Getting it right in Stourbridge
According to The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2015/16, ‘for pupils to be well prepared for future employment, the curriculum must give them access to education that includes business-related learning such as financial education, activities to develop attitude and character, and good careers information, advice and guidance’.
Evidence from inspection found that the best way of providing information, advice and guidance was through a defined progression route ‘leading to a realistic destination following completion of their study programme’.
King Edward VI College in Stourbridge is featured as a case study in the report. Here, students benefit from a wide range of support as they make their applications for higher education courses. Students say they greatly value and appreciate this extensive and wide-ranging help. And the success of this is evident, as almost all students gain places at their preferred university.
How does it work at King Edward VI College?
Students about to enter Year 11 attend a series of open-day events. This gives them the opportunity to meet with the subject tutors. They can also sample a range of lessons related to their specific areas of academic interest. And they have the opportunity to talk to the careers team about the subject pathways related to their university entrance requirements.
The feedback from the students is that this preparatory work really helps them to make an informed choice about a career path.
In Years 12 and 13 the college offers students a series of specific university-led presentations on a three-weekly basis. These cover individual university entrance requirements, and the importance of well-constructed and informative personal statements.
They can also attend the annual ‘UCAS HE Convention’ and parents can take advantage of the ‘higher education parents’ forum’ and a bespoke ‘Oxbridge parents’ forum’ run by the college. These support parents and carers to help their children reach a decision in selecting the best higher education for them.
The college also runs a ‘next step forum’ for Year 13 students, which offers more information and the opportunity to hear from former students who are already at university.