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New careers education trials to be launched in UK schools

26/06/2017 Kelly

UK schoolchildren are to be involved in a pair of studies that aim to explore innovative approaches to offering better careers-focused guidance.

The two trials are being supported by the Education Endowment Foundation, which is seeking insights into better models for providing effective careers education, as well as an enhanced understanding of the knock-on benefits it can have on other outcomes, including educational attainment.

In the first trial, 780 teenage pupils at 30 English schools will be asked to deliver a project tackling a social issue relevant to their community with the support of business mentors, in order to help improve their motivation and engagement at school.

The Community Apprentice programme will involve a mix of weekly coaching sessions, workshops and cross-city events, and will culminate in an inter-school competition that will test the degree to which students have been able to pick up skills valued by employers, such as communication and problem-solving.

Evaluators will measure the impact that taking part in the programme has on character skills such as self-efficacy and persistence, as well as on their maths and English GCSE results.

Meanwhile, the second study will enrol students from 130 schools to test the impact of preparing for, applying for and participating in STEM-related work experience on GCSE results in science and maths.

Year 10 students will take part in work experience preparation days, with the study focusing on students who might otherwise struggle to find work experience placements. These pupils will be supported through the application process, interviewed for opportunities and given feedback after the placement.

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: "Schools and colleges are under more pressure to provide their pupils with a strong careers offering, but there is little evidence available on how to do this well.

"We are keen to see if engaging young people in tackling issues that matter to them motivates them to do better in school and to develop the skills valued by employers."

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