate being tested by the school.

Future funding windows will be looking for pilot schools and colleges to work in partnership with other organisations to enhance school/college ability to achieve the benchmarks and improve careers guidance provision.