Cowes Enterprise College careers programme praised by Education Secretary’s Chief Policy Adviser

  18 October, 2021

Permanent Secretary for the DfE, Susan Acland-Hood and Cowes Enterprise Year 7 students.

Students at Cowes Enterprise College hosted the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Education (DfE), Susan Acland-Hood, to discuss the careers guidance and support available at the school.

Ms Acland-Hood joined a Year 7 Design and Technology Class to see first-hand the imaginative and interactive approach the school takes to embedding careers guidance and support into each year group’s curriculum. This approach includes close partnerships with local employers, delivered through schemes such as the school’s bespoke Maritime Futures curriculum, which connects students with their local community and economy.

The visit, arranged in partnership with The Careers & Enterprise Company and Solent Careers Hub, was organised in light of their funding for the OAT Futures Careers Encounters project.

The Careers & Enterprise Company, who are the national body for careers education in England, also praised the school for extending careers education support to students in Year 7. This is part of the Government’s commitment in their Skills for Jobs White Paper, which is being debated in Parliament as part of a Private Members Bill.

Throughout her time at the school, the Permanent Secretary spoke with the students about their different aspirations and planned next steps. Students shared their career goals, while also reflecting on the ways in which the school has supported them to explore the many different options available to them. 

The visit came just weeks after the school was awarded the prestigious “Quality in Careers Standards” award for their dedication to providing students with valuable career engagement opportunities. 

The school’s win was reflective of its ambition to help its students develop a love of learning and best prepare them for life. This aim is supported thoroughly by Ormiston Academies Trust, who work closely with the academy to ensure all students are given the chance to excel and succeed.

Overall, the visit was a success that gave the students and the staff at Cowes the chance to showcase the great work they have been doing to develop a clear path for each young person at the school.

Susan Acland-Hood, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, said: “Good careers education helps young people dream big, but also to see the practical path to realise their dreams. It was excellent to visit Cowes Enterprise College and see how their brilliant careers education uses businesses and employers to inspire, and a strong, knowledge-rich curriculum to build real paths to excellence – hand in hand. I’m really proud that the Department for Education’s investment in Careers Hubs, like the Solent Careers Hub, is helping build more of these great partnerships, up and down the country.”

Principal Rachel Kitley said: “It was an absolute pleasure to show Susan the fantastic careers programmes and initiatives that we have here at Cowes, and we really appreciate her taking the time to speak to so many of our students.

“Our staff and students were very proud to show her how we work with our excellent Careers Hub to deliver world-class careers education and create substantial links between our curriculum and the local economy. We were able to demonstrate how Cowes has built close and important partnerships with those in the local community in a way that has greatly benefited our students. These links have played a crucial part in creating careers guidance and support that encourages each child to explore every option and find the career path that is right for them.”

Chief executive at The Careers & Enterprise Company Oli de Botton, added: “High quality, high impact careers education couldn’t be more important. Modern, 21st century careers education has to start early, and has to be routed in the jobs and skills needed in the local economy. The Cowes Enterprise College are doing this brilliantly and are helping their students to take their best next step out education and into the world of work.”

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