We are extremely proud to have been awarded the Inspiring IAG Gold Award, that recognises our commitment and practice in preparing our students for life beyond school. The award acknowledges the vision and ethos of the Learning Trust as a whole, with specific recognition of the work King Edward’s have developed over the past three years.
Paul Carvin, Chair of The Three Rivers Learning Trust said “The Gold Status Award is wonderful news for the school. It reflects the huge amount of effort and dedication that the staff at the school have put into ensuring that all students get outstanding information, advice and guidance about their future careers. The Three Rivers Learning Trust, of which King Edward’s is a part, places a very high regard on ensuring that students are really well prepared for life when they leave formal learning and venture into the world of work. It is important that the school works with a range of employers and other partners to give students the best possible support as they move into employment – this award show that we do just that. I would like to congratulate colleagues at King Edwards for the excellent work that they do. They should be really delighted with the Award”.
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During the assessment day the assessor, based in Lancashire, spent a full day touring the school, meeting students, parents, staff and some of our valued business supporters and volunteers. The report highlights “careers provision is engaging, lively and well-coordinated” and “students are positive about the Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance provision and value the support from careers staff”. We also received praise for the variety and breadth of the external partnerships that we have developed; “Engagement with partners, including employers, is strong and there is praise from partners for the organisation and communication”.
Special mention in the assessor’s report goes to the information that we provide via our school website, KEVI Careers. The report describes the site as “comprehensive and accessible to both parents and students.” Mark Simpson, Head of School said “We are the custodians of young people for only a very short space of time. In that time we endeavour to provide them with the highest quality information and experiences so that they can make the most informed decisions about their futures.“ Above all, it really is a team and whole-school approach. A parent involved in the assessment day said the “support is excellent” and “can’t rate the school highly enough”.
As a school, we have benefitted from participation in the Gatsby Careers Benchmarks National Pilot programme, facilitated by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. This has strengthened our professional networks and allows us to be at the forefront of developments within Careers Education. An additional benefit of this, we have our own Enterprise Adviser, supported by the Careers and Enterprise Company. Rob Storey of AIS has supported school for over a year in a number of ways and he is delighted that our work has been recognised saying he “never doubted” we could be anything but Gold.
As well as our website provision and supporting National Careers/Apprenticeship Week, we have a strong and active alumni, a varied Post 16 enrichment and guidance programme, work experience opportunities and in Year 10 students complete the Build My Skills programme. Our flagship event is King Edward’s Inspires; 2017 will be its fourth year! This event gives students and their parents/carers access to some of the very best employers, colleges and universities.
Whilst we are delighted with the accolade, work does not stop on improving our provision. We are always keen to link with local employers and alumni. Indeed, any former students can sign up via www.kevi.info/alumni.