CEIAG & Careers Leaders

Building a Whole School Careers Ethos - Creating Careers Champions

Building a Whole School Careers Ethos - Creating Careers Champions

Monday 7th December 2020

This is the first blog in an occasional series about building careers teams in schools and raising the status of careers learning

I often spend time mooching around the various Careers Leaders forums that exist both on LinkedIn and on Facebook. One of the key things I see asked time and time again is does anyone have job description for a careers champion. So (ahem) being the kind person that I am... I know, I know, self praise is no recommendation. I decided to give it a shot so here, as briefly as possible, is my round up of :-

  • What does a careers champion do?
  • The purpose of careers champions
  • What a careers champion does and
  • What should/could be in their job description.

What is a careers champion?

Simply put, somebody who champions the role of careers learning. They can be either staff or pupil or even both. The key thing is that they are enthusiastic about the role that career learning has on young people's lives.

Should Every School Have Careers Champions, What Do They Do?
Well not if you don't want them. You run your careers department the way that works for you. However, It's a tough job getting most staff in a school to take careers seriously and to understand that everyone has something positive to contribute to careers learning. It's a job you can't do on your own and to be frank, you're called a Careers Leader, you need a team to lead. For the majority of Careers Leaders it's an uphill struggle, so building a team around you is one of the key steps to raising the profile of careers.

This team will be key to building trust, relationships and networks. Plus, they help take some of the weight off of your shoulders by offering a sounding board and support group.

Getting Buy-In
It's key to get SLT buy-in before you start recruiting, without it, as per usual, you will usually struggle. HOWEVER, my top tip is to identify people that you feel would be willing and good ambassadors for the role and start with a small group for a term or two before expanding. This way, you work out what works and what doesn't PLUS you have on hand a few experienced people to help you enthuse and upskill others with a full roll out. This applies to either staff or pupil Careers Champions.

Staff Career Champions
Usually one person in each faculty or subject area is selected or nominated to act as a distribution point for information on careers in that subject and supported by the careers leader/adviser to facilitate the inclusion of careers learning in the curriculum.

Pupil Careers Champions
Usually one person in the form acts as a distribution point for information, helps keep the class careers display board up to date and supports career activities in various ways. Such as meeting and greeting visiting employers or keeping the careers library tidy.

Job Descriptions
I really must stress that the two job descriptions that I have put together are a starting point and they really should be tailored to your own organisation's situation. So if you think there's something that careers champions can do that will support your aims, then go ahead and try. The old plan, do, evaluate, improve cycle works here. There is no right and wrong way. Trust your instincts, remember, you're your schools' expert. By all means ask for ideas and suggestions but believe in yourself.

Staff Career Champion Job Description

Pupil Career Champion Job Description

I hope this short blog will help, comments and suggestions for improvement are always welcome.