Primary schools sign up for 'inspiring' talks to boost pupil aspirations

15th October 2014 at 02:00


Want to know how to run the country? Primary pupils in one school will get to ask David Cameron what his job involves when he visits their classroom this term.

The prime minister, along with Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, are among high-profile figures who have signed up to visit primary schools under the new Primary Futures programme set up by heads' union the NAHT.

Other people, from MPs to illustrators, and tax inspectors to archaeologists are available to give children a glimpse into their world. It comes after the success of Speakers for Schools, an initiative founded by BBC journalist Robert Peston to provide inspirational speakers for secondary schools from industry leaders and academies.

Already more than 1,000 primary schools have signed up for the visits, which are being run in partnership with charity the Education and Employers Taskforce. The volunteers are asked to talk about their current job and why what they learnt in primary school, particularly literacy and numeracy, has helped them.

The initiative comes after the NAHT asked heads for their view on the value of links with employers and local business people and found more than 95 per cent wanted to work more closely with employers if it was made easier.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT, said: “The project opens up the world of work to the children - right at the age where they are beginning to develop their aspirations and ambitions.

“From the likes of an illustrator for the Beano to a demolition expert and countless others, these visits will help to show children what they could achieve and that no occupation should be closed to them because of their gender.”

Education secretary Nicky Morgan said: “I am delighted to support this initiative. We want schools to connect with industry and the business community in order to inspire children to consider the vast array of different opportunities available to them."

Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said:  “Giving young people the chance to interact with the world of work from primary school onwards helps underline the relevance of education. They begin engaging with the important choices they will have to make and ultimately helping to build bridges into employment.

“The OECD’s international work consistently shows that young children are full of enthusiasm for learning, but as they get older, too often they struggle to see the point of what they are learning and it relates to life opportunities.”

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