Statutory Duty

Primary School Careers & Enterprise

Thursday 26th June 2014

A couple of weeks ago I collected my 7 year old grandson from school as is my privilege now and then. On the journey home I asked him the dreaded question... "What did you do in school today?" Usually, I get a one word answer such as "Maths" That normally comes with a big smile as he loves maths or I may be treated to a shrug of the shoulders and "Dunno" followed by news of his new friend or the book that he is currently reading.

Fired up by Primary School Careers & Enterprise

That day I got something totally different... "We did all about jobs today, I found out about being a doctor. Maria* was a social worker, Freddie* was a park keeper Gurpreet* was the leisure centre manager, Ayo* was running the cafe at the local community centre..." On and on it gushed, telling me all about the jobs in the local community and how they all contribute towards people being happy and safe and well cared for. I'd not seen him so animated about school before. He obviously enjoys it and is doing well, so what had fired him up about that days work?

Class teacher's viewpoint

Yesterday, I collected him again and took the chance to have a chat with his class teacher. She explained to me that the whole school has an enterprise week at the end of the summer term where they provide a service. This years' activity is a picture booth and they have £25 to spend on props and equipment. They will source and cost the venture and carry it out in a safe and supportive environment. The unit of work that had so fired my grandson up was a pre task aimed at widening the pupils' knowledge of job roles and activity. It is a whole school activity so every year group is involved each year and had been trialled last year, this year they had tweaked it a little and intended to continue running it each year. "A lot of schools do similar things" his form teacher informed me, "The pupils are really engaged by the activities. each class had an employment area to research, ours was jobs in the community."

Suitably impressed, I left my business card and said any way I can help, please let me know. This isn't a fee paying school in the home counties, my grandson's school is an inner city local authority (Newham) run school in east London. It has a good rating from Ofsted and my grandson has been happy and thriving there since the age of 4.

What will secondary schools do in a few years?

I came home, thinking of the new statutory duty for careers, including links to enterprise and entrepreneurial activity. I then thought of the secondary schools that I've worked in and with over the years, they have been doing similar things in year 7, 8 and 9. What would they be doing when my grandson's cohort hit year 7 in 5 years time? Obviously differentiation will affect delivery and focus but given that these children will have had careers, enterprise and entrepreneurial input for 5 or 6 years before getting to them, what are the local secondary schools doing to keep pace with this? What forward planning are they doing? What links do they have with their feeder schools? How will the curriculum and CEIAG needs change to keep pace?

I'd be interested to hear your plans and thoughts

*Names changed to protect identity.