Careers education programmes in Dorset have been given a boost, with more than 30 schools – including Lockyer’s Middle School in Corfe Mullen and Beaucroft Foundation School in Colehill – receiving a £1,000 Activation Fund award from Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The funding has been awarded via the Dorset Careers Hub, which is being led by Dorset LEP in partnership with BCP Council and Dorset Council.
Each of the schools, who recently joined Dorset Careers Hub, submitted proposals of their intentions for the funds, with many producing creative ideas aiming to support their students and ensure they receive quality careers education even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fourteen of the schools will invest the funding in much needed IT equipment. Other schools will invest in online careers platforms or developing their in-school careers area resources. The special educational needs schools have identified specialist access equipment to enable their pupils to access enterprise resources and experience the world of work.
Rebecca Davies, head of enterprise, skills and industry at Dorset LEP said: “We received some really creative briefs and are pleased to see the money going towards new innovative resources that will help to make information more accessible and engaging for pupils about to explore their future career options.”
Greg West and Martin Pressling, heads of year and careers coordinators at Lockyer’s Middle School said: “As a middle school, we have been pleased with our development towards the Gatsby Benchmarks so far. However, we are very keen to extend the provision through the integration of an online careers learning platform, like Skillsbuilder.org. We envisage this becoming the primary engagement tool for all careers lessons in our Key Stage 3 classes and that children will be given the opportunity to further develop their understanding through access to a specific area within the school’s existing library.”
Rob Sallows, assistant headteacher at Beaucroft Foundation School said: “We applied for the funds to purchase inclusive technology equipment to enable SEND pupils to set up and run enterprise initiatives within the school. This includes specialised switch technology to enable access for lower ability pupils to use household appliances such as a popcorn maker and ice cream maker for enterprise initiatives. This equipment is vital to enable students with a range of special educational needs to gain experience using catering equipment. This forms part of the careers plan for the school and allows pupils to develop their independence, team working, problem solving and negotiation, and communication skills.”
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