Leigh Academies Trust was delighted to recently feature as a case study on the Investors in Careers accreditation for Careers South West

The report reads as follows:

The School / MAT Background

The Leigh Academies Trust is a MAT based in North West Kent, South East London, Mid Kent and Medway. The Trust is expanding with new Academies joining the Trust on a regular basis.  Currently there are 7 Secondary Academies, 8 Primary Academies and 1 Specialist Academy offering a bespoke education to young people with multiple and complex needs.

The Trust is due to expand as it has a further 4 Academies in the planning stage

Career Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

Career Learning provides planned and progressive experiences for all LAT students, enabling them to develop lifelong career management capabilities.

Specifically students will: learn about themselves and the opportunities available; convert careers information into personal career understanding; recognise the impact of influences from family, friends and peers; access experiences with employers, education and training providers, mentors and work-related activities; access one-to-one guidance; make informed choices; learn how to present themselves appropriately for employment and further/higher education.

The aim of the Trust is to offer a bespoke Careers Education programme that is relevant to our students at all stages of their development.
The Trust currently has 5 Secondary Academies that have achieved the Full award. The Leigh UTC has Stage 2 of the award and is looking to achieve the full award within the next 6 months. Dartford Primary Academy and Hartley Primary Academy have achieved the Quality in Careers Standard through the awarding body – Investor in Careers.

Details of range of CEIAG provision (added by assessment reports)

There is a whole school approach, career related learning is embedded into the curriculum at all stages

There is effective management and leadership and a strong commitment to career related learning from the senior leadership team and staff within the school and also from the Leigh Academies Trust. This enables children to develop essential life skills to equip them for adult life.

Good use is made of visits, parents and external visitors to broaden understanding of career related issues and the world of work and to support transition to secondary school

The transition to secondary school is well managed. Dartford Primary Academy 2017

Senior management, the governing body and staff demonstrate a high level of commitment to career related learning. No opportunity is missed to enable children of all ages to develop skills and attitudes to equip them for adult life. This is a beacon school and an example to others. The process of working towards IiC has helped staff realise how much they are doing to develop life skills and how closely these tie in with career learning objectives. It is difficult to do fully justice and capture the range of activities and depth of provision within this report however I am pleased to confirm that the Investor in Careers (IiC) standard has been met. Hartley Primary Academy 2017

There is strong commitment to CEIAG from the senior leadership team and governing body

There is a good level of support to individual students, particularly those with additional needs The employment of a careers adviser across several schools within the Trust enables a very comprehensive CEIAG service to be provided to the students, parents/carers and staff of the academy  Longfield Academy 2017

Evaluation & Students’ Views

Discussions with the children demonstrated how much they valued the visits to outside venues,they help them to socialise, to be more independent and not to be homesick, all these activities “will help in our futures”. They also mentioned how much they had enjoyed visitors coming into school including the presentation from the fitness trainer and secondary school teachers visiting year 5 and 6.

One parent seen during the visit mentioned how much her child had gained from the wealth of clubs and sports teams on offer, she felt as well as encouraging outside interests and team building, these activities also encouraged the development of self-control and this supports the children’s learning. She also commented on how her child had flourished since joining the PIXL group. Dartford Primary Academy – 2017

The same parent mentioned that her younger child in year 1 had asked “What is an engineer?” He had also visited a farm in reception class and learnt about health and safety as well as caring for the animals. She felt that the school provided “a very rich experience” which prompted a lot of discussions at home, the child initiated learning approach helped to empower them.

She mentioned that the year 4 residential was particularly timely, supporting the move into the final two years at school and helping the children feel more grown up and responsible.  Hartley Primary Academy 2017

“Students feel well supported, I couldn’t ask for better” Longfield Academy 2017

 

Engaging Employers and the Community

The Trust offers the students a comprehensive employer engagement programme for all Year groups.

This includes:

Relevant School Trips

Visits from external Speakers including Alumni/Apprenticeships/Universities

Enterprise Activities

STEM activities

Project Based Learning within the classroom

Mentoring Programme

Careers events both in house and off site.

Work Experience

Charity events

Overseas trips

Investigating Labour Market Information (LMI)

University visits

CEIAG Quality

The aim for the Trust is to obtain the IIC accreditation in all Academies. There are currently an additional 4 Primary Academies who are looking at achieving the award during the next academic year.

CONTACT DETAILS:

Lesley Tannock QCG

Careers Learning Development Manager, Leigh Academies Trust

Ed Whitefield:  CSW Group Ltd – edward.whitefield@cswgroup.co.uk

 

Further comment from within the Leigh Academies Trust included:

 

“We found the whole process of gaining the IIC award a valuable one. It allowed us to reflect on all the work we are doing to enable our young children to have opportunities to experience activities that may help them choose their future careers. We were also able to see how important it is to offer children a range of experiences early on in their school life and career choice doesn’t start as they are about to leave education.”

Karen Major, Executive Principal

“Leigh Academies Trust is committed to providing all pupils with a high-quality careers learning programme. Engaging all academies; primary, secondary and our special academy in the Investors in Careers process has enabled leaders to reflect on the opportunities and the experiences we are providing pupils on a daily basis. This will ensure that we continue to equip our pupils with lifelong career management capabilities. “

Sharon Waterman,  Education Improvement Director