Teach First has continued to develop its Careers Leader programme first piloted in 2015 and has now helped 438 Careers Leaders nationally. The sixth cohort began the programme in October 2021. Teach First has also been a recognised provider of careers leader training through The Careers and Enterprise Company since 2018. The programme is targeted at schools serving a high proportion of disadvantaged young people.
A number of improvements were introduced in 2020, as a result the programme has been restructured to ensure participants draft a careers strategy and plan earlier in the programme and they will be given support to implement a pilot of the strategy in school Spring and Summer terms, recognising that implementation is often the hardest part of the role.
A number of current in-person events are being replaced with short virtual seminars for small groups to provide more flexibility and personalisation as well as cut down on travel and reduce the time participants are out of school.
One-to-one meetings are also being offered to reach teachers from schools in isolated areas and increase the frequency of formal touchpoints. Time is also being allocated within the programme for members to visit other schools and learn from seeing best practice in action.
In response to Covid-19, the programme was delivered entirely online but is returning to a blended model including some in-person sessions for future cohorts.
The programme continues to receive very positive feedback. From Teach First’s most recent evaluation, 97% report that the programme supports them to know what an excellent whole school approach to careers and employability looks like. Long-term evaluation of the programme also shows statistically significant increase in the average percentage of students going on to sustained destinations post KS4 (90.8% to 92.2%) in schools participating in the Careers Leader Programme.
The ScaleUp Institute will watch closely how the improvements in the programme delivers practical results for those leading careers education.