Berwick Academy brought in a former student as an intern to map where alumni had gone on to. Berwick created an actual map which was hung in a newly created careers area within the school. The map showed the destinations of former students. The school also created ‘alumni boards’ highlighting former students in each department. The development of an alumni database ensures the Academy can keep in touch with former students in the years to come.
Destination data can help shape the careers advice given. At Castle View Enterprise Academy they realised that lots of former students had taken up apprenticeships but they weren’t providing much information about this pathway to current students. In response to this they organised an event specifically looking at apprenticeships and the routes into them.
It is also important to guarantee that each and every pupil has career guidance that meets their own needs. This means that in some cases students may take part in different activities or receive different volumes and types of support. At Castle View Enterprise Academy, Year 7 students eligible for pupil premium were selected to take part in a 5 week business mentoring programme. Activities that require students to self-refer can sometimes miss those who might benefit most from a programme.
To ensure that students’ progress was being accurately tracked, Bishop Auckland College undertook an extensive IT project culminating in the creation of an online portal that tracks a student’s academic, welfare and careers progress. It brought together all of the college's careers activities and interventions into one place, ensuring that resource management, tracking and impact were all enhanced. It can be accessed by both teachers and students, with sensitive information being accessible by staff only. The system provides each student with a record of their careers education and a focused career ladder. Although a large task the impact of integrating all of the tracking systems together has been invaluable to the college.
Harton Academy undertook a similar exercise. It equipped each student from year 7 to year 11 with a skills audit book. The book is a record of the skills they’ve learned each year, how these skills could be applied to industry and what further skills they need to develop. As well as providing a record the book also encourages students to critically analyse their development and the labour market. The skills booklet was so useful at Harton Academy that they’re now looking at developing it into an app so that parents and carers can also access it.